I made a fire; being tired
Of the white fists of old
Letters and their death rattle
When I came too close to the wastebasket.
What did they know that I didn’t? —SP
At some point I stopped describing character’s faces; it seemed to be in vain. How many times have I read in a book that so-and-so had auburn hair, or that whatshisface had smoky eyes? Someone could read that in other books — I needn’t put it in mine. Then I stopped writing adjectives. There were only so many, after all, and every one I used seemed to me like it was a pretentious adornment, only fit for someone who clamored for accolades, and I would only come by mine honestly. There was a four letter echo in my brain: tee ell dee ar. What you have to say is filler. …And I wasn’t about to be filler.
So what was left? Tiny, two-lined pearls of thought. Meager bits of product, eluted over cycles and cycles of pain, frustration, and happiness. Barely enough to gnaw on, let alone nourish. It seemed like there was not enough of me to export, no surplus; I needed all of me to live.
And if I were to become more productive again? If I ever had more wealth of wisdom, memories, hypotheses? Now I would just feel like hoarding it, obsessively, for myself and for the right time. I’d rather keep my brain quietly, like a knife lying in wait. There is no longer a benefit in showing it to anyone.
Edit: It seems like every page hosting Sylvia’s “Burning the Letters” has it put down wrong, with apostrophes in the possessive its 😦