the dead art of writing letters

hello (insert name here)

i have been writing slowly, in fits and starts after having been nigh worthless due to illness. a mild case of the plague that has afflicted the ruddy blue marble, a sickness that was all but impossible to avoid due to my job.

yes, i still toil at the same job. risking my life to fatten the coffers of those that do not leave the comfort of their homes, that never have to come face to face with the creeping death strangling the globe. those that only know how to consume, that thought a box of gloves and cheap masks justify sending us into the bowels of hospitals to service machines no one operates but those just as miserable as we are.

i am still tearing scabs off freshly self inflicted wounds and parading them like a whore in the hopes of prostituting my pains and sorrows professionally to little success. working all day and then sitting in the darkness ignoring the pounding in my skull while tapping out the next great manuscript to be go unread. it is less a desire for any fortune, and truly a feat of manic madness, a compulsion that feels like a fever if i sit too long without transcribing of how depression kisses my cheek and squeezes my heart with her icy fingers. i tell myself that i will hit some intangible goal and happily walk away from the insanity but with every new benchmark hit, still it whispers in the silence and forces me to scribble these frantic images of melancholia.

my novel has been at one publisher for four months with no word since the thank you for the submission email, and another where after a hundred days it is still languishing above one hundred in the queue. it is making the next stories harder as i sit wondering if there is a point to any of it at all. nearly fifty three hundred poems and the darkness doesn’t fade, the only lights i see are flashing in the rear view as i get another ticket that means next month will go without food just like this one and the one before. i understand starving artist is not a cliche but it seems to be a regular standard for everyone, not just those crazy souls creating. misery is the only constant creation, and yet we continue on, one hesitant foot in front of the other until we get to the next mile marker and are forced to wonder which one will be our headstone.

i understand why Hank drank constantly, and go without drink in a stubborn refusal to face the world inebriated. i see how easy it would be to drown the acrid taste of reality and float on false hopes. how easy to escape one bottle of whiskey at a time until the sultry voice of lady depression worms her way deep enough to end up another tragedy, another statistic, another piece of space trash mistaken for a shooting star on which the next failed poet makes a wish upon.

i know we haven’t talked for a long time, that this missive comes from out of the blue. but i hope to reconnect with you again, if anything to try and expel these demons of nagging doubts and leave something that says i was here.

yours, the fool

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