I keep pens in every room to capture the "A-ha" moment of a pleasing set of words before they dissipate. I collect them. Perfect phrasing is an accident. Good writing is an accident compounded.
Once I met a woman who teaches kids art or kids teach her art, I forget which. She's a little crazy, and I'm okay with that. She keeps colored pencils in vases and sometimes waters them. Crayon mobiles hang from her ceiling, the sharp ends filed down. There are magic markers tucked in with her silverware. She says they encourage spontaneous art. There is joy in spontenaity.
I'm tempted to remove all her yellow writing utensils and keep them in some yellow drawer never to be opened. Drunken epiphanies, phone numbers, and friends' addresses all disappear in yellow on white. But she loves to draw the moon. She loves the moon, especially the crescent moon. I sometimes wonder if she's an Islamist.
Black bores her, so she gives me colored pens. She would have my notebooks look like they fell from a nine year old girl's backpack. The pens sit in a desk drawer, grouped into warm and cool colors. You see, I don't want to dot my i's with hearts. I don't want to have a crush on my best friend's older brother Nick or experiment with writing his last name after mine. I don't want to write mean things about the fat girl in gym class. Although maybe I am the fat girl in gym class. Or the second-fattest.
She likes it when I write poems on her naked body, as if it weren't a poem already. She closes her eyes while I read them to her and trace the words with my fingers. That's a muse. I've spent years trying not to smear the ink. Smearing the ink is the best part. Fuck yeah it is.
Labels: craft of writing, from the notebooks