Literacy as It Comes and Goes This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

June 9, 2012
I would liken it to a complete loss of space,
the fervent desperation felt at a pivotal moment, cut away like threads from a sweater,
rudely leaving behind an unwoven piece.
And yet the color of the language wraps itself around my mind in furious tangles:
When I write
I can pretend
I'm something other
Than what I am.

The silliness of the prose insults me.
I trample it under a herd of clichés –
the delete key is so smudged it screams to be replaced.
And it's terrifying, this loss of language;
I should be done by now, newly printed, fresh-minted.
It must be windy.
Inspiration should spark like (here's a weary phrase) a chalky matchstick.

Still here I am
Empty-saucer writer
Tea's gone cold,
Blank page challenging my essence.
This is not writer's block, perfectionist touches, none of that.
The words have fled, and the keys look like symbols again:
Not a good sign.
By now they'd be running through my veins, electric blue,
Alpha Centauri burning away my arteries.

Power is fickle!
Elusive little things they are,
My words.
They come full circle, curving around my head, bright blue to tame, docile orange.
Words simply can't be orange; everyone knows words are furious blue,
the Universe at night, illuminated.
It's necessary. Crucial, even.
How else will I know I'm real?

It's deeply unfair that in my time of need I am left with nothing,
all burnt-up like a Jack Pine forest,
a shriveled cone falling away as the seeds are released.
Hopefully they take root, grow me a nice metaphor.
Because without my words,
all I've got is reality.
Which, by the way,
is yellow.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

InkWriter13 said...
Jun. 22, 2012 at 6:39 pm
I like your use of colors and analogies throughout. I feel like I don't understand all of them, but I appreciate each nonetheless. Your writing voice is very fresh and feisty. It speaks with a unique tone, and I think that works well for you with this poem. Would you please comment on my work titled the Printer, Without the Writer, and the Warmth of Life? The follow a similar theme, and I would love to get your perspective. Oh, and also A Muse. I know that it is a lot, but I can re... (more »)
zoekibbelaar This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 14, 2012 at 8:46 pm
I love this poem so much, I don't even know where to begin my lengthy praise. The comparison of words to colors is absolutely brilliant, and I love how that came back at the end, with reality being yellow. All of the metaphors are so perfectly fitting: trampling under a herd of cliches, the threads of a sweater, the blank page challenging your essence. There are so many moving phrases in this poem, it is hard to chose my favorite one, but "Power is fickle", "How else will I know I'm real?" and "... (more »)
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