The “placeless place” where poetry comes from
by Allison Marie Conway
Art & Soul
I Am the Storm
All night the wind rattled the clanging chimes in the backyard and drove itself mad in loud rushes against the houses and buildings. The rain slashed the window panes and glittered in large crystal gobs, pinned, suspended by the great winds, before sliding its streaky path downward. I tossed and turned a little but not much, more because I left the notifications open on my phone and the random glows lit up the corner of the room like those many soft fireflies we’d collect as kids and put them in jars with fistfuls of leaves and sticks. I can still recall the way it felt to be out in the late night of summer, my bare toes rustling through the freshly cut blades of grass underneath the low hanging trees, you could see the bug’s lights better under there where it was darkest. I could scarcely believe my mother would let me go out in my thin fuzzy nightgown even though I was already clean from the bath. I remember vividly the feel of the warm air upon my skin all over underneath the fabric as I ran and ran and twirled and opened my arms to everything. It is my first memory of freedom, of wilderness, and the taste of the dream that I belonged within it. One misty morning, I woke to find my tiny jar of glow bugs didn’t glow anymore, too young to understand I’d smothered them by fastening the lid on too tight. We try to hold things we have no business holding. We make our attempts at nailing beauty to the wall and think nothing of the arrogance of that. We punish, we manipulate, mutilate, violate, annihilate. We glorify control, exacerbate it, turn it into a perversion and call it adoration. As I sip my coffee and type, I flashback in my mind to the night I left his apartment after we had a brutal fight, stabbing each other with words like knives. Some wounds are invisible to the naked eye. Suffocation. Gashes in the psyche, bleeding in the red tides of emotions we refuse to tame. Pain is where the tears come from, screams come from, hurt comes from, a place you can feel but cannot point to on your physical body, on an x-ray, on a scan; it does and does not exist. Perhaps this, too, is the place where poetry comes from, this placeless place. A pin on a map that nobody can print. A homeless home we crawl towards with what is left of us, that we try to return to when the storms come to your front door. And like a perfect fool, you open up and watch, as they come crashing in.
Allison Marie Conway has been writing poetry since she was ten years old, and is now the author of two published books. Every Monday she sends out a little love letter to fellow kindred creatives. You can sign up to receive these, and find out more about Allison, at her website.
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