Saturday, 26 June 2021

'Freewriting à la Tesco' by Teika Marija Smits

It’s like when a nurse, needle in hand, instructs you not to tense. You can’t help it. You tense. Or if someone tells you to not think about a baby. There it is – whoosh! – peaches-heavy in your arms, its marvelling eyes begging you to really, properly conjure it into existence.

“Just write what you want,” says the creative writing tutor, her voice like a promise. “Write… naturally.”

I can’t do it. I tense. My mind flits from Salman Rushdie to Jane Austen; Octavia Butler to Dr. Seuss.

As the teacher drifts by me and notes my stubbornly blank page, the constipated look on my face, she suggests I try freewriting. “You know, anything, dear, anything.”

I wince. Anything is a pigeon pecking at a keyboard, hoping for the seed of a haiku. Anything is a slick of grass vomited up by my cat; green runes glued to sheets of A4. I go home, disappointed. Wonder what else I could’ve spent my £25 on.

It’s only when I’m writing the shopping list (you know, not tense) that I find my voice. Oranges are fat as Jupiter; Marmite, bottled grief. Eggs are crushed dreams masquerading as symbols of life. Milk – tears shed by breasts which will never be suckled.


3 comments:

  1. Brilliant! Completely identify with this...

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  2. Wow! Yes, like the commentator above I can completely relate to the first half. Would love to know what the second half feels like, when the metaphors pour off the pen! Marmite, bottled grief...

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  3. Thanks so much for the kind comments. Much appreciated!

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