Tag Archives: prose

Emptiness

11 Aug

I have a preference for emptiness.

Or rather, I have a preference for possibility. The blank space full of a thousand million hundred outcomes, undecided and bubbling with whispers of choices competing for resolution. A blank space is so many finished products, each one undone in perfect construction. No mistakes yet.

Emptiness has a cleanliness to it, a space to breathe with only the dust to tickle your lungs and make you cough, no memory yet to cause that other choking. “This space is yours,” an undressed room will croon. “Put the trappings of yourself here.” No procrastination or dirty laundry miring on the floor, no dividends or odds and ends of life you always meant to get around to. Only life with perfect space for itself there in that blank room, waiting.

Or the winking encouragement of unwritten lines on a notebook page. “What are your words?” the leaves rustle softly to you in invitation. “What murmurs do you hold for us?” Agency and empowerment, all in ink scratched onto blank piece of paper. Your creation. Your word. Your mind. Your world, there for the making.

Blank space in life is a canvas, after all.

I always fear to produce inadequate instruments. What if I pull the strings, tie up the package wrong?

I fear leaving the wrong kinds of cracks and creases.

There is something so sacred, in that first perfect line through emptiness.

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Against the Reader

4 May

The public is a cruel beast. Fickle and finicky. They will fight for a hashtag today that they won’t even remember trending this time next week. It’s a short-term gratification like that, when you serve up an endless hors d’oeuvres array of choked-down phrases and coughed-up inanities. You can only fit so much lasting grit in a hundred and forty characters.

The public is a wild beast. Running here and there, grazing from whatever pasture happens to have seeded the greenest virility. Sweet and fresh, even the hardwood trunks must extend new tendrils to grasp any notice. It’s a sort of reversed food chain out there; if you don’t get a bite then you have no reproducibility.

They will rave, the public. Protest is too archaic an art form these days; throw slime or shout your garbled grumbles the loudest and it’s those stitch by stitch tears to rags that will gain you internet power. Meanwhile the authors will hide behind metaphor, saying we said something not what we said. Confuse them enough to ignore you and die dusty encased in the walls of your study; or ply a trickster twist on a trope masked enough to pass for ingenuity and garner your two minutes of fame on a Google headline. Leave the reader shaking and wagging their head – at least then it’s intentional.

There is no refined when even the gatekeepers have become so crude. Taste is torture in a bittorrent world.

Simile is useless. Nobody likes anything.

The public is a cruel beast, you see.