I used to write.

I used to write.
I used to write a lot. I took classes in it. I got published, man.
Some people say it was mainly to get chicks.
No, not mainly.
(Though as a means of impressing whatever sort of entity you’re interested in scoring with, there are worse paths, it’s true.)
But then I quit.

Oh, I put out several thousand words of academic writing circa 2010, freaky rhetorical theory stuff, critical theory and culture studies and ecofeminism with more performances and hegemonies than you can shake a stick at. I'll even argue in a separate forum that I advanced an esoteric peninsula of scholarly inquiry. And laid to bed a nagging bucket-list item from my twenties in the process.

But that’s not the kind of writing I mean.

The kind I mean is the kind that people have actually said they are sorry I don’t write any more.

The kind my aunt meant when she said, after I told her I don’t write these days, “Shame on you.” And not kidding.

The kind my daughter recently said she missed.

I mean that voice I stumbled into, laid back into, blasted myself loose into — my voice — when I was writing about wisteria and mermaids and The Freon Jones and palmetto bugs and Ecoman. The feary mysteria.

I tell myself that photography has become my medium, that I always was better at description than plot or characterization anyway, and the picture:words ratio remains what it has always been, so if nothing else it’s the lazy writer’s way of celebrating the odd and the breathtakingly gorgeous in this world.

But photographs can’t say what I’ve said so far. There is still so much they can't say.

I wonder if I have any more stories in me or verbal songs to invent. But of course I do. There is that whole story about offshore Pleistocene civilizations, for one thing. Gotta be told. Bluesy gothic Lovecraftian Faulknerian operas to be writ. There’s that psychedelic pop song, too, and the poetry of invertebrates below the 10 fathom line. The aliens and the pizza delivery guy with his antique Volkswagen. Lost tales of conquistadores and county sheriffs.

These things gotta come out somehow.

Stick with me, it might prove worth your time. That's really about all I can ask.

1 comment:

The Daughter said...

Do it. I double-dog dare you.