Friday, September 12, 2008

Go for the concrete

That's the trick to writing while depressed. Avoid those pitfalls of writing about depression, lack of sleep, your mother's death, 9/11. Go for something concrete.


We like it when it is new:
flat, unsharpened.
We like it more when the point is narrow
as a mind. We don’t like it rounded,
smoothed down by work,
its words uttered thick and dark gray.

We like it school-bus yellow, fake-cheese yellow.
We like it without the mark
of a schoolgirl tooth.
We like the name on its side
in cursive, an example.

We need an eraser. A giving one, a clean one.
Not one hard and anger-colored,
leaving its own gray whines
across our errors. We need it tight, neat
in its tin cummerbund.

We use it
until perfection cannot be renewed,
until the mill won’t grind it
because it’s too small, too overworked
for fingers to grasp.

No comments: