Friday, October 7, 2011

fifteen minutes

Write. For fifteen minutes. That's the instruction.

Okay, no problem. So I get out my paper and my pen and I try to pry open my head. I sit and sit and sit as I wander my mental landscape. Today, a desert. One good thing is I haven't seen any quicksand yet. Though maybe it would help?

A few images about doors and locks and kicking things down shimmer a few miles away but they all stick their tongues out at me and slide through my hands like scaly slippery stinky fish. I trudge after them but don't bother with my nets. They were such a drab color. And they couldn't be real in all this sand, anyway. How on earth would they breathe?

I look up at the clock. Fifteen minutes gone, maybe more. Does this count? I hold up my paper. There's nothing there. Invisible ink? I say it with a laugh. No one is amused. But I know myself. I know how I write. It doesn't come out if I say hey. just. write.

When does it come out, then? After I've thought and thought and stood on my head and shook myself by the ankles. That gets pretty interesting. And it doesn't always work. Okay, it only occasionally works.

So. Try.

Alright. I press pen to paper and start to go on and on and on and on. I end up writing about writing and finally about the owl I heard through the basement window while I brushed my teeth before bed and how I wanted it to mean something or be something or say something but it was just an owl. I went to bed with disappointment stuck between my teeth. I always forget to floss.

I heard it again at midnight. It woke me up. This time I just listened through the cracks of my sleep. And then at dawn it spoke to me to me to me. Right to me. It asked who. And I didn't say anything but just pressed my palms together and touched my thumbs to my forehead. Then my to heart.

There. Fifteen minutes.