Monday, October 1, 2012

I wish I could be as innocent a writer now as I was in the beginning...

...but I can't

Which doesn't mean I have no innocence

only that it's hiding from my wisdom
from my experience, my knowledge
my skills, my certainty...

I wonder if there's a way...

First comes the urge to write the story
A hook emotional & spiritual
that snags me
gets my blood going
wakes my soul

It moves me & it matters

I get enough down to see
a living blueprint
ragged, messy, wild tangled shape

It's entered the world
more unformed than formed
but breathing

It's a freak

I tell myself
I know this freak
I know where it needs to go
to be a good fine story
to represent me well

Don't be so sure of what i am
says the story
what i mean
what i want
where i'm going
why these people have come together
you are my writer
but the mystery belongs to me

Then something gets stuck
goes dry, dull, dead
on the page

Don't force me
says the story
i will help you...

Once I have a good little chunk of it on the page
my best ally,
most powerful, clear, knowing
ruthlessly loyal ally
is the story itself

but it's asleep in its own skin
talking to me in its sleep

All it cares about
is itself
It doesn't care about me

The only thing in the universe it wants
is to get itself told
clear & true

it can't write itself, can't tell itself
it needs me

whereas I have all kinds of nonsense
desires & reasons
to satisfy
that are laughably meaningless
to the story

I go to the story
& read it as if somebody else, a stranger
was writing it

How many clues & hints & turns in it
I had never noticed before

Why, it's a living thing

Who wrote this?

I slow down to no speed

The more sure I am
that I know all about the story
the more the story
will hide & be too shy
& sullen to help me

It doesn't tell me
it doesn't like what I'm doing
It just clams up

It doesn't care about respect
it only knows when I relax & listen & see
& then my best ally
will help me

I read it
as if I just found it on a seat on the bus
& I trust the unknown writer implicitly

as if she knew exactly what she was doing
& hid perfect clues in plain sight
where to go from there, where
to make connections

but had to leave it behind for me

not clues to what the story means,
but where it means
to go & who
it's about & what
they must do

She has left me this story, the stranger who
got off the bus before I got on,
who I know nothing about
& don't need to know

I'm not the one who started the story
but a new one, carrying the torch

& now it's mine
as long as I observe with abandon
love its frightening
dull & dead & lost spots
as true as the original fiery urge

Its secret course is a light under water, strange
guiding light I must get in the water
& go under to follow
& lose myself or lose
the story

Writing the story
is breathing underwater
following deeper than I can go
the faith-like light

If it works
I won't not forget it

If this is working
you won't have to remember it

If the story is working
you'll know when something is wrong

Just because something feels wrong
doesn't mean it's wrong

I'm not afraid to discuss the story
with the story
I used to think I would lose the story
that way but that's the way
the story sheds me
& becomes itself

I need to work on the story
at different times of the day
and night in order to keep up
with the strange guiding light

I am writing a story
& a relationship, against my will
keeps not changing
not getting better or worse

I think I am trying to make
some point of how you have to get out
of a bad relationship
or make it better

but finally I was trying to go to sleep

frustrated, restless, petulant
about the misbehaving story

when it shyly entered my dream
like a monster in a tutu
unself-conscious, pollen & ESP-laden

& let me know
stop resisting
that it was about the other relationship
the friends
not the lovers

i don't love you
i'm your friend, your ally
it said

because the lovers will love
& then not love or love
& there's nothing you can do

but the friends that hated each other
that had no respect
each other
they are the ones
i am about

Well damn

Who will care about that?

i don't care if they care
says the monster, chewing its fingernails
that's what i'm about
why i am
i gotta go

The entire story

& I really didn't have to change much of anything
except relax & disappear & perceive

It was there all along, writing itself
under my best intentions

I think I know where I am in my life
where I'm going
& I think I know where the story is going

but I am almost always going somewhere else
& the story is almost always
going somewhere else
I can force it, break it
or I can listen to it
& care more about the story
than myself or anybody else
who might happen to read it

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