This sentence is a scar…

Imagine, if you
will, this pen
a knife, this page
skin: sheet bleeding
ink into quill.

The scratch, scratch,
scratch you hear
is the sound
of paper being
lacerated and
from this
vellum comes
blood blue.

This sentence is a scar…

There is no writing
without pain, no
words without death.
“The Word was made flesh”
is both promise and warning:
“Write at your own risk.”

5 thoughts on “This sentence is a scar…

  1. No writing without pain. Amen. Thanks for this, Allen.

  2. shoreacres says:

    I’m still pondering this. True, writing can be a struggle — painful, even. But there also is great pleasure in the work of writing: watching the poem or essay or story take form almost as it will, without our conscious control.

    On the other hand: there is this, from T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets.”

    The wounded surgeon plies the steel
    That questions the distempered part;
    Beneath the bleeding hands we feel
    The sharp compassion of the healer’s art
    Resolving the enigma of the fever chart.

    Our only health
    is the disease
    If we obey the dying nurse
    Whose constant care is not to please
    But to remind of our, and Adam’s curse,
    And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse.

    Perhaps, in truth, the pen-knife is the equivalent of a surgeon’s cauterizing scalpel, that cuts and heals at the same time.

    • agjorgenson says:

      Eliot is certainly to be taken seriously! Of course, I too find writing to be an immense pleasure as well, generally. Editing, on the other hand, is laborious. But even that can grant pleasures, albeit spartan in nature. I mostly enjoy writing, and actually quite enjoyed writing this poem. But I am in the midst of a bunch of re-writing for academic purposes, and perhaps that is seeping through!

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