There are days when I cannot write.
Not because the words will not come, but because there are too many of them, a whole crowd, pushing, impatient, bleary eyed phrases gathered spontaneously in the mind's clearing, demanding to be heard.
Don't ask me what all these words have to do with one another, why all these lines have chosen to march side by side this way to make a poem. I don't know. I only know that they are here, a mob of language in my head, waiting to run riot.
(So many poems.
The poem about the long serpent of the night uncoiling in my living room.
The poem about the way I sip my newspaper every morning, taking my outrage with no sugar.
The poem about switching off the airconditioning and opening my window to the reality of heat, giving myself up to its longing, to its sweaty but human embrace.)
What can the mind do, faced with such an onslaught, but barricade itself? Stand helmeted and bulletproofed, pushing back these impressions, this heaving mass of feelings, letting not a single one through because to make even one exception is to lose control. Refusing to look these sentences in the eye.
And what shall we make of this silence then, except to look away? To look up to where the blessed emptiness of music expands above our heads? To that immortal, jumping skyline of jazz? To Miles, floating down on all of us, sacred as moonlight, his sound turning all the dark silhouettes of our breathing to silver? To the stars tinkling behind him, like a distant piano?
Someday my prince will come. Someday I will own not only the city but also the note that will shatter it, the skeleton key to the darkness, my passport to the blues.
And tomorrow these words will go back to where they came from.
And someday soon I will be able to write again.