Tag Archives: prose

Beware the sappatized word

It can be a lot of work getting here to this blank page. It was climbing a mountain of anxiety under the power of thought, and, okay, strength. I’m not comfortable with the word courage. I mean, yes, perhaps in a pure sense it applies, but for me the word courage has a boastful connotation, and I am not comfortable with that. So I respectfully reject it.

We fuck words up, stain them with the one-two punch of judgment and connotation. Sometimes we inject them so many times with some inexplicable insidous honey-like ethereal substance, we sappitize them. Sappy, holy shit! Like fingernails on a chalkboard.

Sappiness makes me want to flee.

I’ll give you an example of a word that’s been sappitized. Darling. Darling is a beautiful word. It derives, in part, from the word, dear, defined in the New Oxford English Dictionary as, “regarded with deep affection; cherished by someone: a dear friend.” Come to think of it, in some ways dear too has been sappitized. Let me put it this way, if a woman said to me, “Kiss me, dear,” I was born knowing tongues are not involved. I think full-contact kissing is impossible in response to, “Kiss me, dear.”

I am wrong.

Just now — in the writing moment — I realized I was dead wrong.

I have experienced being deeply in love. Our beings were in as perfect alignment as two beings could be. If she had said, “Kiss me dear,” perhaps during one of those sweet-gentle holding each other moments, I would’ve kissed her in a heartbeat — with all my heart and soul.

Stunning what emerges when you write.

We’re still alive

Now here we go

Rim-shot shuckle-sloop

Off sleeping down

Razor blade highways

Shingle shack cigars

Puffing clouds on corners

In the haloed shade

Her slip-sliding hips

Move me into motion

Hair tossing thinking

Don’t stop now

We’re still alive

*

Sister sister I hear

You singing dreams

Heaven sent rhythms

Shuckle-jiving  placing

Hands against hearts

Your smile bedewing

My smiling eyes

Skipping ‘cross sidewalks

Past honky-tonks

Gleaming midnight dreams

You move me thinking

Don’t stop now

We’re still alive

*

Sweet deep sister voice

Moving soul-silk earth-deep

Pulsing muscles move

Dancing joy’s hearts

Yes yes yes

We’re still alive

*

For E.D. with love and respect 

No more pipe dreams: a sketch in words

There was almost a gentleness to knowing the balance of his life had come down to nothing but the words he wrote on a page. Nothing, more or less, save, of course, for the blessedly endless supply of books to read. Such was his love of reading that he knew, in the end, if he was aware of its arrival, a deep ache-sadness at not having read all he’d wanted to read would be present.

Not sad, so much, this truth. So many around him seemingly spinning in place or out of control (held up to the light at the right angle this could indeed be redundant) in their misery. The chase for the material, gullible minds digesting to the point of blind and foolish faith that wealth meant joy and happiness. In short, pipe dreams.

Leaning back in his chair with a cup of tea, a brief and admittedly cursory self-examination led him to conclude he was free of pipe dreams.

No more pipe dreams. Reality for me, he thought.