What is yours?

What is yours?

It is an hour before. With pen and paper, you sit as you always do wherever you are. A bartender stares at you when you order a beer and asks, “How cute are you?” You think, ‘No, you can’t have my number’ but say, “Thank you.” Writing and editing in a bar keeps men away. It’s easier to figure out what you’re after. It’s not them.

What is yours?

You look at your pens as if they belong to someone else, borrowed, unwanted so you picked them up. You look at your journal as being second hand, disregarded by its owner, so you picked it up. Where does this come from?

You bought each. You chose each. They are your tools of self-expression, of deliverance from a muddy mind and heart. This is your pen box. This is your ‘unlimited’ access to paper and ink. This is where the fire glows.

What is yours?

Your glasses. Your handwriting. The box of half used tissue. It is your tears that they wipe away, no one else. You are driving a meat wagon too that others seem to think they have some dominion over. They have no power over you, none that you don’t give them.

You have chosen the life of a worker. You pursue other activities once all your energy is spent. You can barely participate in anything else. You have no companion. You were not a good one.

What is yours?

This pain. This sorrow. Longing for a lifetime, for approval from someone wholly incapable of accepting themselves. Why are you surprised that they cannot accept you as you are? Why do you concern yourself with the behavior, the absence?

You carry so many heavy things. The wall of silence pressed down upon you for so long that it stole your words, your tongue, your expression. What are your rights of passage? Who celebrated with you? Who ensured that you knew that you mattered?

Now when people look at you and say, “Get over it,” they do not understand that the eruptions into the light are new. You have not dwelt upon this. You have been silent, silent, so silent. Your words are backed up, a packed colon of blackened pain. Your hopes feel unreachable.

What is yours?

 

-Copyright C.M. Mounts, November 2016

To Edit a Book

I am an accidental editor.

My friend Todd Park was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) in February 2013. An avid writer, he wrote entries in his blog from his diagnosis until 24-hours before his death, caused by treatment related side effects, on December 16, 2013. The blog survives as a harrowing and honest chronicle of his journey through his cancer treatment.

Early in 2014, something began to gnaw at me- What will happen to Todd’s blog? It needs to be a book but who will edit it? Who indeed. I contacted Todd’s brother John and asked permission to convert his blog into a memoir. John agreed. Continue reading “To Edit a Book”

Sands of Time

You do not have that kind of time
You do not have time to put it off
The writing, the painting, the music
Day to day has its demands
Takes its pound of flesh

No, your family doesn’t respect your art
Enough to leave you to it
But if you are compelled
If you write because you must write
You do not have that kind of time

The kind of time that keeps you stuck
In the moment twenty years ago
When your ‘big reveal’ blew up in your face
All the joy you hoped to get out of it
Turned into deep grinding shame

Coated your heart with enough anger
To shield the wound in it
But the hole that is there
Still sucks the sands of your life away
And you do not have that kind of time

Write it out
Ink it
Line it
Fill it with
Crumpled paper drafts

-Copyright C.M. Mounts, May 2016