Grasping for Words

Often as a writer I pour over whether what I am writing is something that should command any attention. I reach out for the ethereal words to grasp them from the semi-opaque vapors in my mind that pass for thoughts, trying earnestly to say something significant. It is nearly inexpressible how I often feel that this is an exercise in futility: I can never say it well enough. It will fail, I fear… I believe. I even wrote an untitled poem back in early March that I posted on my personal Instagram (@prramer) that spoke to this feeling of inevitable failure at words.

I sat down
Moved to write
Though words formed
No provocation resulted
They fell like so many
Silent ray catchers to earth
Catatonic, without love or life
To a feckless end

In some ways this fear that my words will be powerless and banal drives me to hone my writing, to shape an ever sharper edge with the whetstone of editing. My writing, especially my poetry given how deeply emotional its origin, must cut through every layer. Nothing must arrest its penetration to the soul of the reader; else, I have failed.

I didn’t take up art to be ordinary. It is probably the most significant way I have been saying to myself or to others that I am significant, that I matter, that my voice should be heard among the many. If I must suffer this painful self-doubt to reach for heights set above clouds, whether reachable or not, I will ever try. I may still fail to attain the zenith, but I will, despite it all, achieve more than those who try not all. I will elevate my craft above the common and the cliché. And if this is all I accomplish, then so let it be. I never wanted to be ordinary.