It's amazing how many people are writing nowadays, miles of sentences, millions of ejaculations, terabytes of text, I guess they’re doing the Lord's work, naming the animals, making lists, composing private liturgies, poetry and prose as endless and gratuitous as the cosmic seas upon which this blue pearl sails. No matter where you walk around here, you find yourself beside an ocean of words and children at play. Hey, I’m one of 'em, keeping this blog going. I remember I started it because I got canned from my job and I wanted to stuff it to them, the pricks who cut me off from my life. I wanted to prove to them what a big man I was, ready to unleash the full fury of my vocabulary at them, turning my back on the corporate life I’d endured, showing them I wasn’t shite after all. That was a year-and-a-half ago and I’m still at it, my tongue between my teeth. As long as I taste this bitterness in me, I’m still wearin the effin leash.
I talk to my friend who was recently laid off and we rail out against the simple stupid greed that drives corporate decision-making. He refers to some clergyman who talks about overcoming life's disappointments. He speaks lovingly about his kids and the need to keep up appearances. He's been stripped of his identity. He looks at his hands and says, "Who knows? Maybe I'll use some of the time to start writing. Although these days you've got to start looking for a job right away. I've only got four month's severance. Can't live on unemployment."
There are hidden poets all around us – businessmen, soldiers, teachers, actors working at day jobs to earn their bread, and legions without jobs -- so many of them, scratching their way into seeming immortality one bloody syllable at a time. You see the poignant results of their labor everywhere. Check it out, take a look at what’s been posted on Scribd. These are bright, feeling people, with an honest talent for baking metaphors and erecting narrative structures in imitation of Life Itself. Unfortunately, Life Itself is never quite as neat as its portrayal in words. Published or unpublished, in print or online, stowed away in attic trunks or hung out for the whole world to see, it makes no difference, their writing commands respect. These are human beings caught in the human predicament, carrying an alert consciousness through a random unfeeling world, trying to be themselves, in solidarity with their fellow travelers, scribbling away. Of course, I have enormous respect for the scribbler – she’s my cousin, he’s my doppelganger, we’re all in this together.
I listen to my friend puzzle out his next moves and think to myself, go ahead and write something. Write this: Here I am, this is my world too. I was born here and live here and will die here. I've got time on my hands and I’m still breathing. I have more words in me than I know what to do with. I can’t help myself. I'm only human. Go ahead and write something if it makes you feel better. It probably will, for a while.