Today

I cannot write. Cannot write, cannot write cannotwritecannotwrite.
There is nothing to say, it’s all been read,saidanddone. I cannot write
right: my idealism won’t countenance these mongrel awkwardnesses, won’t
afford them the space, award them the effort, free them for flight —
the gut-dropping, nose-first dive I know it will inevitably be. I cannot write
for that. Not for that. Never. for. that. clipped and terrifying journey.
Each work in turn too small, too frail, too crippled, too pained, too
unfinished… unacclaimed.

But is this the true root of the issue? That I am simply downtrodden
by rejection, by anonymity, by the bruises and blisters, the loss of
braincells resulting from my headfirst dashes at the thick, glass ceiling
above, between me and — who knows what?
Maybe the real problem is that I don’t believe in anything upon anything
else anymore, not after the candle burned out, after the fire died, its smokey
tail lifted away and up to a place I cannot reach or imagine: dissipation.

Now all I can imagine is what I can’t have: the end of the line, that bright and
beckoning finish line, that warm and fulfilling completion that, all said and
done, stops Be-ing, stops weaving, jumping, meaning, feeling, sharing,
hoping: a stagnant place of immobility and grey, building block of infinity
brought to naught, all the curves removed, the shapes nothing without
motion, motive, destination,and the forge fires of Hope.

Death, of a strange kind, is what I seek now, all un-beknownst to
my lackluster soul.

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Grey

 

I’m still in this place. Sometimes it seems I never leave.
*

Gallery, 2014

Imagine, if you will
a gallery piece
installed,
a row of plants at progressing
stages of growth, lined up in
pots and flash-frozen in time, breathing cold puffs,
crystalline
almost synthetic.

Imagine also
the moment the exhibit
starts
to disintegrate, freeing
gouged and frozen cells one by
one by one by
one in
unwilling surrender to Death
nutrient-free, famished, value
less.

Imagine, if you will
our lives, taken
out of sine, cosine, curve:

motion
less.

 

~ KG

*

The Ever-Processing Machine

I can’t find my incense. I don’t want to write. I desperately want nothing more than to write. For ever. So then, perhaps I’m just a stymied masochist at heart(less), doomed to miserable inaction for the rest of my days.

I do not dedicate myself as I should, as I need. . .

There’s a llama on my printer. A small one. A wedding gift, eight years and counting, staring me blackly in the eye. It knows. Trying to escape, my eye rests upon a small picture sat beneath my computer. It is my own babyface peering out with merrily blank baby eyes. The photo is overlaid with the thick shadow of a chain-link fence. This is me. Trapped by a shadow. Waiting for the world to do something. Trying to grasp the significance of the strange, cold eye that trains itself on me so often and aloofly clicks.

*click*

There’s so much crammed into this tiny office I could cry. I used to think I would write always and anywhere — give me a closet and a cardboard box, set me free with charcoal under a bridge and I would be unable to refrain from wordplay, perpetual swordplay with man and nature alike, taking the measure of everything by means of soul, squished then through a kind of linguistic strainer until all I had left was the juice, the essence, the concentrated taste of experience in this undeniably awkward universe.

Now that belief has shattered. It may have been true once, but I have lived into a future where I hide from myself — and everyone else — quite effectively. So here is a journal that is lacking all pretence, simply my words, simply me, all my flaws on my sleeve.

*click*

Can you see the chainlink fence?

I can. It’s all the mouldering critique in my soul. Surely if I put organic stuff in there it would become mulch instead of poison. Perhaps I am now more than part machine, and the organic materials cannot breathe. If I lived for aeons, my mouldering mulch would become the solid stuff of the planet, sandstone, limestone, volcanic rock jutting out of soft soil at awkward angles, baring its bones to escape unfathomable pressure. But I don’t want to be the solid stuff of earth, I want to grow. Become green in the sunlight, swing in gusts of wind, evaporate through expanding skin and rise to join the clouds, journeying towards a body of water and aching for the ocean deeps. Even the rocky shore submits to the tireless ministrations of moisture.

*click*

The cold, cyclopian eye is back. I think it wants to eat me. It’s everywhere, and I fear if I pay too much attention to it it might just absorb my essence. Like native people distrust photos, I distrust the all-seeing Eye with a maggoty, crawling kind of fear. I am sure it can erase my life, my futures, my Being in a moment’s time. How does one go about retrieving one’s essence from the maw of the beast? Can it ever regain its form? Its motivation? Its mind? I am not sure, but I will fight.

*click*

‘If the Furies Should Take…’

‘It is widely rumored, and also true, that I wrote my first novel in a closet. Before I get all rapturous and carried away here, I had better admit to that. The house was tiny, I was up late at night typing while another person slept, and there just wasn’t any other place for me to go but that closet. The circumstances were extreme. And if I have to — if the Furies should take my freedom or my sight — I’ll go back to writing in the dark. Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, writers will go to stupefying lengths to get the infernal roar of words out of their skulls and onto paper. Probably I’ve already tempted fate by announcing that I need to look upon wilderness in order to write. (I can hear those Furies sharpening their knives now, clucking, Which shall it be, dearie? Penury or cataracts?)…’

~ Barbara Kingsolver, ‘Knowing Our Place’, Small Wonder

A New Proposition


“Faith is not being sure. It is not being sure, but betting with your last cent… Faith is not a series of gilt-edged propositions that you sit down to figure out, and if you follow all the logic and accept all the conclusions, then you have it. It is crumpling and throwing away everything, proposition by proposition, until nothing is left, and then writing a new proposition, your very own, to throw in the teeth of despair…

Faith is not making religious-sounding noises in the daytime. It is asking your inmost self questions at night and then getting up and going to work…

Faith is thinking thoughts and singing songs and making poems in the lap of death.”


–Mary Jean Irion, 1970