to the writer who’s been advised to shut up

I set out to write what mattered to me –

that is, to send new arms bursting from the wounds festering on my heart,

to dip new fingernails into my soul’s visceral ink,

to etch on sacred canvas the mirror image of the dreams that roiled chainlessly in my brain.

I set out to write

The rays of sunshine that brushed my shoulder en route to something grander

The hurricanes that scrambled my arithmetic and gutted my humble home

The Great Pacific mother making peace among the tears

Of archenemies that stream down different gutters into the same holding tank.

But they said

write about what matters to everyone

what everyone can understand –

or if they don’t understand

it’s only because they aren’t on the right side

of what’s left of Washington

they said

So I began to write

A cookie-cutter heart sweetened with the leading brand of cliché

An impending cumulonimbus pregnant with enough burgers to arrest a metropolitan cardiac

A plastic polar bear, grinning, skull-like, between the Eiffel Tower snow globe and the latest President bobblehead

But they said

your subject matter is overused;

already billions of identical voices

fuel starships of the same make and model

to drag the same banner ads

across the universe

which is in itself a cliché.

IMG_20160128_164754273Photo taken by Anne Seaworthy, on the Linfield College Wellness Trail in McMinnville, Oregon.


2 thoughts on “to the writer who’s been advised to shut up

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