Literature, the most seductive, the most deceiving, the most dangerous of professions.
- John Morley
The space station flew over the thumb of Michigan
at 9:25pm on August 16, 2011.
I saw it.
And they saw me.
Out of the southwest it hurtled across the sky on a diagonal path to the north,
heading for Lake Huron, the Georgian Bay, and the Gulf of St. Lawrence
like a baseball thrown from the hand of God.
Firefly, firefly, fire fly for me
Bigger than a plane but smaller than Jupiter’s smallest moon,
brighter than a star but dimmer than the camera that flashed too soon,
(we try to capture moments like fireflies in a jar)
it was gone in minutes. If you paused to draw a drink of water,
you would have missed it.
Gone, but I remember. I write it down so I will always remember.
When I am old and feeble and resentful
of modern music, youthful exuberance, and everything new, I will remember.
When all I can talk about is what it was like when I was young,
I will remember the day I saw the space station
flung across the sky, like a child’s top with lights and chimes.
Like a present under the Christmas tree, mysterious and delightful.
I will remember if I write it down.
Write like you’re dying
and live like you’re new to the world with much to learn.
Curious as a child at a peephole, I wish to be.
Firefly fly for me. Sit at my side and flare for me.
If in the dark, I can better see, then I will sit up all night to decipher the day just passed.
Write about your failures “they” say, for from them you can learn much.
If you have writer’s block, write about your failures. You might find you can’t stop.
You’ll be like Jack Kerouac with a manual typewriter and a carriage return,
reams and reams of paper on a roll that spews out failures across the floor
and out the door like the meatball that rolled off the table when somebody sneezed.
The loneliness and ungodliness of the day past
with the anticipated tomorrow on the threshold, and, well, shit…
is unholy ungodly? Unholiness. That’s the word I wanted, Mr. Word.
What does Word know as he tries to tell me what is a word and what is not a word?
He replaces my words without my say so.
But I love Word. I love words words words wordswordswordswords.
See how words become swords? We wield our swords to make a point.
We spar and pivot through the day
and into the night as we search for the perfect word to end a story on.
A word to send on. To enter on. To return the carriage and close the cover on.