The thing about writing is that you don’t do it in a bubble, you do it among all the ongoing nonsense of the ordinary. You watch the stars protruding in the night, you hear the piercing cry of wild geese overhead. A rush of traffic, a bracing wind. A cigarette which burns in silence on the nightstand, your notebooks and sketches strewn about in a quiet room. Candles and incense and false gods. If you are like me, you do it in shadow, in near darkness, you dim the lights and watch the sky. You take the ordinary and paint over it in colors of your own choosing, conjure and create shape, form, fantasy. By diving in deep, you find your escape. The world around you is changing. By your own design you are immersed in the romance of what could be, if you dare to name it, if you dare touch its featureless face. In the mind of the artist, a dark sensual scene. In her mind there are countless thoughts beating as if a flurry inside a second heart, in her body there vibrates an aching need to express, to expose, to take away the terrible madness which is the having of no words to collect your hands within them and whisper, Yes, yes, yes, this, more and more still of this. I have a close friend who is a brilliant writer. His timing is perfection, his delivery is forever on point. He will unnerve you and you will not want him to stop. He will make you submit to the torture because you want so fully to participate in the pleasure he promises to conjure from the pain. He reads people, dissects them, cuts them, puts them back together and shows them to themselves close up. He notices, he sees things for what they truly are and by spearing that thing just so, he nails it with precision and marked devastation right to the wall. We pin things down and we raise them up at will. The artist commands, he inflicts, he explores. The poet erects life, holding it up for its shimmering beauty and its bluegray sadness. The artist severs, beheads, sets fire to buildings and trees. Holds hostages. Takes prisoners. Takes lovers, takes mistresses. Takes and takes and takes what he decides is his own. Permission in art is fluid. We steal. We hide. We deceive and liberate in the same motion. Soothe and crumble in the same breath. There are people who cannot bear what the poet reveals, it is too full with truth. It bites too close to bone and threatens to shatter glass illusions into a thousand tiny shards. But I don’t mind the way we break. I like the way my pieces catch the light.