The Word Beast is on my back again.
It sneaks osmotically into my neck,
To flow in my blood to my brain.
What it does there is never clear to me.
I know it stole a ride on a nerve,
Down through my arm, into my hand.
And my fingers grasped a pen,
They had no choice, they must write,
The Beast has gained hold of me. Does
It turn the arm on robotically. No!
Rather, I respond as an addict would;
An addict after a fix, a word junkie.
Keyed by: overheard words, a scent
In the air, a change of scene, a sweet
Form, a lovely face, a moment of grace,
A child, a puppy, a kitten at play. I
Don’t Care! They’re all fixes for me.
I have no choice-I Must Write! Help me!
No Muse has gained hold of me, they’re
Too gentle. It must have been of
The Furies, directed by the Three Sisters
To sic the Word Beast on me. And the Beast
Is relentless, it wakes me in the middle
Of the night, drags me from my bed to write.
By day, I’m forced always to have pen and
Paper with me. I can not sit in peace, nor
Even eat quietly. So I go out for a drink,
Maybe hear some music. The Beast grabs
Hold of me. In the middle of a bar scene,
Look for me at the end of the bar writing-
A Word Junkie-hooked by the Word Beast!
Published in Lunch with the Muse (2001)