Sunday, May 31, 2009

Writing out loud.....

If talking to yourself is "thinking out loud", as my father used to call it, then what is blogging? I call it "writing out loud". Considering that my blog is called "Louder than words", it seems appropriate.
Lately, I seem to have all but abandoned my visual art--it has been a struggle to paint, make jewelry, or even to tinker with my sculptures. I've done very little in my studio in the past few months. But I HAVE been writing.
I used to feel guilty whenever I hit what seemed to be a creative slump. However, in later years, I began to notice that I seem to have multiple creative 'personalities", each with it's own inherant interest, and they can only come out to play one at a time. I noticed that when it had been weeks since I had painting, it meant that my mind was busy conjuring something else up: a song, a poem or story. Standup comedy routines, even. It's always something. If I lived to be 1000, I could still never chase down all the ideas I have and bring them into being. In a sense, writing is easy compared to painting or sculpting. It doesn't seem so BLIND. I just get out of the way and type whatever shows up. Painting is not like that. I used to actually get SCARED to continue--a kind of stage fright, in a way-- thinking "WHAT IF I SCREW IT UP? WHAT IF I HATE IT?"
Later in life, I started to learn how to "get out of the way" when I'm painting, or sculpting, too. It's just PLAYING, really. It figures itself out, just like games kids make up as they go along. Kids just keep making up rules until the game WORKS. They never worry that it WON'T work. They never stop the game and wonder if they could have done it better.
I try not to, either.

Here is a piece I wrote after a monumentally BAD DAY....


the day started
as warm flannel
fresh from the dryer

But then, suddenly, it was
a hinge, LOUDLY squawking in protest
the bang of a door slamming shut
the stench of an overflowing ashtray.....

I was a rusty jagged sawblade
the prickliest of scratchy sweaters
the last cold swallow
of yesterdays bad coffee

You were a kettle, burning
on the stove
a thousand bee stings
an eternity stuck in traffic
And later, the dinging sound
of a car door left open

Sleep changed the channel

Today I am lukewarm dishwater
I am one tiny red tennis shoe
on the side of the road
I am a shiny penny
on a dirty restroom floor

Before the day is over, I hope to be
a sliver of white moon on smooth water
truffle chocolate
and a goose down pillow

I hope you will be
a train that's right on time
apple pie and ice cream
everything in working order
your favorite song
on the radio