A day be and that which ends. And tired through the bones. Creaking notions in the bottom of the blender, whipping around. Coffee at ten pm, because I might miss something. Television. Baked goods. Beer and maple syrup. Snoozing on the couch.
Wake up and you’re there. Sitting at the computer screen. Who are you? I ask. Where did you come from? Why are you in my house? Stare at me. Don’t speak. I run to the closet and get a broom, but when I get back you’re gone. Front door is open. You’re running down the street.
On the computer screen, you’ve mucked up my words. Don’t touch them, my words. Don’t take them away from me like this. So much is different. So much is erased, lost forever. My thoughts stolen away, or worse, changed. You changed it all. You made it meaner, leaner, like some stranger wrote them.
Next day, I add locks. And long chains and strands of rope designed to keep you out. But I don’t do anything about the windows, and that’s how you come in. While I’m in the shower, I can hear you rustling around downstairs. I step out naked, like you’re my lover. Like I should handle you with my fingers, and chew on your skin. I slip down the stairs and chase you around the couch, over-and-over circles until my heart’s beating and I’m sweating. Out the window you go.
At the computer, all the words that you took are back. You brought them back. I want to thank you for that. I want to touch you. But the words, while back, don’t satisfy now. They ache. And perspire. And I’m working them out, flipping them around, trying to remember how you changed them. Trying to find the compromise. But this battle’s lost. Gone. I can’t find what you did, and don’t believe anymore in what I started.
The next morning, I get in the car. Today I’m going to work. I’m going to convince myself that this is what life is all about, the long steady drone of telephones ringing and chatter outside the office door. You’re no where to be seen. Not present in the cubicles, not listening in on the calls. Maybe you’re gone. Maybe you’ve found a different place to go. At the end of the day, I sweat at the gym. Push. Leap. Feel like a stronger beast, renewed.
At home, the computer screen. Here are my words. Don’t take my words. Everything else, all the money and the probabilities of future success, the lawn clippings comprised of my aspirations, take them all and put them in the fire. But don’t take my words. Don’t come in my house tonight.
And so I’m typing. I’m writing again. Words flow. Back and forth, tangles of letters on a baking tray, waiting for their final form to rise. Today I won’t leave until I’m done. Today I’m focused, and nothing is on my mind but these words. Today I’m not exhausted or distracted. Today I’m whole.
But then you find your way in. Past every effort to keep you aside, to put you away. And you’re breathing on my neck. Strange sneaky lover, whispering in my ear. This word is wrong, you say. This word is misplaced, or additional. This one defies logic. This one has no sense. And this sentence? It’s broken, and now it’s too long, and here you’ve lost your thought and shattered its bones. Erase, delete, expunge. Return to try again. Love – try harder, you say. Minutes pass. We pass. And this screen? It’s suddenly empty. It’s no where. It never started, and I never was. All those words, those individual points of pride that welled up and out of my skin, they are scattered on the lawn. Being carried off by ants.
I get up. You’re right there. Strange hateful labour of my angst. The see-saw of my dreams. The asphalt lot where I impound it all, and send these words for care-taking, even as they’re sold off one-by-one to the cheapest bidder until I have nothing but a screen, an empty screen, as though I never started in the first place, as though there is no record of my efforts. Or of my joys and the best places to which I have gone.
I swing my fist. And you crumple to the ground. I find myself on top of you. Hitting you. For you are not my lover, or my compatriot. You are just a sack of flesh that I am beating. Harder and harder. Go ahead and scream. Beg me to let you have your life. But you take my words, and you can’t do that. Don’t take that. Anything else, fine, but not that. I put my fingers around your neck and squeeze. Try to pry them off. Just try. With all your might, with every effort, do everything to save yourself. But you can’t. You won’t. This is the end. This is it. I won’t let you back in here. You are not coming back.
Eyes wide, goodbye. Is this your last breath, or this one? Count them. Measure them. But soon there are none left. And no panic in the eyes. And no soul left in the body that is left behind.
Outside, it’s raining but not hard. I’m digging a hole but not deep. Length and width of my own body. I lay you inside, face down. Go ahead and stare at the earth, forevermore. See what you can steal from that. Soon you’re vanished under the dirt, and smothered in grass. And I’m soaking wet on the place where I buried my lover, my other self, my senseless endless stalker that took my words to the grave. But that’s okay. It’s fine. I’ll find new ones. And you won’t come back this time. You won’t interfere. You have no power here, not now.
And I’m at the computer screen. And these are my words. One follows another, and that is the only story. Let them out. Don’t disbelieve them. And never, not ever, allow anyone to deny them, even that if that person looks like you and comes from you, was born in the same instant, saw all the same things, felt all the same impulses and desires to soar. For this is who you are, and these words are yours, and in the end, that is the one truest story of them all. Just try to take it away, love. Just try.
***this is written for my friend Mark at http://markpaxson.com/. I always thought that the greatest inhibitor to writing comes from inside. But you know, it doesn’t have to. We make the rules, after all, no one else. And we can break them whenever we want to, too.
63 thoughts on “Morder Moist Fowl”
Thank you, Trent Lewin! Thank you. This is something I must do. Time to slay the beast.
Poke it full of holes, Mark, throw it in the shredder, and then incinerate it.
Remind me never to get crossways with you. 😉
Pffft. I’m totally harmless. Now get writing, or else!
You’re back and better than ever. I want to copy this and keep it with me. That must have felt incredible after you wrote that. No words – just admiration. xo
It did, actually. I write best in the mornings. This one kind of washed over me about forty minutes before I started work. And out it came. Felt as cathartic as a dopio espresso.
That’s two p’s in doppio for a double, sir. Do I actually know something you don’t? lol
My Italian is pretty rough… but my french… c’est merveilleux! (I probably spelled that wrong).
You sentence structure and pacing really creates a sense of anxiety, then resolution.
Thank you very much for that, my friend.
Remind me never to try to edit any of your work…
Elyse, you’re totally safe, trust me. And I’m a crap editor. This piece I scanned through once and then let go. Follow your first instincts I always say (hence my incredible success as a writer, I suppose…).
I was commenting on your fear of word stealing. Because as an editor, that’s what I do!
Oh – so you’re one of them, are you Elyse? Interesting…
I would be so blessed if I could come up with creative descriptions like you do! I was riding a horse at a gallop! slamming on the brakes at the end! never ever change one word of that!!! That’s an order!
Come on Shards, you spin the poetry and quite frankly, I still after all this time have the memory of one story that you wrote, about that poor girl who stepped into the road… I will never forget that story.
you are way too kind, my friend. but the difference between our styles of writing is night and day. I know you hate to hear it, but your writing changes my pulse rate… it flows at the perfect beat of what you’re reading, it takes the reader up and down emotionally, every description you write is unique in amazingly good form. I cannot even come close. describing someone as “tired through the bones. Creaking notions in the bottom of the blender” is utter perfection. and you must know this!!! so don’t argue with me or try to be humble… you are truly the best writer I know. You blow my little fn mind every time! which not only pisses me off…lol… but makes me… savor… what you write. don’t bother writing back and trying to convince me otherwise… just write back and say “aren’t I the shit?” cause that will make me laugh.. and ease my jealous rage!!!!! 🙂
I am full of shit! Wait… was that right?
close enough! you shit! 🙂
Love this Trent. My angst adores your perfection.
Merci, Audra. And morning!
Good morning, sir. ( grin) Java cheers my friend!!
Cheers! With a large mug and a splash of cinnamon.
Let the words fall where they may. Yes! Love it, Trent. What a wonderful thing to write for Mark. I hear it, too.
I figured you would, Amy. Keep up your writing – we have to work on our friend Mark, to free up his words.
If I can be of any help, please let me know.
Awesome Trent. Riding that ephemeral line between you and not-you. Internalizing not-you by slaying him. Beautifully done. Angst ridden. Very raw but very real. That said, you may have just created a Zombie you. He may just dig himself out and come looking to eat your brain. Mwahaha!
Paul – that is going to be one very very hungry zombie.
How much of this is stream of conscious and how much is edited? Is this the raw footage?
New look? Me likeee. Nice and clean. This makes me want to tidy-up my side bar. Archive. Who gives a shit?
Dude, everything I got is stream of conscious. It’s sit down, write, let it out, and move on. I did look through it and edit. But it was written in just over half an hour, coffee kicking in at work. This is the raw stuff, for sure. Unrefined and inelegant. But strangely satisfying.
I think I changed the blog look a while ago, the old stuff was kind of dark. I dunno, this one’s kind of cheery. Which explains my awesome blogging track record… sigh.
It might be unrefined but I’d hardly call it inelegant. Inelegant is a blog post about how the begonias have just bloomed or how the baby has graduated to a big girl bed. Oh…wait…that’s not inelegant, either. That’s dull. Hard to decide which is worse.
I think you just wrote my next post for me… I think I have an endless repository of lightly-embellished personal stories saturated in modesty but really aimed at telling the world how truly unique I am. And they all involve begonias. Every single freakin one of them.
The New York Times Bestseller list might have to create a new micro-category.
This is the best recipe for getting out of your own way I’ve ever read. I have a book in me, but my ‘better bitch’ keeps ripping my pages up and throwing them away. Can I borrow your shovel? (truly real NB)
oh…and I effin’ LOVE the title.
Me too! I was getting all clever and stuff. Hey, it happens…
Love when that happens 🙂
Better bitch, eh? I want some words with that person, SB. Send her my way and I’ll sort her out, okay?
She needs a good clonk on the head with that shovel is what she needs..
I think the greatest inhibitor to accomplishing all our goals comes from within. We really do set up our own rules and limitations; great reminder than we are powerful enough to break them as we please.
I think so too. It’s sad – but when we get past ourselves, it’s an amazing ride.
There you are.
Good. Thank you.
“Just try to take it away, love. Just try.” — the most brilliant challenge.
Jones! You’re here, and I’m happy.
I’m positive my own battle would not end so easily, as tiresome as this battle was. How does one even morder oneself?
Doc, there are so so many ways… but the deed needs doing. You know this to be true.
For the sake of what ought to be, it has to be true. And one has to ascend to the peak.
you freak me out with coolness… I have to read your stuff more than once just to pretend I understand it… but I do love it… and you did squeeze the word ‘bottom’ in right at the top… so… uh… yeah… HA!
Must I now present my posterior? I have no problem doing so, you know.
You are like a bonobo that way
Don’t you mean bon-bon? Am I that sweet? Might be!
Bon bons are like ice cream nuts
Are you saying that your nuts are cold? What does this mean?
If I have to explain it you don’t get to know
Ah, excellent, excellent! And very relevant to my writing rules post! Really good Trent.
I thought so too. I wouldn’t really endorse violence against your other self, of course, but when it gets in the way of just being free with your words… well, some beat-down is occasionally necessary. Writing is freedom! And it should be free, unconstrained. As you say on your page, knowing the rules is okay, it’s being bound by them that creates the problem, I think.
Whew, inhibitions sure are tough.
Pesky internal editors. They really got it coming.
Woah. This was amazingly stunning—a motivational, in-depth style to your thoughts on editing, and so very true. A great read, and something I will coming back to whenever I need some wise words.
Thanks Kat – I try. I feel the tug of not writing at times, but that’s largely because I don’t have the time rather than because of lack of motivation. Much appreciate your words. This is fiction, but not exactly, kind of a stream of consciousness for a friend.
Ah, yes, I’m the same. Though because there are several different things I have to write, the stress of juggling it all sometimes effects my writing. Thank you for writing this though—helps a great deal.
I let mine come to me…. and it was ugly
it made my knees cry
and then it was gone
then i tried to summon it back 🙂 like hiccups