Forget everything you know. Tear down the gilt statues. Destroy your inked idols. Paint your words across the sky in bright vermillion. Whisper them on butterfly wings. Dance the dance of your forefathers, wrapped in silken words. Create for them a beautiful implosion. They are as blossoms falling. They are like wondrous corpses. Let the colors swirl and shift.

Wake up snatching at the dreams you can’t remember. Wonder why they can never stay. Do they float away, darting under the window gaps, fluttering away into the morning fog?

Shake the weariness away like drops of water. They explode into prisms of light. Welcome your own unique brand of insanity. Feed it. Coddle it. Flog it. There is no one else crazy like you.

Say the things you are afraid to say. Let them drip from crimson lips like first kisses. Let them fall like the first days of spring, snow storms of white petals. This is yours. It was created for you to capture with these words you own.

Be there. Be there when the time is right. You never know when that will be, so be there. All the time. Always present. Miss nothing. Train your eyes to see it all. The man under the bridge – his whole life expands if you look, the falcon in the sky, the ladybug on a spear of grass, the grass and the earth beneath it and down and down infinitely.

Dredge your mind for memories. They rise to the surface, displacing the sludge with which the world covers you. Drink deeply from the pool, but do not become Narcissus. Drink gently. Take only what you need.

Do not let fear control you. You control fear because it exists inside of you. You are the chalice. You are the catalyst. You, with warts and scars and old shames and regrets. You, in the corner screaming, pleading, bloody cuticles stinging from the saw-cut scrape down particle board. Hear me! Do not pass me by. I have something to tell you.  Shout it, scream it. Whisper it.  Make it heard. Revel in the warmth of your creation.

Brother, it’s just a story and someone else could tell it, too, but I’m here now and you’re here now and the sun is drooping and the liquid, grey regret is falling over all of us. I feel it. I embrace it. They say there is little to win in fighting a force more powerful than yourself. And that is bullshit because there is much to win.

The darkness overwhelms you. Let it. The sweat drips down your neck, but do not brush it away. Feel it travel the length of your spine – each vertebrae – and count off the rhythm. Count it out loud. A cadence for the world to follow. Stare at the sun until you are blind. Run until you are so tired your heart pounds in your ears. Live today and forget about tomorrow. Tomorrow is a parlor trick. A puff of smoke and desperation. You have no choice. The words are there. Rip them from your chest like the tendrils of a beating heart, and spread them like cherry blossoms on a wind-coated afternoon. Write.

*     *     *     *     *

JD Mader is a Contributing Author for Indies Unlimited and author of the novels JOE CAFÉ and THE BIKER. For more information, please see the IU Bio page and his blog:www.jdmader.com.


Author: JD Mader

JD Mader is an award winning short story writer and novelist. 'Joe Café' and 'The Biker' are out now, as well as 'Please, no eyes'. and the collaborative 'Bad Book'. Mader has been writing for half his life and has no plans on stopping any time soon. Learn more about JD Mader at his blog and his Amazon author page.

24 thoughts on “Write!”

  1. Dan…Great article – how anyone could read it and not get charged up is beyond me. I am thinking strongly of changing from the memoir stories to a pure adventure fiction style just because of your encouragement not to let it pass by. Thanks!!!!!!!

  2. This was a great read. All the time, it tugged at my memory, and I wondered why it felt so familiar. Then it dawned on me – it's similar to how I think, and very similar to how I sometimes write. Perhaps we all want to write like this, deep down. Perhaps we are all poets attracted to the agility and power of the gymnasium of words in our hearts.

    My poetry book, All the Wrong Places, is where the writing I did, which strikes such a similar chord,so many years ago, lies. "The liquid, grey, regret" is something we all ultimately feel.

    The nice thing is that we can recognize our work in others', and we can now read it without fear of being labeled literary in that old way. A host of choices have opened up, and we can say we like stuff like this openly.

    1. Thanks Rosanne. I've thought a lot about this post today because part of me feels like a fraud when I exercise mental gymnastics as you so nicely put it. It is an odd phenomena. You've read my fiction so you know the importance I place on description and emotion and word choice, but when you take word play to this extent it makes me feel kind of like a goof, but it shouldn't. Thank you for your response. Writing is a lot like playing music, a true master doesn't need to show off, but every once in a while it's nice to send a frantic flurry of notes into the night. (not that I am a master, but you understand what I mean) There is a time for subtlety and a time to do a double backflip. 😉

      1. How is showing off wrong? Sometimes the only way we have to attract any sort of attention is by striking a pose in the middle of the chromatic scale.

        There is a time to strum obediently and a time to boogie, perhaps, a way to write blogs and a way to blow them away with a paragraph like I should put in my next novel.

        Always doing what's expected is always getting the predictable.

        1. I agree with you. But it took me all day to get there. You're right, there's nothing wrong with it. Who would want to live in a world where peacocks don't exist. It just felt weird to me initially, but I have changed my opinion. Words are my toys. Playing with them gratifies me. And there are different ways to play. 😉

          1. Showing off and making it appear effortless…ah, there is joy in that. And when you let your mind play without restrictions it is surprising what comes. This post took me about half the time they usually take. Take from that what you will. I believe that sometimes it is good to let the words out of their straightjackets. Speed writing is the key to my livelihood. Gotta show off sometimes. 😉

  3. I read your essay as an extended prose poem and appreciated the ballistic imagery. As writers, we may elect to go into this kind of "frenzy," but then temper the language to let the reader in. Too much frenzy is another mask, a cover for the real emotions, which are much more tender and filled with pain…or joy…or both.

    We write because we must. Anyone who is not obsessed with the art and craft of it either won't do it, or the reader will see that it isn't authentic.

  4. A prose poem indeed. It reminded me strongly of Alan Ginsberg's famous "Howl", which, while mordant and grey, uplifted just as yours does. Also, I wanted to say "Finnegans, Write!" With apologies to Joyce, another slinger of pretty high octane verbal juice.

    1. Slinging a little high octane verbal juice there yourself, bud. 😉 Thanks man. I actually thought 'Howl" after I read it, too. I don't want to have sex with Kerouac though. (At least not for the same reasons)

  5. Damn, almost missed this. Love it, bro. A 3-way with Kerouac for non-Ginsbergian reasons sounds kind of gobsmacking. I think like this too, in the recesses somewhere that don't get to see the light as much as they probably should. The only artists these days who consistently and unselfconsciously enjoy what Rosanne memorably calls "the gymnasium of words" are rappers.

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