Author photo by artist, Walter Bakowski

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The next time you've got writer's block

Go back to your childhood and adolescence,

whether meadow or minefield.


the distance you’ve come,

what you’ve discarded or continue to carry

and why.

Take a running scrawl at

what’s in the room

or cornered in your heart.

Be alert to the world. Note

the veins of a leaf, the bank teller’s fingernails,

what the people seated at the next café table

are saying to each other.

Remember that you’ve got a vocabulary.

So have dictionaries, billboards, headlines and traffic policemen.

Words are everywhere.

Let a few wander onto a black page.

See whether they react to each other.

If not audition some more.

Words are building blocks

which can be toppled, rearranged, reassembled.

Throw some over your shoulder,

see how they land.

Return to the circus arena

of being playful and precise,

balancing words on the tip of your nose

as you jump through flaming hoops

in rehearsal

for opening night in a new town,

far from where you’ve written before.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Consider this

You can rest

in the shade of a tree,

but not

in the shade of an axe.

Monday, March 1, 2010