Thursday, February 7, 2008

magic&crab



My writing brain used to feel a little something like this old photo I took in 1995. Or maybe it was 1996? I used to feel an incredible surge of magic when writing. Words would turn into phrases, fragments of thoughts, ideas that weren’t really ideas but an experience or an overheard conversation in my Big’s kitchen or backyard. Thoughts would somehow flush into sentences and I could make others see and imagine. The magic of writing happens when I am exhausted from looking into cracks and crevices, the spaces in front of me, the spaces I was born in. I remember learning how fortunate I really was as a child after reading several classics, one in particular that everyone knows: Crane’s Maggie. It was impossible for me to imagine that other cultures---other than mine---experienced gutters. And then writing for me was like being a crab. Especially when writing poetry. Sometimes, a feeling was so overwhelming, I could almost touch it---I had to either stop or continue. Usually, the former. Writers have razor sharp eyes, and ears. But it is the mind, the capability to turn the adventure of the imagination into the tangible, the seeable. What a heaven it is…

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