Saturday, July 21, 2012
Advice on writing
Go to the palace of the winds
where the curtains flutter like butterfly wings;
play the orchestra of your heartstrings.
Step out of your busy days
into a more spacious time.
Make friends again with your other self
who has been writing the novels you haven't read
and let him create through your fingers.
Go to the Gare du Nord in the shadow of war
and kiss her again: the lovely dark-haired woman
you have loved in more than one life.
As the sweetness of black and red berries
explodes on your tongue, filling your senses,
make sure you get her on the train
to safety in a country far from here
while you go underground to fight the crooked cross
and write the journal that will fill a novel
in the future you are living now.
Pick up the trail of the happy hooker
who parted company with you at the customs check -
vivid and succulent in her sables,
unburdened by all her Louis Vuitton luggage -
and was treated like royalty while you were grilled.
She blew you kisses and cried, "We'll meet again, darling!"
She is the part of you that is shameless but selective,
who'll put out only for the richest of prizes.
Make a date to play with her.
Let her wear the fox fur this time
before she disrobes in silken stages
and calls you to breathe her sweetness, to graze on her slopes
and transform her, through your attentions, into a lively Muse.
You lost her when you were full of rights and wrongs
and fell into spiritual correctness and forgot
that the spirits must always be entertained.
Follow your laughing, sexy Muse when she leads you down
to the boxes of good and bad and reminds you
that creators aren't moralists and must take from both.
Lean back, be loose, let her pleasure your palate
with wild strawberries and blackberries warm from the sun
and juice you to write the new story
of old gods and heroes: of the strong man of the green island
who was trained by a stronger woman
and ruined by the spite of an insatiable queen;
of the seer of the North whose eyes are two ravens
and was a shaman before he became a god
by hanging on the One Tree, offering himself to himself;
of the Sisters of the Stones, whose internet
is the humming of bees, and whose sanctuary is in amber.
Free the desk that is your door
of work and fossils, of old drafts;
plot with toy soldiers and colored pencils,
smoke cigars with Mark Twain and Winston,
play the music that stirs your blood.
Mornings, let the novelist who is now at home in you
leave the bed before you, to sit in your chair
and tap your characters awake with busy fingers
as the old priest of Ifa in his leopard skin
wakes the divination gods with his tapper
to cast the patterns that start the game of the world again.
Photo: Mirror for a Writer in Amsterdam (R.M.)