Sucker Punch

Early evening drapes itself in hazy light and a kind of warmth which is too heavy, too insistent. I finish my espresso as I stare out the upstairs window into the street. The sun is too high but that’s all I ever say. I’m dying to write but all that spills out of my empty brain are these few words worth so little. I read somewhere that fame is what most people crave not realizing it’s the best way to kill off your creativity. Privacy is a must, secrecy a necessity, and these days we are hella short on both. A friend sent me something by Hemingway about having to do the work of writing for no applause. I get that. I do that.

I used to do it with a lot more magic, a lot more lust and juice. Lust for what I am not really sure anymore. But I did have this thought earlier today as I drank coffee and stood at the copier machine: where has the magic gone? I swear I once had it. I once had poetry and desire, visions and hungers, thirsts, cravings. Part of my trouble, of course, I know. But also the beauty of words, their power to seduce, electrify, and enchant, once held me completely captive to their charms. I struggle to even grasp any of that now, in this muggy regular late afternoon. What used to excite me simply doesn’t anymore.

I pick up a black ball point pen. Draw snakes wrapped around long stemmed roses in the pages of my notebook. They are not very good but it doesn’t matter, really. You know, I wanted to tell you that when a sick kind of oppressive menace grips a culture, one that demoralizes, shreds, skins, deadens you inside, there are no marchers in the streets screaming about it, because of the deadness. It is not a ferociousness which cries out in the heat of night but a colossal silence, a cripple of inability to speak, to dream, to flower. Each day is the same as the last, each day is as gray and plain and sad but not impossible to get through. Just emptier. More vacant. The way it happens is the magic slides away. Dismay disorders the soul and clouds the eyes.

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