Saturday, August 21, 2010

Writing About Nothing

I’ve got nothing to talk about, in that I’ve got something to talk about and that something is nothing.

 It’s the feeling that makes you drop the pen and pick up the remote control.

Nothing to say.

 I go through the list of “socially conscious” topics. Racism, Sexism, hatred towards homosexuals. But why waste anybody’s time with what could only be speculation? I don’t have a first-hand account of any of these situations. 

 I’m a straight, white male. That’s about as privileged as it gets. The most upsetting part of my life is that stairways make me sweat. The only prejudice I’ve ever felt was pointed at my weight, and that’s because I eat too much, which is my fuckin’ choice to make.

 I grew up middle class. Wasn’t rich, wasn’t poor, Suburban bungalow with a sports car and a 4-door. And what’s more, full access to the story of how Frodo visited Mordor. My parents read to me unending ‘till I took it on myself to pull a copy of The Hobbit off the basement bookshelf.

 But in the years before that novel found its way into my hands, and from a time far back as when I was unable yet to stand, I had The King, The Mice, The Cheese, Robert Munsch and Dr. Seuss. While other kids said “look, a choo-choo!” I said “Engine, cars, caboose.”

 I started school with books in tow, reading Clifford to the class. Made the teachers drop their jaws and other kids would kick my ass.

 Reading doesn’t make you popular.

 But, so be it. After punches, stolen lunches, and a medley of attacks, I started thinking up a world I could create, and thus, relaxed. I started writing little stories, nothing quite Lothario, more like day to day adventures starring Super Mario. I made up lyrics to myself and stories, some I never shared because of how life was at school, I’ll be honest, I was scared.

 I had a linguophilic attitude, with words my only friends. I figured, why the fuck say big when I can say gargantuan, gigantic, monstrous, huge, colossal, vast, enormous or prodigious, mammoth, massive, giant, towering, humongous, or tremendous.

 I learned of stories, allegories, metaphors and similes. I learned of irony, hyperbole, pathetic fallacy. The structure grew into a loop of writings started and thrown out. I had a lot of writing in me, and nothing to write about. It took me years to get to this point, now I’ve got myself a voice, and if I did it all again, you know, I’d make the same damn choice to read and write and take some beatings, let the bastards wear me out. Cause now I can still write something, when I’ve got nothing to write about.

 And I imagine thanks are due to those who push me to my goals, so I’ll begin with children’s writers, every one of them is owed a massive debt to helping kids begin a life of words and dreams, and to the teachers who actually care, their job is harder than it seems. George Carlin taught me how to be pissed off and keep it funny. Thanks to everyone who says “There’s more important things than money.”

Hell, thanks to everybody at the Burlington Slam, if not for it, I’d be at home each night watching Batman.

But most importantly, my parents, without whom I’d not be this man.

Thank you for introducing me to Mister Sam I Am.


  1. I think it's pretty cool that you're honest about not having much experience with salient "socially conscious" topics. I often feel the same, and wonder what I have to contribute to the world of writing in light of my naivete. The poem does a nice job of grappling with that issue.:)

  2. I figure, what right do I have? I can't experience those things. I'm never kept down because of my race, my gender, or my sexuality. Somebody who knows how it feels will always be able to say it better, and with more authority, than me.