Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mechanicalizing the Idiosyncratic: Habit

Writer sits, pile of paper on her left side, ashamed of what’s she’s created

The motion is repetitive but irregular, jerky and tense and waiting

Trying to find the right word, the right phrase, then yanking it violently out of her head.

Smoothing the irregularities. But they’ll grow back, tufted and irritating and embarrassing

People see the process but not the result. Wonder what she’s doing.

The right words are never smooth. They are kinked and bent and spiraly, squiggling out of her hand. Too short sometimes to grasp at first, but she always comes back. She gets them out.

The ones she can feel.

Many more remain, unexplored, on the right side. She needs that side for work. All the worry and frustration and fear comes out on the left. The pile of papers on the left. On the couch. On the carpet. On the table. Thrown away in an embarrassed, disgusted gesture.

Two tufted twirls. Sinister spirals. Stressful semester.

Sometimes she doesn’t type for days. For weeks. But always returns to the typewriter unconsciously. Banging out the words jerkily until someone reminds her

Of all the other things that need doing.

1 comment:

Jer said...

I like it. If only to get some recognition that yanking horrible twisted things from one's brain can be a topic for group and not just a personal bonfire of ego.

Burn baby, burn.