Thursday, May 5, 2011


(based on suggestions from @_camer0n, @ernmalleyscat, @realnixwilliams, @eglantinescake, @jellyjellyfish)

Inside of a sarcophagus, it’s too dark to read.

Sometimes we keep the blinds shut all day

and peer through the slick yellow bulb light

at our computers. It sounds like we’re stuck

on a bus, squinting out at those bright air folk

who stride the footpaths with their certain words.

Outside of a language, a dog is man’s best friend.

Young babies and old cats and medium canines

know exactly how to make their thoughts known.

A thumb and a forefinger, a claw and a stretch

is all they need. It says: “Keep me so closer.”

They say: “We need to touch you for a long time.”

Somewhere between outside and inside

is where you write words like you’re another.

Look back at a slat-blind dream of letters

Rake over your work with commuter eyes

Fear it is over and you have already touched off.

Happened before. It’s not over. Happens again.


Today’s poem is based on suggestions from five peeps:

  • @_camer0n: “Outside language, there is no self to express.”
  • @ernmalleyscat: “Looking out the passenger window at passengers on a bus”
  • @ realnixwilliams: “Peeping through venetian blinds”
  • @eglantinescake: “Pincer grip – which Avery has mastered. (Carrying him is like carrying a little crab)”
  • @jellyjellyfish: “Something to do with Egypt. Have excursion to the Tutankhamen tomorrow with one million tiny childs. SEND HALP”

You know how sometimes, very rarely, you write so easily that it’s like transcribing, like taking dictation? It happens so freaking little that you remember it like you found the holy grail. And you know if you could just get back into that mindset, you’d produce the most amazing things.

So you sit down at your computer or page, maybe at an Underwood if you’re lucky (and have kids that sleep really soundly). And the white blank in front of you draws all the blood and fire from your veins and turns it into bland alphabet soup. A couple of hundred words and a couple of hundred hours later and you probably should have cleaned the bathroom instead.

But every now and then (count it in months if you’re lucky, years if you’re normal), you sit down and before you know it you’ve transcribed something easily. It doesn’t happen very often. I choose to believe it will happen again.

As Margaret Atwood says, we can’t whine, because we chose this. No one is making us. We could just get another job, choose another thing to do.


Penni said...

This poem is the stuff though Anna, I loved this.

Anna said...

Thanks Penni!