WHY I WRITE ~ Nin Andrews

WHY I WRITE ~ Nin Andrews

Why Write?

I used to play this game when I was a kid.   I’d imagine I was an alien.  I had to report back to the mother ship, tell my people, This is how it is done on planet earth.  They make up rules.  They tell you . . .

This is how you dress, love, think, believe, eat, drink, hold a fork.  (Not like a pitchfork, my father would correct me.)

I had to write it all out. I had to explain it all to someone.  My ideal readers have always been my alien friends.

Why Poetry?

As a girl, I liked lined paper, unlined paper, notebook paper, tracing paper, construction paper, drawing paper, spiral notebooks, dividers, school notebooks, pencils, pens, erasers, markers, crayons, calligraphy pens, paintbrushes . . .

              (But I always hated blue books. The size is all wrong, and I don’t like wide-ruled paper.  How can anyone write a proper essay in a blue book?)

I liked the physical act of writing words, phrases, sentences, pressing my fat pencil deeply into the page or skimming my fountain pen delicately across a page in loopy script.

              (Remember that thick paper you were given in grade school?  It looked like banana peels were ground into it.  You could sink your fat pencil into it and make an engraving.)

I liked defining words, redefining words, making up meanings, thinking about what meaning means.

              (Do you ever wonder what meaning means? Meaning whatever that means, but isn’t it always more convincing in printed letters?  Print is so much more black and white and evokes fewer fantasies. Script is better for personal letters and thoughts and suggests other realities.)

I liked thinking of that distance between what can’t be said and what is said, between what is said and what is meant.

              (Sometimes I get so lost in that distance.  So many words really have no meaning if you think too hard about them.  Like reason or faith or god.)

I wondered about how much of life is invented by words. No matter how “real” the word-world seems, it never is the world.

              (I sometimes think I prefer our inventions.  Like our pretensions.  They might be all we have.)

As the painter Rene Magritte said of his painting of a pipe, Ceci n’est pas une pipe: “Of course it is not a pipe, just try to fill it with tobacco.”

              (Dear Magritte, I dreamt you came to dinner last night. But it was only an idea of dinner.  I woke up hungry for ice cream.)

But what if you could fool people, and I mean really fool people?  What if you could bring them into your imaginary world? Let them smoke your pipe, feel and taste the smoke entering their lungs, exhaling it back out and into the air?

              (I’m so easily fooled. Yes, it’s true.  I prefer to be fooled. Don’t you? )

What is it we’ve been smoking? people might ask after the fact, making up all kinds of answers about the exotic taste and ingredients.

              (I love critics.  But I think analysis is just another fiction. Another kind of smoke, another layer of distance.  It’s like reading about reading.  And then reading about reading about reading.  And then reading about reading about reading about reading about . . . about.  We all live inside so many Russian dolls.)

Isn’t that what a great poem does? Isn’t it like a really good smoke or trip?   Something we inhale deeply, letting it take us to another place?

              (No, I don’t smoke.  But if I started, I know I’d never stop.)

Hell To The No, Ms. Mobley

The women FORMERLY known as Judge Barbara Mobley resigned today.  Why would a Dekalb County judge who made around $150,000 a year resign?  Well, Ms. Mobley is floating in a well cooked stew of allegations.  Today, the AJC reports that Mobley has allegedly done everything from use her position to benefit someone behind on child-support to have a state worker access the Georgia Crime Information Center for information not related to a judicial matter to use public funds to make purchases for a church. I think Ms. Mobley forgot that Jesus said to obey the laws of the land unless they interfere with His word.  Maybe she got a call from Jesus authorizing the church purposes.  I could be out of the loop, or I could be thinking about the $3,800 in cell phone bills she racked up in 2008.  I digress! I wish I could tell you that these were all of the allegations made against Ms. Mobley; however, it boils down to the fact that after working eight hours I don’t have the energy to type all the allegations!  Barbara Mobley is one hot mess!  Yes ma’am, indeed!  If these allegations are true, I have one thing to say— HELL TO THE NO, Ms. Mobley, the citizens of Dekalb County deserve better than a trifling judge sitting on the bench.