Tag Archives: AWA writing exercise

You are not your thoughts

Below is a prompt-response from last week. There was a line in a shared poem that was structured: “All of my __________s are ______________ing.”

 

All of  my thoughts are turning black, a black run through with quivering rust. An alive black, in other words, like a gleaming blob of paint or an oozing puddle of oil. Rust signaling metallic processes of age.

All of my thoughts sprout wings, but not to soar and gain drone-like perspective above tree-lined streets, car lights at night like traveling jewels. No, more like a statue of Mercury, whose sandals are cutely adorned with wings but who, being carved out of marble, is going exactly nowhere.

You could take a trip to Barcelona. You could call in a chit for Aspen. You might even consider Great Barrington, somewhere with wi-fi, somewhere hospitable to dogs. But no, bench and pillow, table, puzzle and cloud-cover — at last! — all conspire to keep you in place.

I watched a video about a table upgrade. Some guy started by pouring black paint in its center. The table was round; the paint in five gallon cans. Next, pea green, poured around the black center. Orange, white, more green, a band of black, and ending with a rim of white, he walked in circles, pouring paint. And then, I guess we were supposed to be impressed, he used a garden rake to perform a basic paper-marbling technique. He dragged the paint first one way, then at exactly right angles, the other way. The tines made furrows of color. Green flirted with white, orange intersected waves of black. Some sort of design. But that black center didn’t give way and the effect did not please in the end.

My thoughts are the black paint being run through by an amateur crafter overly pleased with himself, dragging little furrows of white and green into my darkness.

This morning, I refuse specifics. My friends do not and vary in their beliefs. One predicts a pardon, another shakes her head and gravely pronounces, “No consequences. There will be no consequences.” Some feisty part of me believes that someone is gonna nail the bastard. Orange run through with black.

Representation, espionage, a special master? Threats of riots. Lists so long and so classified, they cannot even be described in public. Quick! Someone speak to me of roses. How they vary — climbing, vining, shrubbed or miniature, fragrant or not, astonishing in their delicate feminine beauty. The tall Betty Priors that graced our lot line in the 90’s have long since perished, a struggling native magnolia in their place. This summer even the reliable hosta struggle and wilt.

Struggle and wilt, go my thoughts. Even the ones that were chlorophyll-informed. Looking to sun, subsisting on sun, not quite the opposite of black paint run through with rust, but almost.

Is it possible my thoughts are hiding from me — fey, mercurial, interruptive of ambition and sense? Maybe. But I think I’d feel more relief if that were so. Instead, a metal-tined garden rake is drug across my forehead, trying to turn darkness into a DYI design.