It used to be so easy, surfing that rush of creation.
Just write another novel. It would take her, what, a month?
That was before.
She doesn’t even know what’s most to blame, anymore.
The burnout, that trauma, the crunch of adult life… what does it matter?
The result’s the same.
Her identity, sleeping.
She’s barely a writer, now.
But those magnets.
Two sets of two-hundred-plus.
Words at the ready, just waiting for something to say.
A spirit inside moves her outsides.
Allyn-a-Dale reaches with her hand.
They were bought for him, the magnets. Sets inspired
by music and Edgar another-Allan Poe.
Words to which the minstrel cannot but viscerally respond –
dark… dead… allegro…
lyrical… symphony… nevermore…
He plucks a sentence from the store, drawing it together, swift and sure,
as if he were Michelangelo and the phrase
a sculpture waiting in the stone.
Lovely, she thinks,
perhaps content to leave it.
But Allyn’s far from done.
built more slowly, hunting
for the elements desired, feeling out
Words call as only song and the macabre can:
hole and soul… strange and shroud… dawn and sky pull at his blood.
But there’s a story forming now in which these have no rightful place.
Another time. Another tale. Today, the song is his,
but played for her.
This is how you do it, he tells her
in his fingers’ silent dance.
This is how we breathe.
One word swapped, at a thought, for another.
One sentence shifted down, later lines taking its place.
The sculpture in full emerges from marble.
The artist steps back and shoves author forward
in time to ride the crest of the wave.
There! The rush. The writer’s high.
Only a breath of the air, but sweet as remembered.
Thank you, they tell each other,
and float together.
string every unknown mystery
into some sweet opus
face your nocturne of the soul
by singing melancholy moonlight
howl down a haunting sonata
& live loud
conducts his orchestra
but I know my power