I wish that words would come;
That I could write without the fight
To tie them to the paper.
I trail the hazy, half formed thoughts
Which are beyond my fingertips,
Unfocused by my eyes.
I plot to catch them unawares;
To spew them fast as mind and pen
Can touch them to the page,
Then, doubling back
I hack, and add, and rearrange.
I form them in the luxury of quiet times;
The world shut out,
Each sentence cut and fit
Before I turn it loose.
I forge them in plain sight
Of viewers and opponents, too.
My thoughts are hammered and reshaped
By contact with their mind.
None are easy.
They all bear the stain of the sweat of my mind,
And the polish of handling time after time.
Paul Lloret, 1970
There’s something so incredible about the notion of words as things that need to be caught, corralled, managed into something meaningful. I love this poem; I think of it often when I’m trying to write something and having the idea there in my head but having to twist it and rearrange, “hammer and reshape” to make them work.