Monthly Archives: February 2015

Like Water From a Broken Dam

There it was; that dreaded season. And things had been going so well too. Everything was perfect. Words were flowing in a stream of sentences, connected one to another to form an entity; a whole. Each whole made sense, at least as far as poetry and passion deemed it sense. Each comma, full-stop; every punctuation point meant something – a pause, a gasp, a breath. It all made sense; it all had meaning. In short, it was the dreamlike state of inspiration; the writer was at one with her own work – like two bodies entwined in salty sweat and passion forming one. There wasn’t a distinction; not one border. Not one line, that marked a boundary between the hand that wrote and what that writing came to mean. The writer as an entity ceased to exist and was absorbed into the work; became a part of each and every page – each pause for breath a comma, each gasp an exclamation mark, each anxious thought an ellipsis. The text became the writer; the writer became the text.

And then the bomb was dropped, the blissful harmony of writer-text disrupted; separation became the new normal. It was the aftermath of an explosion; the commas, exclamation points, the question marks and full-stops and ellipses were scattered all about. The mind became a wasteland of dry thoughts and barren sentences; remarks that held no breaths or gasps or anxious thoughts – just words and words to form grammatically sound sentences which might make sense but not in the true sense; not in poetic or aesthetic ways. Inspiration was like the cargo on that ship which lost its way and went off course, leaving a war-torn country hungry for supplies.

And yet it would not last. It never had before. It never would. The words would come again; those meaningful heart-wrenching words that stabbed her heart with harsh poetic truths which she would spit on paper like dried blood after the dentist’s. The commas and the full-stops would come back to fill the page with pieces of her soul; to scatter them so they would not be lost – no matter how far off her course she dared to tread; a part of her would always be preserved in those stark commas with their plump heads and skinny tails.

Yes, the words would flow again; like water from a broken dam – unhindered, unimpeded, honest, free.


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