The Creaking Chair - Part XX


21st February 1986

I have hit a ‘Writer’s block’
I have absolutely no doubt about it 
it’s been 6 days and I am stuck with the same 3 lines 
no new rhythm in my thoughts and no cadence in my words
It’s like being stuck in a passage where you don’t know which side to go
I am not sure if I have to let go of this thought 
and move on to writing something new
or should I persevere with this and be patient

22nd February 1986

I went to a coffee shop today
thinking maybe that would help 
looking at strangers sitting and sipping their Mocha and Cappuccinos 
engaging and thoughtless conversation with a random stranger 
would help I thought to stimulate my grey matter 
as if they would involuntarily push me forward in my endeavor 
to pen down the next 3 lines 
and then maybe I can come back here again and wait for another stranger 
willing enough to come & sit by on the empty chair in front of me
and I would write another 3 lines that night  


23rd February 1986

I have bolted myself shut and promised to myself
that I would only leave this room when I complete this poem
The day has not been so productive, but maybe the night would have my creativity flowing
How do these authors end up producing novels on a trot 
like it is some kind of an assembly line
I remember someone close to me used to tell me
how she envied that I could write so effortlessly
if only she saw me now


24th February 1986

After behaving like a maniac for 3 days, I am back to my senses 
Vishal called – someone told him how stupid I was acting – I have a suspicion I know who told him
Anyway what he said made absolute sense –

“Poetry needs time to precipitate – it’s not another item on your To-Do list,
stop treating it like one & give it some respect !! 
It’s like an angel descending from a higher plane, 
it would take its own time and if you rush it, all you would get is a glimpse of its beauty
Just like rushing a poetry would give you only a glimpse of its skeletal thought
and never of it’s true character”

I will sleep in peace tonight,
Maybe I would end up naming this verse as ‘Writer’s Block’

~ Ashk

P.S. – I did end up completing “The Writer’s Block”. Go read it in the withered diary with a faded horse on its cover. 

P.P.S. – That diary was a gift from one of my favourite couples. I wonder how many gifts to me were diaries !! I must have been an easy person to identify a gift for ! 

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