Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Inspiration is for Amateurs

Some days are like cliffs and I fall off the edges. Stomach in knots, my hair a mess, typing with a mouth full of smoke. The patch of skin, on my back, that has been cut open so many times, drives me crazy with a phantom itch. I look over my words as they shiver and bark up at my face. They are hungry and stuck between periods and question marks. I don’t trust them today and they are angry with me and want out of this mess. This doubt is common, or so I’ve heard. Some days I deem myself brilliant and others I wish I’d chosen to be a nurse or mother. Some people are doing so much more. I’m here hopped up on Diet Coke and cigarettes, cajoling and pleading with stubborn sentences.

Write, mujer, write!

I’m sure Dorothy and Truman had days like this. I’m afraid I’ll end up like Flannery, locked up in my house or worse, like Sylvia, with no other way out. I get up and make sure the knob on the oven is safely turned off. Oh, Virginia if you only knew! All I need is the strength to wrestle this smug, blank piece of paper and too full ink pen, into submission.

It’s dark when the lights are off up here in my head. I live for those moments, when something takes over and I don’t know where it all came from. Songs that I hum were once scrolled bits of nothing on matchbooks and gum wrappers. The books I’ve read and love were at one point a few mysterious scribbles in a worn out notebook. I’m sure Frida got sick of her face looking back at her and threw away hundreds of self-portraits I’d give a kidney to see.

So I’ll wait for that little rush to sweep over me while I do dishes and water the plants. All the while baiting my subconscious with crumbs and hoping the stories will follow like ants.


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