Monthly Archives: April 2009

Stop Writing

So, I haven’t actually written a blog, blog in a long time, but I guess today is as good a day as any to start. I keep hearing the voice in the back of my head saying “blogs are for self-obsessed people” and why would you want a “diary” online?”

So, the blog is about how I’m going to stop writing for a while.

This is how it is.

Listen to music, now. Actually listen.

Read something without a thought of regurgitation.

Enjoy the day without analysis.

Divorce my need for validation via writing.

Why is the ego so wrapped up in it?

Why did Rothke repaint the same picture over and over again.

I was told I was writing the same thing over and over again.


Same form, same images, same ideas.

I’m a broken mixed tape.

I found a form and now it’s overdone. My form is a cliche. I need to break out.

I don’t even know what any of that means.

Perhaps it’s because I have begun to hate writing.

Perhaps it’s called being burnt out.

If I don’t have a novel, stacks of pages, by the time I’m 26, I’ll certainly throw myself out the window.

Or, that’s what you’d think by how much I have become dependent on work.

So, I’m going to try and STOP writing.

No more attempts at poems.

No more attempts at blogs.

No more attempts at weighing my day’s productiveness on the page.

But I’m scared.

What am I supposed to do now?

Find a new form, she said. Break out. I’ve overused my current form.

What does that even mean?

Jackson Pollock, essentially, painted the same thing over and over again.

Why can’t I write the same poem?

It’s done.

I’m done. Need to see a movie or read.

No, reading is off limits. Too much in the mind.

I need to get out of the mind.

We’ll see how long this lasts.


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I woke up this morning and thought,

I should be excited about the day. I should walk as though I’m only here now.

Something reminded me about the idea I read in “One Year to Live” which said,

Practice “dead days.” Walk around as though you’ve already died. Accept and see your reactions to the idea that everything moves after your death.

Everything moves. Is this comforting? I feel an anxiety smog through the door at this idea. Anxiety married to my desire to leave something here. Place something on the hallway buffet table. Words, works.

But something tells me this is just the ego.

So I will wash my hair and, in the mirror I will repeat the serenity prayer and tell myself to love others, to consciously live today in love.

Though all I really want is to read John Cassian in the library.

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A Girl Wants

Last week, to the man I’ve never met, I sent a text:

I don’t know…what I have to
say, who’s it to? I’m still trying
to figure it out. We write into
each other.

Later, the man I’m sleeping with leaves a sticky note on my car,
One word, blinking in my face:


The next morning, I text the man
I’ve never met, again:

What can I do?
I don’t want to be here.

He responds:

OK. If not here, then where?

I text:

Where? Nowhere.

He responds:

There is no nowhere.

I think of the nowhere where there are long baths, and sound.
Where nothing is eaten like honey on a spoon.

The man I’m sleeping with tells me it’s ok to cry and not talk as he’s listening on the other end of the phone.

A dog howls in the neighborhood while I’m sitting in cold bathwater.

The howl seems to come from the deepest part, so deep I do not want to listen, but I am sitting in the water, not wanting to move, ripple things, so I listen.

A girl wakes, crawls out, shudders.

She’s been roaming for days,
I thought, inside.

Shut me away,
I plead.

Go back inside, shut up, stop
howling, I can’t make my arms be her arms.

As my friend read her poetry to an audience, I dug my nails into my forearm.
I want nowhere.

Still, now,
As I write this, a girl wants blood.

Still, the howling,
Hanging in the air, in the heat,
Missing a fan, sanity.

I called the voice in my head.

There’s a train out now. The dog’s
Not howling anymore. There’s still
The heat pressing on me.

The voice says

Fuck the poets. Why write for anyone?

So I text the man I’m sleeping with after he reads this poem and says

It’s good.

I reply:

It’s shit. And I have no fan. And
My landlord won’t get it out of
The attic. And I’m going to
Fucking throw my phone out
The window.

Then, an ex professor sends me an email:

I always considered writing to be the “unnatural” equivalent of a hard on.

While the man I’m sleeping with sends me the serenity prayer,

I write:

A girl wants blood.

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Actually, to be honest with you,

Sometimes I wake up with so much doubt, I don’t want to get out of bed.

The boulder won’t move.

And on into an ocean I go,

Words drowned out by waves,

As they will be by an energy

Bigger than me, lasting.

To be honest with you,

I don’t know why I’m here at all

But to be one long praise.

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Under a Rock Face

Found Under A Rock-Face

Something occurred to me in the gym shower today. Yes, I was surfing the highs of endorphins and thought, I know what will help me push through this word-hurry, this undefinable silence.

I will come back to you.

When I was working the 8-5, finding my way through the excess, I fell back on speaking to you.

Who are you? A you that I know but have never seen.

And I’ve missed speaking directly to you.

Help me, help me gather my thoughts. Where did you go today, for instance? What were the paths you walked?

Did you notice how your body felt, reawakening into the world this morning?

I laughed, once, so hard in sleep that it woke me up into night. It felt like a beautiful shock. A shock sweetened by joy. Have you ever woken to laughter, as though some voice inside passed their hand along your belly, like a smoothing stone or as your parent did to put you to some calmer state?

Lovers do that, too.

As does the grass.

I wondered, if I stopped writing you, would you fade? Would the tree-house we climbed together, crumble?

Wait! You think,

We never met at a tree-house,

but we did. Or maybe under a rock-face.

Watch me, I say, jump off the dock into the lake!

Oh, I remember an evening near to a voice,

near a skimmed lake.

And you never stopped, faded,

And even, I remember, today I called your name.

It was raining and the grass reminded me of England.

It was raining and the smell of pine drifted me to New Mexico,

It was raining and the wet is the wet the voice tells me about sometimes,

How, underneath a rock-face or in a tree-house,

What was uttered once will be uttered again,

Even in the words we use to undo each other,

In the text messages and emails,

In the little notes I write to myself, on place mats,

On the back of someones hand, on a lamp-post,

Or the pillow where things unsaid tremble against the weight of my body.

I will come back to you, laughing, high up in a tree-house or under a rock-face.

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Rambling off Into a Morning Sky

Thinking about my ghosts.

What / Who speaks to me–

How do I move through these voices, do I stop and listen, really?

Kierkegaard has something on double-mindedness.

“Is it not double-mindedness: to be ill, to put oneself under the physician’s treatment, and yet not be willing to trust the physician, but arbitarily to break off treatment.”

I need more focus–faith, patience, silence.


No words this morning. I do not even remember my dreams–but if I wake and start the day writing, perhaps that will help.

So, I try and examine this pull, need.

Do not explain me! It wants to say.

But it breaks me. Sometimes, I wake and it has walked into the morning, silent. I sit and stare for hours, abandoning the stillness by panic.

Don’t tell me I am erratic! Don’t tell me I am wild for myself.

Yes, OK, for myself, for something out there that holds myself.

The voices are inside, somewhere, teasing me.

They are standing on a cliff, somewhere, holding my heart-creature above their heads, in their hands, threatening to hurl it into greater silence.

If I move wrong into this day, will my heart-creature be another month in silence?

I was going to say, don’t tell me I work hard enough,

But why waste energy worrying what others think,

It is the door, against my forehead,

that will not open, that I worry will never bang

on its hinges. Don’t tell me to stop kneeling here,

Go on, I don’t want anything but this door and

The voices to step closer, my heart-creature in their hands, unharmed,

Rambling off into a morning sky.

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When I try to grip the world and fight against my ego,

That’s when I come closest to loving

Only myself.

So I thought I’d jot this down on the back of my hand,

Thought I’d walk for a while in God’s spit,

Watch it wash away, say,


Forgive me,

But in order to keep my words true,

I have to stop writing for a while,

And in order to live more fully,

I need to be dead for a couple days.


Yeah, I need a little bit more of you…

More from the man who calls me Hannah,

More of the days where I’d walk in God’s spit, singing.

Does he know how long Hannah waited?

I don’t mind,


When I was having an anxiety attack

Last night, when I was punching my forehead

To feel a sting, he said, Think of something

calm, beautiful,

I thought about the time I rode my horse for six hours,

Got lost in a storm,

Called out to no one, held on to her mane–


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