the joy of writing...

I love this piece on writing by a guy named Billy Collins. I've edited it due to its length and lewdness...but this is brilliant. For you artists and writers out there, drink this in.


My favorite time to write is in the late afternoon,

weekdays, particularly Wednesdays.

This is how I go about it:

I take a fresh pot of tea into my study and close the door.

Then I remove my clothes and leave them in a pile

as if I had melted to death and my legacy consisted of only

a white shirt, a pair of pants, and a pot of cold tea.

Then I remove my flesh and hang it over a chair.

I slide it off my bones like a silken garment.

I do this so that what I write will be pure,

Completely rinsed of the carnal,

uncontaminated by the preoccupations of the body.

Finally I remove each of my organs and arrange them

on a small table near the window.

I do not want to hear their ancient rhythms

when I am trying to tap out my own drumbeat.

Now I sit down at the desk, ready to begin.

I am entirely pure: nothing but a skeleton at a typewriter.

In this condition I write extraordinary love poems.

I am concentration itself: I exist in a universe

where there is nothing but thinking and typewriting.

I am all skull and bones typing into the afternoon.

Just the absolute essentials, no flounces.

Now I write only about the most classical of themes

in language light as the air between my ribs.

Afterward, I reward myself by going for a drive at sunset.

I replace my organs and slip back into my flesh

And clothes. Then I back the car out of the garage

And speed through woods on winding country roads,

Passing stone walls, farmhouses, and frozen ponds,

All perfectly arranged like words in a famous sonnet.


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