The Business of Writing

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The Business of Writing
by Manuel A. Luna-Murray

The business of writing is a bleak pursuit
That carries you away from this world into the next

The business of writing is a life surrounded by books
Whose silent prayers shape the words that appear
Across the blank pages of your heart.

The business of writing is a consuming fire
That brightly burns within your soul
But never consumes the page

Writing is the creative act of bringing
Contradictions to life.

The reader believes the writer to be
A powerful entity whose mastery of language
Shapes the void of the unknown

In reality, the writer is the most
Powerless creature on Earth

For his days and hours
Are filled with the overpowering
Stench of a half-eaten meal:

A soup of letters
A cake of words
Cold metaphors
Served with stale clichés
Warm water
And burning wine

These are the leftover dishes
At the end of the day
When your energy is spent
And your life is no more.

The writer is the most misunderstood
Creature on the planet

For her attempts to communicate
With the mysteries of the Universe
Are perceived by others as a fruitless pursuit
With no end in sight

In an attempt to communicate effectively
The writer stretches and confuses the reader
With the linguistic somersaults by which
The words jump off the page

The words become sentences
Juggled by paragraphs
Whose pages are guided by commas,
Periods, colons, semicolons, and hyphens

It is the grammar that confounds us
But it is the apparent simplicity of the words
That infuses the reader with pictures and lessons
fertilized as embryonic seeds
Injecting our minds with vigor and strength

The writer is a vessel
That challenges reality
By pursuing the eternal ideal

The writer is a being
That resides in time and space;
A creature of habit who worships
The mundane details of life

Just as the ordinary description is spurned
In favor of the convoluted phrase
Whose power to delight our senses

And stimulate our minds yields new insight
Into the deceptively simple truths
which guide our lives

The writer is a creature
Alienated from itself

For, what is a writer?

Is it a man or a woman?
A spirit in our hearts?
A voice in our minds?
Words on a page
Or actors on a stage?

A writer is all of these
The writer is none of these.

A writer is a confluence
Of the mind and heart
Of the Human Spirit
That has existed since
The dawn of Time

The writer is an insurrectionist
Whose actions destroy the world
but whose vision carries the burden of future generations

An artist who deconstructs the status quo
By rearranging the pieces into unrecognizable shapes
Of distinctive colors and flavors
Whose digestion is preceded by nausea
And followed by nostalgia on the part of its readers

A scientist whose analysis constructs elaborate theories
That form the basis for the transformation of moribund societies
Into vibrant systems whose majestic edifice
Cannot be easily shaken by the onslaught of
Mediocre thoughts and misguided aims

Yes, the writer is a riddle
And the writing is the answer

Separate either of the two
And the results will be disastrous

Without the writing
The writer becomes a hollow shell

Without the writer
The writing remains a disembodied spirit
In search for a host to unload all of its cares