Wordslinger

I'm not much of a poet. But I took a creative writing class in college and had to write a poem about a famous person. I chose Stephen King. And now that I'm re-reading The Dark Tower series (my favorite) I was reminded of this poem and dug through my digital archives to find it. And lo and behold, I still like it! I wrote the original version of this before I started writing novels, but I already agreed with his idea that stories are unearthed (followed), not created. So now the last stanza has additional meaning to me, and hopefully to any other writer who might read this.

Fun fact: this was originally titled "Stephen King is my Geeky Hero".

 

WORDSLINGER

The wordslinger followed

Through endless moonlit dreamscapes

His fingers

Tip-tap-tapping

The tune

Over countless keyboards

Through endless piles of paper

His digits orchestrating the strings

Of nightmare marionettes—

They lurk inside every closet

(still afraid of The Boogeyman)

Peek from every pipe

(I’ve seen the Deadlights)

Wait outside every window

(don’t invite them in)

 

The wordslinger struggled

 

Through coke addiction

Alcoholism

A writer’s bruised and broken ego

He found the words did not dry up

To the sober one’s touch

Instead they created a river

A damn ocean of sanity

In which to swim

To float

(we all float down here)

 

The wordslinger awakened

 

Saved by his own creation

Sacrificed again to tell his tale

(there are other worlds than these)

His body broken

Breath stolen

Hip hijacked

He continued on

To finish

To rest

To start all over again

 

 

The wordslinger spoke

 

And Constant Reader listened

He climbed the tower and turned the key

The door of all doors

Open

(found)

To a world of gritty genius

Words were sand

Flying in cycles of dips and swirls

He knew the rhythm

He beat it out

Watched as they banded together

And dug them out

Dusting them off

Oh so carefully

Until they took life

Walked on their own

 

The stories formed

Fled across the desert

And the wordslinger followed