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  • Writer's picturejgewagner

Digging Up Ghosts

Do you ever go back and read your old writing and just cringe, like hard enough to collapse into a singularity capable of sucking up the couch?  

As I work to set up new blogs and author accounts for 'Wild Open Faces,' I'm constantly sifting through old writing.  Some of it's decent-to-good, some of it's terrible.  Problem is I'm likely to think both things about the same piece of work at different times on any given day, and frequently veer from 'maybe this is actually okay' to 'oh my god what a vomitus piece of poo' from second to second.

I came across a particular piece recently and spent a few moments ruminating over it, wondering first why I thought it was good enough to send it out for publication, and then, why anyone would print it.  Because this one was actually picked by a Canadian magazine back in the early 2000's.  Don't get me wrong, Canada seems pretty cool, but I'd love to know what went through the editor's mind when he made his decision.  

Reading it over again now, I'm doing that cringing thing.  A couple minutes ago I was all like, eh, it's kinda pretty.   

It's a sort of poem.  But how about I let you decide.  Pretend you're Roman or something.  Thumbs up, it stays.  Thumbs down, I toss it.


White paper.  Expanse of bare, often lonely space, waiting.

A repository longing for frenetic thought set among crisp tight fiber.

Spread taut and a little dirty.  Like a stiff tucked sheet messed by human longing. 

White paper.  Naked sheath of dimpled space like skin.  

A deliberate scrap of uninformed belief and quiet yearning.

Insistent demand. Like a hungry newborn baby.

White paper. Shrinking wasteland of dedicated insecurity.

A stenographic desert breeds sharp words assuming the worst of humanity.

Searing. Spearing.  Like succulents scattered haphazard over unwieldy territory. 

White paper.  Dry expanse of sandy littered shore, filthy.

A tumultuous sea brimming with life but exhausted by vocabulary.

Meaning.  Like sand crabs at high tide, buried, safe from drowning.

White paper. Sentenced to exist between terminally bad and glory.

A lyrical prisoner serving time between rambling lines.

Committed.  Like a rapper who misses a beat but continues the story.

White paper.  At the end, a blackened squall of fragmented geography.

A conclusion bleeding substance between boundaries.

Stellar art, finally put down.  Like star parts falling against continents before dawn. 

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