Me, her and the block



When I was writing my first book — which was never published and has since been destroyed by me as a way of letting go (there is maybe only one copy left with an ex lover whom I no longer speak with; c'est la vie) Anyway I wrote this as I was agonising one day.

9th Sept 1999

Me, her and the block


The first word written wounds the amateurs pace

Deleted with zeal by fingers of haste

Forced then to savour a silence cursed

Is this beginning a bubble burst?


Time out to boil a kettle well worn

Craving the caffeine besides what was sworn

Another hour past as this block spends time

Phased by the search for the starting line


With effort persisting block under attack

As fingers and key automatically rap

But witnessing average prose on the screen

Returns the critic to the shoulder scene


The droning echo of negative spawns

A weight of doubt with a piercing thorn

“So you think you’re a writer ... ha what nonsense!

You can’t even produce the first sentence.”


Once again the retreat into kitchen hell

Where cigarettes lurk for the vulnerable

Fearing enthusiasm slipping away

As the critic exploits this winning delay


Staring intensely into nothingness walls

As computer speaks tongues of encouraging calls

Finding the strength to continue the craft

Making myself write the first paragraph


This next attempt soon gave the critic a blow

As the writer inside formed the words to flow

Phrases and sentences spilled from the source

The block broken down by the plodding force


Three thousand counted, time for a drink

Switch on the radio, feet up to think

Beginning to write is tough at the start

To master the critic and block is the art


Back at computer it all starts again

Missing the ease of that writing is pain

How did a break turn into a block?

Or is the beginning just amateur talk?


This discovery highlighted a terrible mess

If beginning exists why this constant process

This illusion was formed for amateur fools

By critic talk and beginning tools


The meaning of life became clear in a way

Beginnings are endings; vice versa each day

So when writer is blocked and the critic is flowing

You’ve been there before; just keep going.


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