on pokeyness

so this morning, re-resolved (solved again and again?) and fortified against habitual deer trails of self-deterance, I stayed abed girded only with El Capitane the iphone, whose micro screen precludes distractions such as multiple visible browser windows, and pulled up Pokey Mama once more– smart lady, she even has a mobile app version of blog posts!– and picked up reading through from the beginning, as I’ve been yearning to do daily (acutely despite the zillion self-distraction tactics which I’ve made my true profession).

I got a dozen or so posts along, brainsplosions occurring at regular intervals, until I finally had to stop, get up out of bed, go make coffee, and wait in antsy dancey hopstep for the toast to pop– so I could go write.

I’ll let you in on a little secret, free of charge– this here’s the greatest gift one writer can give to another: the inspiration to respond in kind. the best sort of reading I do prompts it, that conversation in scrawled or tip-typed syllables which I so blithely maligned in my last post.

[deep breath]

by golly, I can’t un-say that the writers’ workshop did a number on me– or, really, to be more exactly precise, not so much the workshop(s) its(their)self(ves) around the big serious tables in the dey house– more the social scene that revolved around my two years in the program– and really, if I’m going to be 100% honest with both of us here, only a windbaggy vocal minority within the surely more diverse and varied, veined with secret, quiet channels, social ethos present at that explicit moment in the workshop’s history.

what’s more, I did it to myself. hell, if I don’t own my own responsiblity in this farcetastrophy right now, it’s likely to go on plaguing me forever– I tagged along at the heels of those bolder friends into the night glare of the foxhead bar. I sat there listening and gawking while the literary cocks puffed their breast feathers in display around the pool table, and I bought their brand of bullshit. or deplored it while internally buying it wholesale. nobody dragged me, nobody shackled me to those ages-inscribed wood-topped booths. I opened my receiving orifices and took it all inside and let it pile up atop of my own good voice like so much rotten packing material and let it fester there, squashing down anything I might think to say until the stew burned hot and white in my belly. for ten years. I did that to myself.

I stopped myself writing poems— the writing that had literally saved my skin just a couple years prior– all those sproutlings grown into contorted little hermetic contraptions, I took them in my own angry grasp and throttled them off right at the root.

and why? because other people sounded smarter than me.

what a boatload of smelly carp.

whew. I didn’t really intend to write about the writers’ workshop when I sat down at Mister Macbook this a.m. thanks for that, too, Miz Dryansky– for the permission to detour and meander– so much nicer than deterring and mouldering.

what I meant to write about this morning was the tendency toward stuckness. and fertility anxiety of several varieties. and self delusion and the gracious occasion to glance back over it with kinder eyes toward ourselves and all our human foibles. and in good Pokey Mama fashion, maybe I did just manage to enact that last one after all. and maybe I can be okay with allowing the other bits to filter forward in organic fashion in future blog posts sometime, whenever. maybe I’m not really ready, yet, to address the baby-making petrifaction that freezes me barren for more years than I can count. whatever. I will, I expect, find unstuckness in my own good time. for now it is a beautiful and immense gift simply to be able to write something.

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One Reply to “on pokeyness”

  1. I was in that sticky-topped booth with you, breathing the same dead air. I paced the pool table and measured my shots, drowned out in workshop with the roosters crowing. I let my writing, my self, be taken from me. Nevermore!
    You say it, Gazer.Keep going. Don’t stop.

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