The first word came out on a limb, its meaning perforating the paper
like a hiss, the letters written in a drunken haze. The first word
was not like the first stroke of a painter, who already has a vision
of reality in their mind like a biologist buttoning on their coat to begin
the hard work of handling a culture within a petri dish, but a quivering ritual
in uncertainty that began after midnight with the sip of chamomile from a cup
so red it would make those passionate burn with envy; the strained
tea string tensed vertically as he pulled it out by the tag and dipped it back in.
Whenever he was drunk, he’d recall his fear of reciting stories
in public, as if in a trance: the stage, the bright light, his voice
of sonorous somnolence. He sipped, again. Every word had a staccato
resonance, humming like a dull knife, louder than the pitying applause
that came after.
Outside, the sun seeped into the sullying dark and the greenery,
creating a history out of yesterdays and a possibility of new tragedies,
with its throaty shout , and it is impossible to keep up. He arranged the narratives of his life and squinted at each of them, until his friends, or his lovers, or his places disappeared and were replaced by a helix of words twisted into stuttering on the paper: life, fauna, lake, oration, death, change.
He recreates his reality through throughlines, describing the beginning
like the end within the confidence of his solitude. It is impossible
to constantly recreate life by following the cycle of day and night; it is also impossible to assign permanence and rigidity to the first word; in every narration you or the place becomes a new being. He pauses and reads what he has written, shredding details almost at the pace he forgets dreams after waking up. In his mind, he bellows amidst the evening buzz that hollows out the bones of his identity; the moon shines as mad as a boil on the body, emanating
from the sky, which shrivels like a corpse to reveal its clouds.
Any writer who is confident is a liar.
The mornings in Norwich do not have the same brutal heat as his home,
so, with the cold becoming a fresh layer of skin, he puts on his leather jacket;
the smell of creation of his palms smudged with ink and sweat wakes
something in him the way a good literary process is supposed to but rarely
does. He thinks about his future, but a mosaic of instances that already happened emerges, blooming then rotting in his forgetfulness, his mind
wandering; the future invokes the smell of latent academia: old books,
leather, then panic. His future has become one with the imagined reality
of another life;
it pats him on the shoulder, ruffles his hair like a father and puts his pen
into his hand again whenever he’d think of giving up. It makes him laugh
and dance within the mess of his room:
the juxtaposition of themes, a plot that birthed itself, anchored by the first
word of creation, whose meaning becomes constantly corrupted and changed.