The Room

I got my first college care package this week.  Of course it was from Aradia.  She quoted Adrianne Rich for me at length:

Night-life. Letters, journals, bourbon
sloshed in the glass. Poems crucified on the wall,
dissected, their bird-wings severed
like trophies. No one lives in this room
without living through some kind of crisis.

No one lives in this room
without confronting the whiteness of the wall
behind the poems, planks of books,
photographs of dead heroines.
Without contemplating last and late
the true nature of poetry. The drive
to connect. The dream of a common language.

–Origins of History and Conciousness

She muses about whether the room”is the space one inhabits or the the Creative Mind itself.  It is both.  It is my too-dark, faux-wood paneled living room with the bright white cinderblock wall in front of which I built my altar.  It is the echoing cavern of madness where I listen to my muses and transcribe their nearly-incomprehensible wails onto the lining of my skull.  It is more.

It is also my life here: a white room with two doors.  One of the doors locked behind me when I came in, though there is a fire-ax hanging beside it, the words “Break In Case of FUBAR” painted carefully in white-and-red across the class.  I haven’t found the other door yet, only the walls.  Empty walls marked by a few snapshots – faces of people who might be friends or enemies or (worst of all) indifferent – and scattered windows I can’t quite see out of.

She goes on to quote Lorrie Moore: “This is good for your writing.”

Of course it is.  No matter how good or bad it gets.  And whether at the end of this period I go on, as planned, to a Masters in History and a Doctorate in Greek mystery cults; if I end up selling my writing much earlier than I can comprehend; or if the world as we know it ends, and I find myself presiding over a temple of freaks, geeks, and survivalists who aren’t quite sure how I ended up in charge.  This is good for my writing.


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