Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Pneumonic


I look at the polished brass frame around the glass door and see an image that reminds me of one of van Gogh's self portraits. A young man, his short beard framing his cheeks, looks back. His blue eyes pierce me, searching for something, but they are fettered by a force deeper than the holes they dig into me. I feel bad for him. I want to give him the answer he's urgently seeking, but he doesn't even know the question. I take a deep breath.
I study the notebook in front of him. Its dusty-blue cover is worn, the helical wire in its spine flattened in a few places. The pages’ edges fan open a little and reveal scuffs of graphite and a few dots of smeared ink. It seems alive, breathing like a horseshoe crab or a spider.
The book’s owner has only looked up from it a few times since he sat down with his coffee. Mostly he has been writing frenetically, first on one page, then another, sometimes flipping three or four pages backward to cross out a single word or add a line of text. Sometimes he just reads one page over and over.
The author furrows his brow and breathes labored breaths, unable to inscribe as quickly as he writes. This is frustrating. Sometimes searching for an elusive word, he fidgets like an animal too long caged. It is as if the act of pushing pen across page is some Herculean effort that weighs as much upon body as mind.
I sit back finally and find that I am equally out of breath.

3 comments:

ICM said...

I really love this post. It's very poetic. Publication-worthy, even.

E. R. Dunhill said...

ICM,
Thank you. I hope to get some of my work published.
I absolutely love your tears of a clown.

Charise said...

One word:

Wow.

Maybe two:

Amazing.