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January, 2008


My Paper: A Love Story
My new darling refused to let me off easy
By  Jennifer Edelson

ike a prosperous prickly pear, love blooms slowly maybe once every couple of years.

Last month, it happened in a big blossomy show of adjectives, nouns and verbs. Love grew within the confines of a single piece of grainy bonded paper -- an expanse of bare, lonely space, on a worn desk in front of me.

Let loose from its cardboard confines, this single piece of paper took on life outside my soul. It shined its pearly white and begged me to blow in its dappled ear. To breath on its smooth broad surface until it rippled. But love being what it is, I wavered.

Our relationship started slowly. For weeks we danced around our insecurities. We flirted with intimacy. At first, an uncomfortable silence stood between my desire and its longing. We wanted something magical, but didnít know how to express our feelings. I was afraid. My paper was unnerving.

Still, unlike so many papers before, my new darling refused to let me off easy. It waited impatiently, a repository longing for some frenetic thought to fill its crisp tight fiber. But then words appeared in a rush of loose-association, and my strokes came quicker, spilled out more fluidly.

Round left scribbles, up then down, affected my timing. My paper stayed firm, but my own resistance broke like a dam. And when my paper looked, hard, like black, black onyx into my eyes, I said, "Okay, you win. Take me."

My white paper. This semi-naked sheath of dimpled space like skin beneath my fingers. This deliberate scrap of unformed belief and quiet yearning. It insisted that I finish, that I keep going. It demanded -- like a hungry newborn baby. Still taut, and just a little dirty, it lay flat, yet slightly crumpled, like a stiff tucked sheet messed by human longing.

My paper, its soft surface and rough-hewed edges, climbed inside my heart completely. My hands filled its softer spots with substance. Filled the small spaces between it smaller fiber mesas with electricity. We merged, and in the process, all sorts of agreeable emotions came flooding out of me.

I tried but could not breath. I had no clue where it would take me.

Our skins touched, manuscript to fingerprint. No one, save my paper, had ever seen me so bare, so completely. I felt exposed, and my paperís arrogance seemed frightening. But it was a thrilling frightening. And satisfying. My mind hummed like a burning star as it falls to earth in a jumble of though and idea. And the burning hurt in ways that dove me crazy.

My paper worked its magic -- cast its spell. Only I didnít see that it was almost done, and still only cared about making it happy. As it took from me, I grew empty.

Laborís dirty sweat soiled my darling. It became, like many relationships, a shrinking wasteland of dedicated insecurity. A stenographic desert that bred sharp, spearing words. Like succulents scattered haphazard over unwieldy territory. Impassioned so deep, it almost, almost, hated me.

I wanted more but my paper spent its lines too early. Beneath a stark bare-bulb glow, my white paper shone like a dry expanse of sandy littered shore before a tumultuous sea. Brimming with too much life, it almost suffocated on vocabulary. Meaning, buried like sand crabs at high tide, was not as safe from drowning, as it ought to be.

My paper grew tired, and because I could not surrender, began choking. It broke into fragmented geography. Dissatisfaction bled between thin boundaries. So I tore it away, off its pedestal, and sent it to New York, as far as I could from my body.

Content to just exist alone, long lines and sultry characters defined my paperís breadth. Paragraphs and prose pushed against its story skin like well placed padding. They formed physical markers.

Pointed Tís and lean, swiney Sís imprinted dark moles against pale papery casing. My paper had a mind of itís own. It had admirers. It no longer needed me.

After weeks of passion and labor, I gave my paper everything Ė and it grew into its own and left me. For the kind of absolution my love for it alone could not be. In the end determination molded my darling and introduced me to a stranger.

And it, like all loves, left me alone again, feeling sad and hopeful and relieved. IN Icon 

Jennifer Edelson is a Minnesota attorney and legal writing professor. Her writing has appeared on all the finest refrigerators in the Twin Cities. Jennifer can be emailed at:

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© Freelance Writing Organization - International 1999-2049

IN This Issue
Creative Karma
Rejected! Now What?
Seven Deadly Sins
Seven Virtues
Essential Ingredients
The Last Quill
Done At Last!
Part III: It's A Fact
Part II: It's A Fact
Part I: It's A Fact

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Mouse Over To Pause

Writerís Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails weíve known;
Each writerís block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
Itís how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Donít plant your poem on the page
As though youíre hanging drapes;
Itís shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their ďthemes.Ē

Double Vision
A writerís life is paradox,
Itís more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know youíll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poemís through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

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