My voice is not enough. I have to remove these states to show you the big picture. There is a way out from under this dark cloud. When pleasure is pain and there’s no blood under your nails. I shape you like clay. Like a Barbie doll in an Osprey’s nest. Like love on a sandal. Like too many hawks in the sky. On the side of a mountain. When no one’s looking. We go looking for Jimmys. There is a list of three, but I won’t ever tell. Suck down the cancer. Wearing a backpack is the first sign. A large button is a good way to spend millions. How many seconds between me and you? That was a question. There is an answer. Where is the somebody on the other side of the line? My nerves are shot. My fingernails are frayed. I’m going to Memphis. I’ll walk if I need to. And I don’t wish for peace. There’s a train running through my room. There’s a pile of rubble on your floor. Best to move. Best to keep moving. I need a Camel and a U-Haul. She’ll be bought for five camels. A small price to pay. I work inside of a valentine. I wear black and white. I match the inside. I want red sneakers, a red hoodie, a red heart. I’ll pay for an upgrade. I’ll trade in. I’ll marry up. I’ll space out.
In the book Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, she recommends the exercise of listing the reasons why you write. If ever you are feeling stuck with your writing, it is helpful to simply start with that question and see what answers you come up with.
I did this exercise myself a few months ago in one of my journals and then promptly forgot about it. Coming across it the other day, I thought it was pretty funny and wanted to share it with you all.
Why I Write:
I write because I’m hopeful
And I want to put myself through the wringer.
Because a desk job is just too painful.
So I can feel good about myself and others will too.
So I can feel bad about myself.
Because there has never been anything else.
Because of the feeling of pulling a story out of thin air
And turning it real.
Because of my friends who inspire me into creation.
Because it’s fun to make fun of people.
So I can create my own heroes.
To get through my own demons.
Because I still want my mother fucking yacht.
I would love to hear other writers’ responses to this prompt! Feel free to create your own list and leave it in the comments.