Me: (making a cup of green tea after 2 cups of coffee) I’ve already written 1000 words this morning and committed a heinous act of violence!
Mom: (not looking up from her newspaper) Well, easy come, easy go.
Let me know if you have family and friends who are not impressed when you tell them one of your characters has murdered another because it’s just another day at the office for them.
Uncut, unedited word vomit from Nanowrimo 2018 Day 1!
Eerie. Effervescent. Rank. Imperceptible. E. E. Something else that starts with E. That about sums up the forest. It’s eerie. Especially in November when Raspberry mountain is showered with sleet. The sky is grey. The ground is grey. The ice coming out of the sky and cutting into the ground like tiny little death daggers is also grey.
I hoped Bunny was okay. Bunny didn’t do well in weird weather. Unfortunately, the weather in Arkansas was always weird. It could change from sunny to storming to LOOK OUT THERE’S A TORNADO before lunchtime. And the sun set increadibly early this time of year so it was also dark. It was a dark dusk pelted with ice and cold rain.
Cold rain that vaguely smelled like paper mill chemicals and electricity. And blood. Something under the human pollution smelled like the wet, rich heat of a ruptured liver. I didn’t know that rain could smell wetter than normal, cool how life works sometimes.
Instead of working on 1 project I’m going to work on 3. Because 2 of them are small and near completion and the other NEEDS TO BE WORKED ON. So I’m trying to kill 3 birds with 1 stone this year.
Shakespeare class 2005, Lynchburg, Virginia. The girl sitting in front of me was furiously scribbling into a green marbled (graph paper) composition notebook. I asked her what she was writing and she said she was writing a novel. I was totally impressed because I had tried writing a novel by hand in high school and I totally failed.
She went on to say that she was going to finish it at the end of the month because she was writing it for National Novel Writing Month. I had never heard of that before. I wanted in. She said it wasn’t too late for me to start.
1. As a bird that has no hope.
Embrace the numbness in your hands, the writhing micro-fractures in your ribs as they grow into bright veins of quartz and agate, burst into winged fractals when no one is looking.
2. As a bird that thinks she has a lot of hope but really has none.
Choose the number of vertebrae you’d wish your favorite enemy to take out of your spine and treble it, if you are brave. That is the number of shiny things you must gather to attract a mate and keep yourself sane. Learn to make up the lines of poems you can’t remember. The dead won’t mind and the living are too preoccupied to care.
3. As a bird that has reached that powerful space beyond desperation.
Don’t be afraid to create with your teeth. Blind them with your claws, dive down their throats. This technique may not promise survival but in this way you can make beauty out of whoever tries to kill you.
There are no daffodils
on the sea’s
rolling hills of blue
We try to pray, play
the unattainable constellations
like dulcimer strings.
with their throats,
hearts, and dancing
dead legs in the blue
with no daffodils.
To build an altar you need the familiar territory of a dry riverbed and the shadow of a nuclear power plant. You need the roar of a siren on the air, the highway in the distance, the skull of a kingfisher and the footprints of someone you don’t love anymore. You need a stone from a hand that killed in a war far from home, knucklebones that know the fractals of a willow branch and all the sounds of breaking. You need the smells of honeysuckle, salt, and gunpowder, a piece of iron if you’re superstitious. You need the oil slick iridescence of a cockroach wing and a lock of your mother’s hair. You need the cornerstone of a place that makes you feel safe, even if that place isn’t really a place but a scrap of paper or the empty air. You need a poem written by someone you haven’t met yet.