About Writing

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Journal - Aliza Abusch-Magder - jGirls Magazine

I’ve never written a poem just because.

I’ve never written one without a goal in mind, either.

I’ve always written because I’d found a good turn of phrase,

words flowing and joining; the sum of them greater than any one alone,

sentences tumbling out one after the other, fitting.

But I want to write, want to be able to immortalize anything in words.

The other night I lay awake and thought about my alarm clock, the way the red letters

blur together.

I want to have the confidence to write about that,

the way I can read the clock by finding the width of just one number.

Yes, that would be nice. To have the ability to just go — like talking, almost, but not quite.

Perhaps that’s it.

Talking has never been easy for me. Words trip and stumble over my tongue, fall headfirst

out of my mouth.

The jumble of conversation and of meaning and of emotion sometimes move too fast.

How fast can a person’s expression change? I don’t know.

It’s too fast, though. Exhaustingly fast.

And see, if I had wondered that in conversation, I would have spent the rest of the time

trying not

to ask that out loud,

would have held my tongue against it — or no, clenched my throat, maybe my teeth, on

bad days,

so that those irrelevant words didn’t get out.

That’s not a problem in writing. I can go back and delete and add a space and change a word.

No repercussions. Editing just makes it better.

It’s always going to be easier to write than to talk. So I want to be able to do that always, to write

what my brain cannot let me say.

I don’t know what the goal of this is. I don’t know where it came from or where it will go.

That’s the gift of it, really. I write without aim and without target.

Sometimes that’s a beautiful thing.

Accompanying Photo: “Journal” by Aliza Abusch-Magder
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