Do you know where you got your talent for writing?
my mother asked me.
It’s from me, you see,
the talent that never got to be.
For no one ever encouraged me
nor told me I was good,
all they did was berate me for being ugly,
even wished I never came into this world.
There’s so much regret in her life,
growing up like she did, she said,
she still can’t banish the doubts
that still fill up her head,
still hearing the voices of ghosts
telling her she is nothing,
even when the maggots have turned to dust,
long after the feasting.
For those voices still linger,
they fester, they dim.
Like a cancer you can’t ever cut off,
clinging like a phantom limb.
But you have a chance, she said,
if you nurture it, it will grow.
so write what you think will sell –
don’t write what you know.
But what about writing of the things I love? I asked,
What about all that?
But it won’t sell, she said to me
So just write where the money’s at
But that’s the wrong way to go about it,
I said to her then,
if we don’t write out our truth,
we’ll just make those same mistakes again
But she can only tell me the truth that she knows –
her past, her only reality.
She’s yet to live the life I live,
Still killing my own ghosts before they get me.