Drained Words

Friday, March 25, 2005

Bugs, I dream of something greater, not the exterminators’ greatness, even though we celebrate their exterminations of millions, but the genius of revealing for others. Do I have the vision? Do I have the voice? Or am I a low-budget sitcom writer who knows the show won’t last but keeps writing dull dialogue and bad stage direction.

I enjoy life outside the page. And yet I want more. I walk the streets and wish to capture my feelings and keep them with me all the days. I stop and jot down notes. A cemetery quiet overtakes me, a place where peace is not an abstraction. It smells of life in a place where they bury death beyond sight. A bird tweets over what remains.

I know in ten minutes or 400 words, this feeling will leave me and I will begin looking for life’s next distraction. I will find it as I always do, and it will be chewed and broken as it always is.

I wander through fields covered in spiders’ webs and my thoughts stick. My impressions are not anecdotes; I search for the even paths, and crack cinderblocks in my wake. I chortle words and dream of enslaving ideas. The springs open before me but when I lower myself, I find only emptiness and angst.

I race against dripping clocks and I let them win.

I walk through grass filled with daffodils that blight the greenness. Ducks build monuments. What do I build? Organized, thoughtful prose, an argument or insight I do not. I want to pray at the feet of the monsters that inhabit my mind and submit to their wills. Who am I to declare the world my playground when the seesaws never bend for me?

I’ve done motions, gone through them as if they could amount to real expression. What is my expression? Where do I find it and what is its worth? How can I say when staring at those who manage to skip oxygen and breathe words?

I study genius and grasp its hem. My stares are jealous and unforgiving. The taste of unfairness grates my bones. I reach but can’t touch. I know I’d burn myself if I did. Who would trade happiness for burns? I feel the walls, and they are loose like an old man’s teeth. But dare I push?

I dwell on this often. I must hope beyond all I know to hope to reach something. It won’t happen. It never happens.