Paper, white: The ballad of a creative block

MICHEL FRANÇOIS, Froissé

It sneaks up on you,
the blankness of it all.
That piece of paper you have.
Still white. Clean. Unmarked.

Blank.

Your hand waits at the ready,
For when inspiration befalls.
And when you’re ready to leave a mark.
Any mark at all.

And so you start. One stroke. Two.
A dot here and a dash there.
You pause. Furrowed brows.
It’s all wrong.

Crumple.

Again.
Beads of sweat
across your head.
Muscles tense
in your hand.

Ready.

A dance forms between your sheets.
Pen and paper mingle and intertwine,
leaving traces of themselves
over each other.

Again and again.

A rhythm ensues, a careful one.
Soon, soon.
Don’t hurry
But soon.

A sound from afar breaks your flow.
You stop, alight and awake.
A short walk,
a break for now.

That’s ugly.
What was I thinking?
Ugh.
No.

No.

With hands up in the air,
A fistful of hair,
Forehead on knee.
You surrender inevitably.

Sleep, sweet surrender.
Twas not to be.
Eyes wide awake,
Heavy breaths, restless heart.

The brain churns,
The body turns,
Like rusty wheels set in motion
The haze lifts, slowly.

Surely.

Crawl.

Scratches in the shadows,
A hunched back,
The dance continues
By the light of the lamp

Shhh don’t scare it away
Quiet, quiet.
Squint your eyes
Erase all thoughts

Make space
For that glimmer of hope
The lighting strikes
All but once

Tap, dig, move,
Make way for inspiration
When it comes.
Grasp, grasp.

Reach.

Paw, wrestle, claw.
Kiss it, embrace it,
Put it all down.
Before you go blank
forevermore.

[Art: Froissé by Michel Fracois, plaster]
  illustration, inspiration, poem, story


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