Before the First Draft

The problem, she said, with being a writer is, it’s never done.
The line never ceases movement even when the end arrives –
The ripples created on the mind span an ocean so vast, so incomplete,
There’s no shore to find, no place to rest.
The noise reverberates;
The worst kind of one man band.
Knees clashing cymbals, feet kicking bass, hands fumbling an accordion as
A pen hisses, a worn bow against an out-of-tune violin.
Sure, said she, the noise comes —
Sometimes in spurts and sometimes in spasms,
Rarely fluid or as beautiful as one would hope,
A clash of Faulknerian breath in a symphony-grotesque container,
Twisting together. Cacophony of noise that resolves only to discord.
And only after that great pain, can the story begin…
Naked, sitting upright in the center of the hood.

last line blatantly ripped off from the opening line of The Scummers by Lee Maynard 😉

© Christine Wilcox 2013

there is no noise but in the hollow – for Sylvia

there is no noise but in the hollow
of my ear I hear the swift
click of you at a typewriter.
Ignoring the cold chilling London
A steady drip of water from the bath breaks you —
Your Children
through their evening ritual and down;
yours overcomes you now.
Composed, obsessed
and you reach into the depths
and draw only a cut.

A cut? A flap barely worth mentioning.
but from it —
An idea born of mania.
Of course he’s there. He’s always there. Annie said so
and twice before you threw yourself in,
pulled yourself back through.
Surely there would be no difference now.
More than a cut, more than a cut –
a worthy adversary, none just anyone could rise to.
Just you.

Sylvia Plath

That Fall Day

Sometimes, it just happens this way.
Fall slams on the trees,
the air chills, and I remember.
I remember running,
my feet pounding into the soft pavement,
the smell of my new leather jacket,
and catching up with her and running faster,
faces streamed in fearful tears.
The car, the lights, others,
nothing moving fast enough,
nothing tearing fast enough,
nothing ripping as fast as
the hole ripping through my heart.
—An abyss created.

I knew, you know.
I knew when I saw my mother’s face,
the nurses smoking on break,
the Father slipping quietly from your room,
You were leaving me,
Not then — but soon.

And I remember frantically
searching for every word you ever said,
every expression, every move, every breath,
Trying to fill the hole in my soul.
I held my own as you drew your last,
trying to save you.

Then you died.

And I remember,
the entirety having one soul,
one prayer for your soul.
Your fingers were still curled around momma’s hand
when we all had to say goodbye,
and she sobbed “Daddy” as we all looked
for who to comfort first and who could comfort us.
A collective heart broke.
And now I learned what only you could have taught me —
The abyss never closes, life goes on, love never ceases,
and sometimes —— it just happens this way.