Compulsion

A poem by Meg Sorick

Symmetry and straight lines,
All the light switches closed.
The knives pointed
In the same direction
The dishes must be white.
And there must be an even number.
Or a set with one in the middle
Just so, nothing less is acceptable

Take the spoon from the front
If you please, there’s no other way
To make sure they’re all used equally.
The shelves are not full.
I must fill the shelves.
Fold the clothes and stack
Keep the piles from tipping.

Balance is essential,
But neither temperance or sensibility.
This relentless striving for perfection
Pushes to the very edge of the abyss,
Where the only comfort is in a bottle.

Too much is out of my control.
I must control all that I can.

*Not autobiographical, header image artwork by me.

Blue

On a beautiful day, I am blue
Not like the cloudless, cerulean sky
Where the bright, mocking sun
Unfavorably compares my mood
To her brilliance, warmth and cheer

This blue is the slate
Of the storm-tossed ocean
Heavy seas, deep and dark
Full of sunken ships
And drowned sailors

The dangerous blue
Of exposure
Of lips curled over chattering teeth
Shivering in the cold
Killing frost of November

The kind of blue
That manifests itself as anger
Only because the rage
Feels just a little better
Than the weakness of sorrow

But its a blue that passes quickly
When I raise my head with purpose
It runs away like water
Dribbling through my fingers
And drying in the breeze

Header Image: IKB 79 ~ Yves Klein, 1959

The Power of Negative Thinking

I woke this morning to howling winds. It’s dark and raining –perfect for staying in bed or for curling up with tea and a book. Or for writing. Usually this kind of weather lends itself to concentration and immersion in whatever project I’m working on. Recently, I’ve been struggling to write. It’s happened before but never for this long. I really haven’t put new ideas down on paper since before the holidays.

I’ve alluded to the stress I’m experiencing in my personal life –let’s just say that it is ongoing– and it’s had a dramatic impact on my ability to write. This too, is a new phenomenon. My best writing usually comes from that dark space inside. But this is different. And perhaps it has to do with the subject matter I’ve been working on. Without realizing it, I’ve given Maya –my main character– the same ‘kinds’ of issues that are troubling me as well. And maybe striking so close to home has stayed my hand. Because I can’t see the way forward personally, I can’t see the way forward fictionally.

However, the whole thing is tied up in a bundle together. If I can’t get the writing back on track, it will compound the rest of the stress I’m feeling. I have to act. If life would just imitate art, I could write myself a solution for my real problems and my fictional ones.