Thursday, December 9, 2021

Hate Mail

Dear Sir,

I am writing regarding your recent publications, or lack thereof, and your mismanagement of missives pertaining to such. You are remiss, Sir, in your submissions and—dare I say?—phlegmatically under-emotive in your overly-omittive emissions.

If you were a math problem, you would require division by zero, Sir. If you were a painting, you would be a Van Gone. Forsooth, methinks I shall compare thee to a grand play performed by an invisible mime who may or may not be stuck in a box, but if he was, how would we know? And honestly, any imaginary creature capable of incarcerating itself in an invisible box has earned the solitude. Methinks you, Sir, have become just such a creature! A pox on your invisible box—a pox I say!

I believe I speak for all your one-time readers when I say, “shave that hideous hobo beard and finish a book!”

Yours In Aggressive Waiting and Judgment,

EJ Patten

Yes, I am in fact writing hate mail to myself. I haven't finished my next book. I haven't blogged, like five years? That can't be right. 

My last surgery was a year ago (neck fusion and disc replacement). I've been feeling pretty good since then. I've been writing, but I'm a bit stuck. For now, until I actually manage to finish a book, here are some snippets from my freeform writing (i.e., things I write to challenge myself and/or reengage my mind). 

With the first one ("Ode to an Office Printer") I felt like my writing had gone flat, so I picked one of the most boring things I could think of (an office printer) and tried to make it interesting. 

The second one ("Night Falls Dark") is a poem I wrote after a surgery. Be warned, it's a bit grim.

Ode to an Office Printer

The printer smelled of death and ozone. It had taken the life of many young office assistants. Bright lights. A too hot laser. Ink accidents. The power supply had a short in it that would cause the unit to hum incessantly, driving normal people mad and mad people murderous. The body was an eggshell turned beige with time. Some believed the unit predated the wooly mammoth, but carbon testing proved inconclusive. Paper jams weren’t uncommon. New assistants often made the mistake of printing on envelopes, which would jam endlessly like the lead guitarist in a heavy metal band who really wanted to get out of his day job, and would, if not for his inability to play the guitar.

Night Falls Dark
I saw a creature dark and true,
buried in a midnight bog.
There was nothing I could do.
It climbed afoot to rend anew,
the life that I forgot.
I could not run though I raced
round the purpled bend.
I could not fight, though I thought,
to flee the creature
and ascend.
Stippled feet and burning cross,
it rises to a stop,
and kills,
the piper and the lamb;
screams dying to descend
and rot,
never rise again.
I saw it yesterday,
falling through the jasmine sky,
star-kissed madness,
drawing near me where I lie.
Until it land upon me there,
climbing from within,
a withered husk,
a corpse undone,
a monster, not a man.
A monster that was once a man—that is what I am.
Long roads lead to empty ends.
No matter how far I walk, knife in hand
—the ticking clock—
night falls dark in every man.



Unknown said...

Thank god your back. I will wait however long it takes. I love your books

Eltonious said...

As with everything, in its own time.