Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I fell overboard and was swept away, frantically flailing about in the vicious whirling, cold dark wetness of words, gasping, as I took in a mouthful of salty verbs and spit them out. Walk, run, jump, fall, twist, turn, thrash, and screw, all went flying. I clung to a large noun floating by with parasitic adjectives sucking on its fat belly. No end in sight. I caught a couple of strange and foreign words and devoured them without thought of what they meant. I caught a few truths that tasted bitter, and often nauseating and tough to chew, and later my stomach churned and I threw up. The seaweed of ennui seemed to wrap itself around me. I tried to chew myself free, shredded my boredom with my teeth, and swallowed it. It was plentiful and tasteless, but went down easy. Yet, there was a vague fear that it was eating me, as I was eating it. My actions became an endless list of flowery, saccharine, and slimy adverbs. Monotonously, wearily, resignedly, fruitlessly, I sank into stuttering half-sentences. My whole life blinked, glittered, flashed, flowed and carved arroyos into canyons, and ran down the gutter of my brain into some rain barrel at the base of my spine. I crawled along the mucky bottom, clawing at the mushy decaying bed of lost expressions, meaningless contradictions, lies, nonsense syllables, idle chatter, and things never said. At long last, I stumbled onto the shore of silence and sat there lost for words for quite some time. And then I began to write.


  1. excellent, and so powerful. many writers describe this state of 'emptiness' or silence as the real origin of poetic speech, especially the french school.

    i adore this: "The seaweed of ennui seemed to wrap itself around me."

  2. Hmmm...I presume you refer to existentialists maybe? I think our relationship to language is pretty complicated. Language and metaphor really were the building blocks from which consciousness itself emerged. Out minds are an analog stage re-contruction of the world outside that is made of words. If we evolved from the sea, it was the sea of words. I think understanding and knowledge is rather wordless...but we have evolved language as a way of conveying these to others. We struggle to say words and sentences that match or somehow equate with the wordless feelings. When conventional language or word configurations fall short, poetry emerges. Art emerges in general as another way to convey that 'beyond-words' inner sense of our life or being.

  3. this is quite an amazing piece Dan,
    with your comment is a poem in itself.

  4. Thanks Robert. Studying the evolution of consciousness and language is a bit of a hobby for me. Some of that is getting played out as I write The Dream Year lately.