Friday, February 4, 2011

Here is what I love about writing

It's better than a movie, watching these ideas -- scenes -- visions -- go flitting past my mind:

A flock of crows explodes like shaken pepper from the stubble of a November cornfield.

A fiery old woman with the map tattooed on her tongue.

Tap, tap, step, step: a tall figure dressed in black and crowned with a well-worn top hat, picking his way through the brick piles of the old part of town. He may wear an eye patch and a monocle. From his moleskin vest hang three small bundles that upon closer inspection prove to be slumbering bats, swinging as he favors his right leg. The left was torn open by a six-inch claw in the old wars no one likes to remember.

Only the very old and the very young show their true expressions; in between we learn to hide what we feel. On the very old the lines on their face are a map of their lives, all the experiences, every pursed lip or guffaw, clenched jaw and knotted brow, all worked into the hanging skin until they look exactly like what they've always felt. Which is why when I realized my son had frown lines at the age of nine, I called the police, my wife, and then the psychiatrist.

Winter seawater smells like salt and iron. Swamps stink of life.

Baby's teeth are the size and shape of sweetcorn kernels. But, thinks the monster, they taste different.

In a small and old town in Europe, the sun sets over a landscape of snow and spires. On the hill leading past the butcher's and the old church, a townhouse leans against its neighbor. The windows are dark, the glass hanging in fangs, but smoke dribbles from the chimney. Inside the floor is too old, the boards spongy and curling up at their edges. Upstairs there is a room where the furniture is covered with sheets turned yellow with age. In this room is a small closet. Inside the closet ...

On and on and on....

1 comment:

Babs said...

Is all of that YOUR writing?? You're right! It makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up and sends chills throughout my body--just letting the words roll excitedly around my mouth and over and under my tongue as I read it all aloud. Stop your day job, win the lottery and commence writing on a full time!