Writing History

For one of my classes, I had to write a “writing history.” I chose to write a poem about my history as a writer (first part) and then the second half is about how the digital world has affected my writing. The second half became more of an inspired fictional narrative than anything else. Anyway, I haven’t posted anything and I currently can’t sleep so this is why I’m choosing to share a poem instead of something else.

I. In the beginning…

The beginning is a swath of blue: cerulean,
pristine, outlining memory & recollections

of dishes, mother’s eyes, my small life
spread out like ice on the page.

All that cold, beautiful, worthy of the red
upward slash signifying perfect marks,

yet unable to erase the strangeness
of who I was at ten, a girl conjured up

with the words “the world, (tiny & blue)
the world I wish everyone could see.” Then, gone

carried like wind into flame
until only ashes remain, & I pause

listen for the stirrings of what drove me
to write on. Ten more years, perhaps more,

noting in a sonnet the desire to break those
who deal in others’ hurt & heal roses

that bruise beneath the surface, plagued
with disease no one wants to touch

but everyone can see. If nothing else,
I tell myself, through the constant flow

of “too vague” & “you are absent, not unlike
a spirit haunting a beautiful house, blind

to who you are or were,” the pain, made paper
thin, has worth. The story, after all

is family. But in the meantime, all these
ghosts are too much, only ink

not blood, unfulfilled. Despite the poems,
the pages never come

& the blue world, so faded, it is bright as the deepening dusk.

II. White Out

Between that first world of blue which ends in night
fluorescence of another kind cleaves through
and a third self is born, only she hides
in a space of pressed glass and circuitry, words
a mimicry of all the voices she’s observed

online, an attempt at perfection, a shout into the void
that for once isn’t help but I have something here,
too, burning so bright, so loud it gets lost
in the digital blur of what the truth is, and where
lay the lie. At what point does she learn

(and others too) how to walk the gold
cord between presence
and static? it eternally binds the electric shock
of Web and white noise linking up to her mind,
creating a ruin of leaf and glass.

And yet
for all the fallout, there remains a story
told over and over by the ghost in the wires,
playing out in blogs and tweets,
text tones and bells severing the quiet,

the words more a promise for what is to come
than the dismal longing for what was.

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