Throw Me Thursday: Updated old

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.

My friend Jason (Gullickson Laboritories) has already done too much for me, but he also sent me the photo at the top of the page knowing I’d lose it. I did. Thanks, J.


About E. Victoria Flynn

E. Victoria Flynn is a mother and a writer living in Southern Wisconsin. Published in a variety of venues, Victoria is currently writing the first in a series of three fantasy novels based on Cornish folklore. When not taking part in a shrieking dance party or engrossed in her own little fictions, Victoria is keen on art, the natural world and people unafraid to explore their own brilliance.
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13 Responses to Throw Me Thursday: Updated old

  1. Christine says:

    We write to survive. I’ve written myself out of a relationship. Putting it all down on paper forces me to acknowledge that it’s no longer worth staying.

    I wrote a poem about my father when I was in my teens. I couldn’t understand then why he couldn’t support us. I think I understand better now. When he was stricken with Alzheimer’s, I learned to forgive him. I put that forgiveness in an essay. I watched him think he was shepherding his grandchildren when in reality his daughters were shepherding their father.

    There is beauty in writing, Victoria, but also pain. Old writing brings us back to who we used to be. As someone wise once told me, “We make decisions based on who we are at the time.”

    Beautifully written. I also like the photo. I’m glad you found it!

    • pennyjars says:

      Old writing brings us back, but I don’t know if I want to be reminded quite that well,Christine. 😉 It’s true though, writing is what it is for us to make it go.

  2. Siggi in Maine says:

    Thank you for sharing all the trials and tribulations and angst of the past and the writing that helped bring you to where you are today. I also am happy you found the photo…great photo. Peace. Siggi in Downeast Maine.

    • pennyjars says:

      Siggi, thank you for reading and for commenting. And thanks for reminding me that if I didn’t have that stack of books behind me I’d be writing them now.

  3. Beth Hoffman says:

    I loved this –>”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.”


  4. The Girl says:

    Sometimes I forget how much doing writing can be.

    • pennyjars says:

      Just before I read this, I read a poem by Ray Bradbury called “Doing is Being” printed in the 50th issue of Rosebud magazine. “Tomorrow empty stays/If no man plays it into being/With his motioned way of seeing”

  5. Christi Craig says:

    Such a beautiful post, Victoria, about the many facets of our writing selves — those pivotal transformations the stem from the action we take when we write. Like Christine says, “We write to survive.” xoxo to you, Ms.V.

  6. I found this entry while I was watching Howl, and I happened to be searching the same quote you wrote on there, about the muse. And your writing caught me. I suppose i’ll have to thank Ginsberg for introducing me to you. Please never stop writing.

    • pennyjars says:

      Pris, this has to be my favorite way to be found. Thank you so much for reading and for staying. And did you like this too, “They (writers) think they are going to write something that sounds like something they’ve read before instead of something that sounds like them or comes from their own life.” It’s all too easy to imitate.

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