I am a muse chaser. The faithful readers know this about me. I can craft, and I believe I have displayed some of that here using third party inspiration to write, but that is not really what it is about for me. I am not really writing to create the perfect poem or song. I am writing to release the headwords that skate the fissures of my grey matter, stealing focus, impelling me to put pen to paper. I assume there are tons of writers that write for the very same reason. Today I want to take you a little deeper into my process, to an area where I may reveal a little uniqueness.
I believe most writers begin as readers. I was never a reader, although, at this point, I have read a lot, but I still do not consider myself a reader. While I appreciate reading novels and short stories, I’d much rather hear poetry read than read it. I think for them, the readers, the magic moments happen with there is blank paper in front of them, or they are staring at the eerie glow of a Word page begging them to waltz with the flashing cursor. But that is not my process.
I hear the words.
We are not talking schizophrenia, just when the muse arrives it is an auditory process, which is why so much of my writing comes when driving, open road, external conversations silenced, left alone with the pureness of my thoughts, and my thoughts speak in poetic devices. They craft themselves in metered moments that sound good in my head, and in these moments sound is every bit as important as meaning. The problem is when the driving stops or the world catches up to my thoughts, they can go mute, and then I am left unfulfilled. This was last night for me.
I never really know which Eric is going to show up (I realize we are sounding schizophrenic again, and that fact that I used we makes it even worse) to an event. #WittyEric is quick, sarcastic, and hilarious. That’s really who I hope comes, but sometimes it is #QuietEric. Now there are usually some contributing factors to #QuietEric, and most of them deal with the level of activation forced on the cerebral cortex. Of course I am referring to a Hans Eysencks theory on personality which basically states that introverts are stimulus shy because they have extremely active cerebral cortexes, so they shy away from additional stimulus. Needless to say when I walked into a party 50 deep with people I really didn’t know, shy boy showed up and ran to seek solace on the stairs overlooking the outside gathering. There were others within arm’s length and I could engage in a number of conversations, but I was able to secure a spot for me, my Fiji water, and my crab shell. As the night progressed and the crowd disbursed the crab shell came off, and I was able to engage. I transitioned from #QuietEric to #ObserverEric which is one of my favorite me’s, engaging when relevant but content to listen and observe. The unfortunate part is of the 50 in the house, I may have known 20 of them from my SM life, and I would have genuinely enjoyed getting to know them beyond Tweets and Status updates. I suppose we will save that for another time.
On the drive home, these words guided me safely, keeping my mind awake at 2:30am.
With sunshine smile and witty words
With crab armor and silent tongue
At this point, I was game on. I was gonna shusshhh sleep and write me some poetry. The first thing I did was attack the words my head heard:
With hopeful smile and witty words
With crab armor and tight tongue
I liked the alliteration so much at the end of the 2nd line, that I wanted to end the 4th line with alliteration as well. I could not come up with a good “C” for shell, so I decided to bail “sunshine smile” in favor of “hopeful smile,” which made it pair better with crab armor. Then I started pushing and screwed myself.
Danced in different directions
And through the movements I thought of you
The “Eloquent, Fluid, Graceful” came out so naturally, easily, and I loved that it was alphabetical. That is when the OCD kicked in and the mighty mind silenced the head words. I became obsessed with continuing the alphabetical adjectives, and J…well J is a beast. It literally took me an hour to come up with “Juvenile.” At that point, the Muse had already moved on to her next victim, inspiration was replaced by exhaustion, and I was left unfulfilled.
Since I couldn't finish a poem for you, I decided to do a quick video. I felt you deserved something for reading my little diatribe. This is me reciting "Forget" which you may remember from a few weeks ago. Is this how you heard it in your head?