Once we were young and in love with letters. Do you remember? How many ‘t’s did we cross, how many ‘i’s did we top with hearts just to feel the ink flow from our fingers? How many pages did we fill with our adolescent angst and yearnings and rhymings? How many lives did we live, not just inside words, but in the arranging of them, as if with paper and lace and glue?
Oh writing, how many times have I tried to quit you?
The world never took our love seriously. “Please no writing about writers and writing,” they said. “Spare us your poems about poetry.” They nixed us from their guidelines and marginalized our merit; they relegated our literary love songs and ours poetica to creative prompts and “just for fun”, to secret notebooks and dusty bottom drawers— but we proved them all wrong, didn’t we?
Together, we learned to revel in our recursive. We plumbed the poem, we flaunted our meta in broad daylight, and boy did we turn heads. In our day we broke down the walls and loosed the monster from the end of all the books.
At least I like to think we did.
I know it’s been a minute. None of us are the same people we were when all this started. A lot has happened in literature, in culture, in the world. And then there was that time when we were on a break…
How many times have I put the pen down? Sometimes it gets so heavy.
But a year ago we converged here, in this exact virtual space, to exchange words unspoken on writing from isolation. Together we explored the deserted islands of imagination, crossed oceans of longing, captured moments of time in a bottle of metaphors, and raised our glasses to our mutual friend: the writer’s craft.
Did it make you feel, even for a moment, maybe, a little less alone?
If so, I have a proposition for you:
Wanna do it some more?
–> Shannon Connor Winward
Riddled with Arrows 5.1: “Candy Hearts & Little Literary Love Notes”
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