What does your workspace look like? Mine often gets so overloaded that I take to the streets to find a café just to have a clear table upon which to lay my computer, my papers, and my woes.
I was created in a shaded shop, windows foggy with grime, frayed ribbons of incoming sunlight thick with living particles of sawdust.
Perhaps. I don’t remember. Maybe I was nailed together in a dingy factory. Or glued in a fluorescent-bright room bereft of even a speckle of dirt commemorating one of those roads less travelled.
I don’t know. But does my origin matter? Like a fine bone china cup, mixed with the bone-ash from a once-living body, made stronger in the unity of lost self and clay, am I composed of wood from an ancient tree that housed a healing spirit? Did I have generations of names and hearts of lovers and dreamers and mad, city poets stabbed into my bark? Did a kite tangle my branches? Did I swallow a bird’s nest? Did I release a child to tumble from my limbs? Did a storm shred my leaves?
Was I beautiful?
Here I am.
Still standing, though less.
Warped and shaped and aching in all the joints.
Saturnal coffee rings, smudged, edges reaching like hoary roots.
Spiralling towers of books, covers bent open like a lover throwing back the blanket. It’s warm in here, they whisper through shards of broken hearts and ink-blots of heated brains.
And the accoutrements strewn across my breast. Broken pencils and pages from journals. Faded thoughts that were once electrifying–a zap to the temple that stunned into orisons on bended knees–now crumpled notes to be burned in the trash heap.
Lives lived and living and long dead. A scalpel to the brain. A pen to the page.
A proposal unwritten.
Image: Vanitas (1660), by N.L.Peschier