Interview with a Scribbling Sanguisage
1.) When did you begin to write?
To be horrendously honest, and even after embarrassingly painstaking memory-wracking, I don't recall when I began writing specifically. Must've been way back. Before sanguisage was an obsolete word, at least. I don't even remember why I started writing, or whose metaphorical blood I sucked to get to this point; engorged and swollen with the half-forgotten passions of thousands of scintillating thinkers who came before my senseless floundering. The enterprise of writing anything at all seems futile at times, in the face of so many linguistic geniuses, both archaic and contemporary, to whose heights I cannot hope to aspire. But that's the thing about writing, isn't it? More of a compulsion or an instinct; seldom ever a rational choice. Like love in that respect.
2.) What does writing give back to you?
Life. The universe. Despair and bliss. Everything in between. Indeed I have spent many a lengthy insomniac night yearning for the touch of words upon my blank but intrinsically-lecherous mind-canvas. To pass the time, I grow fat on the thoughts of past masters, taking months to digest them fully. But, tumescent as I am, I still hunger; to connect, to understand, and to play with new thoughts; each elementary phrase and far-grasped-at wording a precious gift from unknown philological deities (or the past-imbibed blood of romantics) which I regurgitate here in my shamefully egotistical ductus.
But if you'll allow me a moment of simpering cheesiness:
I was lonely you see, before this. I still am (it's incurable) but it's not nearly as bad as it was. You've nourished me. Writing, here, on Prose, has given me the best friends a sybaritic leech could ever dream of. Better in fact. It was through your hopeful and courageous eyes that I have for the first time been viewed as a possibly medicinal curiosity instead of purely a pleasantly self-effacing parasite. And, though some newfangled scientific advances might at any moment prove me obsolete without a shadow of doubt, it is still a thing of beauty; a fleeting touch of ecstasy; to entertain the notion that something about me could be healful or otherwise pleasurable to you; that my slimy introspection could be let loose upon your exceedingly generous souls and result in such fun and worthwhile banter. I thank you, fellow Prosers, sincerely. I thank you.
3.) What is your ultimate writing goal?
The impossible. To have and effectively (or at least enjoyably) communicate an original thought or idea. We all know this goal is preposterous. Why, even this post (and to a larger extent this very answer) was heavily influenced and shamelessly inspired by the other entries to this same challenge. But I don't want to attain my unattainable after all; I want to admire, to aspire, to reach, but not to reach, if you take my meaning...
For, original thoughts are like virgins in a way; as soon as you have them you defile their defining characteristic.
i hide from my mind, i fear it
i run everytime i come near it
leap away with the laughs and smiles
that will cover up the wounds from my panic
i cover the scars with the jackets
one look will bring me back to my thoughts
take me away from my insanity
for i hide from my mind, i fear it
and run every time i come near it
A storm approaches.
The sea, it churns.
Free will means little.
The rain begins.
Animals, trees, drenched.
Weeping leaves collapse,
teardrops for a better day.
Across the horizon,
bright fields, birds sing.
Their song is not for me.
Shivering, I stand.
Clouds follow as I roam.
Even the sun-soaked fields
would fade to gray.
The animals flee.
I heard a story once,
of how light prevails.
Why do we allow
optimists to write myths?
hands on a haunted clock
they never tell you how a heart breaks,
the way the blood starts dripping down.
because if I’d have known the pain,
i would never had stayed around.
I see the parts of you too often,
in someone’s smile or the way they talk,
and my thoughts come back to you,
like hands on a midnight clock.
you see, I think I hear your voice,
behind every corner that I turn,
so you can imagine the shattering pieces,
when it’s your laugh i beg to unlearn.
they never tell you how a heart breaks,
the way my heart starts beating blue
suffocated by my swollen fingers,
which held on so tight to you.
I ran to distant corners,
to forget our fantazised dreams,
but now I see them in hollow mirrors,
and hear your whispers as ehoing screams.
it brought me to my knees,
when I passed a stranger along the way,
who smelled of your faint whiskey,
putting our favorite songs on replay.
they never tell you how a heart breaks,
or how its dies alone,
forgotten by past heartaches,
with no one to call it’s own.
So i guess that was a lie,
because if I got to chose once more,
I’d choose you a hundred times,
to fix the heart you tore.
But here I am now,
in this strange and unknown land,
and I wish on the stars for you,
for one last adventure to go unplanned.
so I hope you think of me,
and see me in everything you do
I think we’re stuck in a twisted mirror
because everywhere I look, there’s you.
#prose #poetry #poet
Every new verse
must find it path.
It light must shine
the tiniest cracks
of my life.
I might be
putting the letters
in a system.
to the writing
that keeps the
so I can see
It’s you that
in my dream
with the wind.
You are the
Who does this guy think he is ...
Not sure if I’ve mentioned it, but I’m going back to school to get a Master’s degree in Creative Writing. Why? Great question.
For one thing, it’s been a dream I’ve had for more than 40 years — a dream I could not realistically pursue because of family obligations, like car payments, house payments, kids, and things. Now I’m retired. That means I’ve got time on my hands. Decided to make use of it by investing in myself.
Going back to school at this stage of my life (I’ll be 75 next year) may sound crazy, but the great thing about writing is that there’s no age limit. None. You can start at age 6 or age 60. I started in my late 20s as a reporter for a small twice-weekly newspaper. Loved it. Decided to get a degree, which I did in 1977, thanks to the GI Bill. Got a job right out of college as a sports writer. Then covered local news. Eventually became a copy desk editor. Then a section editor. When I retired, I was news editor for a small chain of up-and-coming publications. But 2008 happened. Economy froze. Real estate market collapsed. Automobile dealerships closed. “The Great Recession.” As a result, the media group I worked for cut back drastically. My job was eliminated. Sad. Sad. Sad. Bad. Bad. Bad.
What did I do?
Started freelance writing/editing, mostly news releases. Wrote a book—“Orange Socks & Other Colorful Tales.” Edited two other books for friends. Wrote poems, too. (That’s why I hooked up with TheProse.com ... It’s my sandbox. Where I get to play with words. Have fun. Rhyme stuff. And sometimes not.)
Back to the point:
Why am I going back to school?
To get better at my craft. Like Hemmingway did.
Let me close with this. It’s a quote from one of my favorite writers ― C.S. Lewis:
“You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream.”
Is that a true statement? I expect to find out. The hard way. One write at a time. I’ll try to keep y'all posted along the way ― assuming the college accepts my application. Why wouldn’t they? I’m a writer, right?
PS: Why did I post photos of Sylvester Stallone & Robert De Niro? Stallone was in “Rocky”; De Niro, “Raging Bull.” Both are boxing movies. Intense. Brutal. Like writing ― when your words drop to the page like blood falling from a battered face. “BAM!”
The theme from “Rocky”
I’ve always been told that I need to listen to my gut. As if my gut is some kind of wise master with vast amounts of secret knowledge that even I am not privy to.
I am very, very suspicious of my gut. Because isn’t my gut just the subconscious spouting haphazardly constructed algorithms from an accumulation of past experiences? What if my experiences are wrong? Memories can be surprisingly unreliable. Just think of all the wrongfully identified criminals. Or that experiment where 25% of people remembered a childhood memory of being lost in a mall they’ve never been to. Yeah, not exactly a stellar resume, gut.
So instead, I like to waste an inordinate amount of time deconstructing every situation and analyzing every option until I am so mind-numbingly exhausted that I just pick the option that my gut was telling me to choose in the first place.
I will say, for the most part, Ms. Gut does end up making pretty decent decisions. So maybe I should give her some credit. I still don’t trust her 100% though.
Side note: How I titled this post reminds me of that Ariana Grande song “Positions” and I cannot unthink it. Also, “gut” no longer feels like a real word.
Mirrors are terrifying things. One, for what they reflect about yourself that is true; and two, for what they do not reflect that you wish was true.
Mirrors are unrelenting in their honesty; they do not lie or cushion reality. Yet, they are also kind in that they don’t exaggerate. What you see is what you get—no more, no less. Then why do many a viewer accuse their looking glass of being a harsh, unforgiving critic? I believe it’s in the double-fold nature of the thing. A mirror is an object, made of reflective metal or glass; it’s not sentient—it has no thoughts or feelings. One cannot rationally blame their mirror for what they see in it. At the same time, your mirror is an instrument that reveals a part of yourself you often desire to forget. No wonder we hate them, even up to hiding or smashing them in horror or rage.
I’ve had my own quibbles with my mirror, employing a myriad of avoidance or selective viewing tactics. But I’ve realized that in detesting my mirror, I detest my reflection; and in detesting my reflection, I detest myself. Projecting my fears or disgust on an inanimate third party does not remove my issues with myself, it only delays them and the inevitability of confrontation. While I work at ignoring my own reality, I’m ignoring the deeper harm inflicted upon my soul.
I think we all know you can’t deal with a problem by avoiding it. However, self-reflection issues seem to be more vague, and therefore deeper, obscurer, more difficult to exorcise.
It starts with a willingness to be utterly honest with ourselves. Ask the hard questions, which are invariably the right questions. Embrace our truth, no matter what it looks like; in the end, our reflection is what we make of it.
And stop blaming our poor innocent mirrors.
Stark naked, she runs in noiseless screams
fading trails of destiny wisp across sky
the moon sets in silence behind her fears
her blood bleeds colorless grains of time
full moon floods lights on desperate soul
rotating columns of light twist and spin
we’re all the same, we’re all alone
somber and deep cries of ebony skies
walking barefoot on husks of crushed stars
golden wine of moon poured on her sorrows
moon’s fiery brow of incestuous affinity
urges her to yield to endless tomorrow of sleep
moon devours her soul and then spits it out
we’re all the same, we’re all alone
With Both Arms Lifted
In a criminal climate
when the will goes to bed,
but the factory chugs on...
...dispensing the bread...
I am in the backroom now,
here nursing my wounds,
also filing my talons
on the knives and the spoons...
I don't want this mad violence!...
All I want is my home,
and the peace that we've nurtured
will remain where it's sown.
I won't let them take over;
breaking plates over scalps...
Pray for light over darkness...
Call your love down to help.
Will you answer us Jesus?...
We need all of your powers...
Wave our spot-light to heaven
aching for you to see
that we're out on a limb for you,
with both hearts on our sleeves.