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Too much is made, methinks, of the loneliness
of a writer’s life, of the chilly, slow, grim ascent
to swift success—or none—as though the fickle
muses take delight in luring button-eyed fiddlers
of the word from out their feathery nests or garrets
creaky and ill lit, only to drop them to the rocks
below as the eagle drops the clam.

The writer who believes herself alone
while at her task, feeling listless, even envious
when jostling midst the rabble and the starry-
eyed—their gazes always elsewhere—
the writer who can’t find his purchase
on some storyline is not, in that dilemma,
anything at all; he is a wedge, jammed
and dangling between demi-worlds
of reason with their madly shifting
compromise and That! the infinitely
grand, where any slightest flicker
of the notion of aloneness is a flea
on the fur of a dreaming Cerberus.

If you would write
and write abundantly,
they have assured me there,
turn squarely and with bold
imagination face abundance,
even in its crudest state. Desist
from your deploring and false
sympathies. All is grist, and all
is richness in the process of
becoming more. To that which
you would view as Paradise, hold
fast your gaze, and when you feel
the first arrivals of the best who went
before and better yet, the ones who’ll
follow you, audacious in their eagerness
to help, pick up your pen for you,
in that holy instant, form the center
of Creation known as writing.


© Elaine Stirling, 2015