Throw it down

June 11, 2013

I developed a method for dealing with writer’s block that I have come to call ‘Fight fire with fire.’ The basic premise is that when struggling to find inspiration of what two write, you write about the feeling of not being able to write instead. This wrong foots the writer’s block and helps the words to flow. This poem was born out of the moment this process first began.

While staring at a blank document page, I was eager to get some writing done before turning in for bed, but nothing was coming to me. I realised that I was putting together words too timidly and attempting to perfect sentences before committing them to the page.

I resolved that the only way to get through this block was to get the words onto the page in a far more violent and energetic way. I muttered to myself, “You’ve got to throw it down on paper…”

Immediately a string of words spilled out and I furiously scribbled them down.


Throw it down

Throw it down on paper
and challenge it to stand up
or stand out.
If in doubt, scrub it out
and start from scratch;
with blood on your brow,
claw your way back,
tooth and nail.
Nothing to it.
If you dare to fail
you might just do it.
Unamused, time to get blunt
with a sharp nib
and gouge the eyes of the muse,
if you still refuse
to speak in my voice,
bow to my choice,
and bend your will
about this quill
with which I write.
But just to spite
and, in spite of it all,
you leave the room
followed by my paper ball.
It hits your wall of silence,
and, feeling the gravity of the moment
drops within the wire bin.
Rapturous self-applause,
he shoots, he scores
along the edge of reason;
a dashed line is crossed through
and skipped over,
in search of another.
A fresh, clean sheet
awaits my head upon the bed
I made for myself.
I’m lying down
to face up to the truth,
exhausted and defeated;
a place to softly dream
those words I first deleted.

'Throw it down' at Pop Up Cafe 14, Glastonbury.

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