Tonight I took a bath like I’d been waiting for it all day and when I let my head sink my ears filled with a sound like the sound of a small neck bottle inhaling deeply. My body felt like sea weed until I held my breath and became too light to hold me.
This is what I took from the movie Howl:
What happens when you make a distinction between what you tell your friends and what you tell your muse? The trick is to break down that distinction, to approach your muse as frankly as you would talk to yourself or to your friends. It’s the ability to commit to writing, to write the same way you are.
Writing this, I started scanning old journals looking for a poem recreated from the first several pages of “Naked Lunch”, but I got distracted in left behind writing. It took too long, I didn’t find the poem. I found Old Me twiddling around thinking myself brilliant for cutting up the world and its propaganda.
I found the me when she fell in love with her husband who wasn’t yet. I found the me tripped up in cycles of loathing, pitiful me, a scoundrel to myself.
I found the me in a closed corner of a room under a blue light drinking Captain and Cokes, writing apologies to my father that never said, “I’m sorry, I left you behind. I want to hate you.”
I found the me who sat in an open, ugly field next to a highway in early spring writing, writing, writing like a skipping beat, notebooks that did nothing but repeat things that made me want to scream. I screamed on paper.
Like high school with Ma outside my door deriding me for something, being home too late, not giving her the attention she needed, too much for a high school girl, too much. And I scratched, I scraped myself raw, but not my skin, not my blood–it was paper, scribbles like a 5 year old scraping away anger in a black crayon tornado, scratching through pages to the next and the next.
Like later in a relationship that took me by the neck and closed me off like bound, how I scratched my way free through the paper, through the notebooks on a bathroom floor with the door locked and my legs pressed against cold, white tiles.
Like now when I’m mad in wanting, impatient with working, tired from long nights waking; I write hard, my fingers cussing, blurring myself up with figurative charcoal. Until I feel it lift and my fingers slow. Music breaks in through my headphones. I catch my breath and became too light to hold me.