Sunday, April 26, 2009

Critic's Cry

A writer's private nightmare: sharing your soul, only to have critics dine on it. Truly creative writers cannot help but share slices of self in their work. The writer's spark gives life to the words.

I can step outside myself to type words, but until I touch the words with a little bit of Mick, the words have no life -- they are a catalog, not an essay; they are a collection, not a story; they are a pile, not a poem. As I write, the rhyme and the rhythm of the text on the page mimic the measure of my mind and the beating of my heart -- to be shared with you -- my friend of the moment, my companion upon the river of my thoughts.

It is the terrible secret of the creative writer -- my words and my works are the children of my mind. Mock them and you mock my soul. Change them and you are killing my babies. It is why the critic's cry cuts so deeply, and why so many potential writers never let their work see the light of day, and why, when I write, I pour out the dark red blood of my need...


Critic's Cry

I climbed from the depths to stand in the sun;
An effort for me, and for anyone
Who, in their personal, internal world,
Celebrates silently, with banners furled.
No band fanfare for my personal pride:
An accomplishment felt deep down inside.
And then I thought, well, perhaps I could share,
With family, friends...with people who care!
I poured out the dark red blood of my need.
I decanted the sweet wine of my deed.
I awaited an appreciative sigh,
But instead heard laughter -- the critic's cry.
In response to such cold and heartless pain,
I swore on my soul I'd not share again.

Mick McKellar
April 2009

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