7 bodies

This is my life now. My pale skin burning in the sun, taking the train, strangers asking to borrow my cell phone, me declining; sweat, body odor, lovers, cancer survivors, drunks and trying to ignore them enough so they won’t talk to me, so I can watch them all in peace. I shuffle between journal, book, coffee. There’s a thrill of writing in public with people watching – like I’m mapping stars, like I hold some key to the universe. And of course, I don’t, but how would they know? I wrote that once – the mapping stars, key to the universe, how would they know? – in the Outerbanks of North Carolina 2 or 3 summers ago. And I’m still reminded every time I write and catch someone watching.
I hear people talk about writers block a lot. I don’t believe in it. Not in a high and mighty sort of way, but I believe there’s always something to write, even if it’s not what you originally set out to write. If you sit down, put a pen to paper, a key stroke to a page, the thing you were meant to write in that moment will come. And the thing you thought you were supposed to write will stay dormant until it’s ready. That’s how poems work for me. You can’t ever set out to write what you think you should write. Write what you do.

I’ve been working my ass off at work. Tired and coming home late. I’ve been here for 2 months – that’s it! – and Friday I got features designer of the month out of the entire studio. Damn. That might not seem like a big deal, but the studio has like 50 designers across 10 papers and it’s a big deal to me. I’m really proud of that.
If I could work this hard on my poems, I wonder where they would be? I wish I had infinite amounts of creative energy.

Last night, I saw a man running in the dark with 7 identical dogs attached to 7 identical leashes, 14 identical black ears bolting across Camelback and Central except one dog would have a spot on his back, the other his belly, the other his neck. It seemed like those dogs were all the creative things I want to do: same inertia, slightly different bodies pulling my arm while I’m sprinting behind, sweating.

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