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Surrendering to Words



The machine scared me on the Road to writing. Its grinding gears Like a scene from Metropolis marching Me back to the teat of the two week Paycheck mother’s milk, laughing at My little interlude: he thought he could Write his little ditties and things he called Poems but what wages was this writing Bringing in? Wages, he is coming to learn, Aren’t just numbers in a checking account But safety in knowing you have the ways And means funded for the ride that others Describe as “his trying to find himself.”


Bukowski’s right: writing isn’t for those Who fear or those who easily fright. There Are enough of the fearful walking about in Open day and haunting our lonely nights. They Sit waiting for you to give up this quixotic Silliness and return to the fold of those who Follow order, demand order, and only feel When everything is made up neatly according To someone’s order.


Writing is a messy game. Words scatter across Papers like week-old laundry stinking up the Place and you have to let it be and just start Typing, bringing up images that whisper Wisdom from the dark and dirty places where Disorder abounds, where form and function Are ill-defined, where the you that was would Never enter but the you that is becoming can’t Help but open the door.


Some write for money and god bless those Whose writing gives them a paying gig, but Most word whittlers simply carve up wooden Word toys that we treat as birthed girls and Boys, loving them whether others see them As pretty or ugly because they are ours and we will raise and edit them to be something they are not today and tomorrow they may become a poem or story and that is how A writer is dutifully paid.


Now comes the time where one must Ask: am I a writer or a dilettante? Am I a poser of the worst sort? Am I a sampler Or an imitator of everybody else’s work? Or am I an adventurous one who follows The road away from the machine and forgoes Glittery Oz and instead turns the lens Toward a place where, whether bar stool Or open sea, I drink or swim with the Lads and maidens who also surrender to the life and wages of words?


The answer is in the words.

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