On Writing

The Great Why and the Why Not and Also Whatever

Writing is drifting alone in a small boat on a dark endless body of water with only the sound of a hushed brain which is the sound of nothing which is the sound of writing.

Writing is tracing steps in an ever decreasing spiral from the big idea to the kernel of drivel that resides in the center. The disappointing discovery of disappointment.

Writing is the act of not making — not making money, bread, love, noise or meaning. Making nothing. No thing.

Writing is a topless pop bottle, all fizz and promise gone flat.

Writing is the finely tuned art of avoiding the faces and opinions of others, the navel gazer’s gaze.

Writing is the futile chase of the prized word to cap the string of last night’s perfection that this morning has turned to crap.

Writing is sitting alone in sour sweaters with cold coffee picking zits and noses, pondering failure and loss.

Writing is 3 AM, cold and buzzing and full of promise.

Writing is vomit, tidied.

Writing is the last, abandoned swallow of wine the morning after, stinking up the kitchen and casting aspersions on last night.

Writing is air masquerading as theatre imagining bombast and eternity.

Writing is earworms and chatterbugs whispering all night and arguing all day.

Writing is a pleb aspiring to the manor.

Writing is a mirror, clouded, cracked and lying.

Writing is the staring sage, the judge and the jester conspiring to muddle truth and perfection and ruin breakfast.

Writing is the O of a mouth screaming, a klieg light in a dusty corner illuminating the quiet.

Writing is the great why and the why not and also whatever.

Writing is a fairy tale about a voice in a deaf wilderness, a light in a blind universe.

Writing is a cobweb in the seeker’s face, skewing the view and stirring anxieties.

Writing is one thought, wrestled into a grim unholy thing, stretched into a beautiful backstory and knitted into a coverlet.

Writing is an accelerated heart rate and dilated pupils, holding it and shut up and hanging on the barbed edge because it just won’t come.

Writing is nowhere fast, a plank walk into a wasted river of regret.

Writing is the spot — right there — that can never be reached. Almost — so close — but never.

Writing is purposeless, ephemeral — a winking mockery of existence.

Writing is beading alone, for no one. Invisible embroidery.

Lisa Renee is a poet and essayist, living near a big lake in New York. Find her writing in Exposition Review, The Hairpin, The Billfold, and Linden Avenue Literary Journal. And, of course, here on Medium. She is also managing editor of nonfiction at daCunha.

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