Saturday, January 19, 2019

Caroline Grand-Clement : My (small press) writing day.

          There! A word, a thought, a whim of something a little too magical to let it go.

          It is barely 7am & I am half-awake, struggling to get out from under the covers. But this idea, I’ve got to write it down! I look around for my phone, jot the words down, & continue on with my morning. Eat breakfast, brush my teeth, leave too early to be sure I won’t be late. Walk out of my building, stuff the keys into my bag, & look up.
          & then, there it is. The sky. The endless, ricocheting sky. Some days, a gray backdrop to the gray buildings; others, an ocean of cherry blossoms; others still, whipped cream the color of a smile. Today is going to be a good day, it says. & I can do nothing but trust it.

          I go into the underground metro, watch the tracks ebb away into the darkness. Look, there again! The shadow of a verse. Pause my music, look deeper. Yes, there it is, I’ve got it. Easy as hunting Pokemon. Turn my music back on. Take a breath. Notes: time is silver lining the tracks.

          & then, nothing for hours. I get stuck in a drowsy consciousness, only half-aware of the words spoken to me. I spend the day nodding along to classes, scribbling lyrics known by heart without paying attention to them, transcribing the alphabet into morse code to make sure I haven’t forgotten. Switch pens mechanically; red for the titles, then subtitles in blue, then green. The rest in black. New words in pink & purple, important ones highlighted orange, yellow; sunset seeping through the page. Laugh at jokes I only half-understand, squint to see the board, shake my head & roll my eyes. If only I could find a poem in here. It’s got to be somewhere. Search through all the spare paper, every square a box waiting to be filled.

          Now thank goodness it’s over. I’ve finished early & I go outside; the sky has turned into water. There is the poem I’ve been looking for. I take out my phone, desperately try to type it up but the drops keep hitting the screen & creating nonsense, so I wipe my screen against my scarf (wet), against my jeans (also wet), against my sweater (not too wet... yet). Raise my phone screen down towards the sky, I’m typing up a poem upside down. Ha, that’s a good one. Notes: rain. upside down poem.

          I decide to go to a museum, because it’s a rainy Tuesday afternoon & that there’s a faint air of poetry lingering in the clouds. Walking around empty museums always takes me into a parallel universe, feeling like there is just me & all this art, & nothing else really matters at all. The sound of my own steps gets louder & more present as I wander until I forget about it & it fades away once again. My leg hurts, & I find there is something special about hurting alone in the middle of all these paintings. Notes: walking in an empty museum with pain. I am surrounded by numbers, by colors, by shapes that  make my head spin. There is a room full of black mirrors & I sit for a long time, facing a stranger version of myself. I think we’ve become friends, & I will write a poem for her someday. Notes: write poem about black mirror room.

          Going home on the bus I watch the two girls laughing about a received text, hiding their smiles in their scarfs, their heads pressed together, & I think how beautiful it is to be so in love with the world that everyone around you can feel it. Notes: two girls in love. neither of them is me, for once. The rain has left its fingerprints across the sidewalks & they carry me home, tickling my feet. My heart feels full of poetry today.

          I arrive home, check the mail, unlock the door, peel off the layers of sweaters which have been keeping me warm. Notes: sweaters like your own kind arms. I make myself some hot chocolate, or tea, walk around too many times around the apartment. I’m restless, I want to see more of the world. I sit in front of my window for half an hour. Damn it, I’ve forgotten my tea. Notes: cold tea & warm tongues. Time to write.

I take out my computer. I check my Twitter, read a few new publications, fall in love, follow new lit mags. Open a new document. Open some old documents. Look at my notes. Look around. Stand up, walk around the apartment again, wish I had a dog, or a cat, or both. Even just a plant that doesn’t die under my care. Sit at my computer again. Notes: all my plants die anyways. even the cacti. especially the cacti. White page, staring back. I think about the room with the black mirrors. Maybe there’s a friend here too, staring back.

But it’s the evening already & no friend has reached out from the blank. I eat dinner, watch some series, try to forget about the words that won’t fit together. Notes: distraction as inspiration. I shower, wash my face, wash my teeth, stare into the mirror. I get ready for bed, turn the lights off. I hear words running away behind my eyelids. I have to catch up to them, I have to write them down.

Puzzles. Tents & trees. Pieces of puzzles. Words that don’t fit. Too many puz

Caroline Grand-Clement is a queer, seventeen years old half-time poet, half-time student at an international school in Lyon, France. She dreams of art in any form, falling stars & late night conversations. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in L’Ephémère Review, Rose Quartz Magazine, Homology Lit, and elsewhere. You can find her on Twitter, Tumblr or Instagram @octopodeshearts. 

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