Doing anything to avoid writing is the hardest work, working these twin dwellings; body and house. Each provides chores; endless spin cycles of exercise, rest, toil, despair. I even find myself talking to my father, asking him aloud what it was like to die, and does he watch me not writing, think me lazy as weeds grow in the cracks of the driveway, or has he seen my now-husband and does he think well of him?

It’s not the finding truth but distilling it that’s hardest. Deep and precious observations are thrust into pockets for later. They almost know, as I do, that the laundry will eat them whole. Fingers of poems drop blithely into the mirepoix, the pre-soup du jour, where they only nourish more not-writing, as if the not was a fully formed person who looks just like me. Gemini twin, the not-writer, not-artist, not teaching not singing not tending the gardens of herbs and chapters and dreams. The multi-hued shapes and voices and shadows of brilliance that long to be streaming live….those are sprinkled with baking soda and water and buffed clean away.

I am lightly amused to watch my feet running my body away from the collage not created by the non-writing not-artist. Unrequited love; the fingers and the keys, pen and paper, images and ghosts of Muses past, present, future, clamor for equal time.  Some jealous few demand complete attention to their gestation, commitment to their nurture. I abort them blithely. Swirling late spring fills my pockets and I empty them, turn quietly towards home.

-Melinda Coppola

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