August 13, 2013 § 2 Comments


When you find yourself making lengthy anonymous comments on an Internet magazine advice column re sex and marriage and feel better afterwards, you know the time is coming when you can actually use all this material creatively. (Not that I haven’t said this before.) I ended my comment, “Life is strange,” which is shorthand for: life is so fucking weird, full of woe and full of joy, only fiction or poetry can even begin to chart it. That’s hardly news, but what is making me feel slightly better is that posting the comment didn’t fill me with anxiety or bring back wounding memories.

Creativity and sex are very close, like neighbors on a party line (that’s telephone history for you young folk; look it up). Not to be able to draw on my sexual energy for writing has made writing seem not very interesting for several months now. Before that, I drew on the pain, but fuck pain. Why do we use sexual words to express our most violent rejection?

Never mind.

I’m going to Wyoming, to the writer’s colony, in a few days, which is either why I’m feeling friskier and more hopeful, or a blessed coincidence. I’ve also had some positive news about a book, but I’m not going to say what, or think about it too much until more happens. Mom: don’t ask.

I have a lot to do before I leave, so I’m not going to write a long entry. But Charles has been telling me about the people he meets every day, as he sits on 6th Avenue, playing his guitar, and it reminded me of you, all of you who subscribe to this blog, read it on Facebook, or go looking for it when you miss me. Thanks for reading. Here’s a poem for you.


He wrote the whole novel in his head,
Sentence by sentence. It took him all day.
Then he took out a wide-ruled yellow legal pad
With three pink vertical lines marking the left margin,
And from his breast pocket he extracted
A disposable plastic fountain pen,
And near the top of the page he wrote the word ODE
In black ink, all caps. For a few minutes he did nothing.
Then he skipped three lines and wrote,
“It was the greatest birthday present he had ever received:
The manual Smith-Corona typewriter
His parents gave him on the day he graduated from high school
After they took him to the Statler Hilton for lunch,
Where they had cold poached salmon, his father’s favorite.”

David Lehman
– See more at:


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