Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Friday, June 04, 2010

On Writing and a Woman

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.

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Anonymous Asylum Dolly said...

She sounds like a fucking cool lady! By my standards anyhoos. I wish more men liked crazy women. Or even better, crazy women with kids. Most don't though. Not here anyway. But this story gives me hope that maybe some day someone might actually find a loonytune like me attractive. I live in hope anyway.
The random storing of pens is a good idea! It's always at the most unlikely and inconveniently pen-less times that good ideas pop into the mind. They like to catch you offguard like that.

Happy smudging! ;D

1:14 AM  
Blogger sybil law said...

I am so going to try this. Thanks!

(Oh, and smudging has GOT to be the best part!!)

11:21 AM  
Blogger JMH said...

Bon - She is a cool lady, as far as mostly fictional people go. As for craziness and kids, I don't see that in a negative light, but rather just as extra layers of complexity.

sybil - let me know how that goes.

2:42 PM  
Blogger jorg wobblington lopez said...

I liked the writing on women part of this best. A couple of days before I read this, I was doing some writing, and imagined I was writing on a woman. Maybe I am psychic.

10:32 AM  
Blogger Kono said...

i never have pens, in fact it's like a job i have to lose them, never write much down either, figure what's the point, the mind will make more words more images more sticky tissues, so fuck it.

7:50 PM  
Blogger JMH said...

jorg - I like that part best too. Okay, what I'm I thinking now?

Kono - Not directly, but it is the mind that produces the sticky tissues, isn't it?

9:44 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

I like.

1:42 PM  
Blogger matt said...

this is beautiful. thank you for sharing it.

1:48 PM  
Blogger JMH said...

I'm glad you guys like.

7:37 PM  

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