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To Write

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An adaptation from Outside the Box

To Write

by Bill Gourgey

What’s it like
to really write,
to start with almost nothing
then simply jot
a word or two
and Presto!
something’s coming
to tell its tale to you. But even such a brilliant muse
so wrapped around your knuckle,
won’t deliver punch-packed prose
nor stir a heartfelt chuckle. To really write,
to get it right,
takes something made
with mastery:

It’s to, to,

to punctuate with confidence,
to modify with ease,
knowing when to turn a phrase
so it will not fail to please; to allude with authority,
to reference with range,
to pinpoint an apt metaphor
that’s fresh but not too strange; to set off vibrant word parades
with exclamatory chime,
pulling lofty thoughts apace
pumping predicates that rhyme
(and easing through indicatives
tapping colons right on time);

it’s knowing, just knowing

when to slide in underscore,
or dab in a quotation,
or tilt the tops italic with
prodigious evocation,
(or even when to add a dash
for perfect conjugation); or how to be the character,
to reach in another’s well,
to show their finest moments
then plunge them back to hell
(while keeping ho-hums measured
for that sympathetic spell); or where to wind the Muses’ plot,
then unwind it once its wound,
like Mnemosyne or Lachesis
whose roulette yarn turns lost found. Of course there are more elements
some bordering on sublime
to write what really matters
that will stand the test of time.
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