How Much Longer Will We Be On This Page?

100 words per minute

There were words strewn like spilt cereal all over the kitchen floor that morning, piles of subjectivity to be pushed aside before breakfast. Alice, writer or protagonist (synonym), wished she had a cleaner, an editor to sweep aside the superfluous words. It looked like they had been spilling out of the sink all night, and the tap was still running, though it seemed a pipe had broken and was now spurting out only vowels.

Alice sighed. Her kitchen was crowded with verbs, her life so full of action that she hadn’t time for toast, or even a cup of coffee.

Photo credit: Karen Roe via Flickr
Photo credit: Karen Roe via Flickr

Where does the writing want to go?

The writing wants to go on a Caribbean cruise with fine weather, cocktails and dancing on the deck, a jazz band playing every evening. The writing wants to go fishing in a Canadian lake, perhaps meet a mythological sea monster. The writing wants to go to Las Vegas and put clocks in the casinos. The writing wants to go into a diner and order a malted milkshake, perhaps vanilla flavored. The writing wants to find a Ferris Wheel, to stumble upon it suddenly, a surprise elevator to the sky.

The writing doesn’t have a map, a compass or a sense of direction.

The writing’s not sure where to go; it has no idea how to tie shoelaces and step out the door, walk to the metro. The writing would prefer to jump into a taxi. The writing is lazy.

The writing doesn’t believe it’s possible to get anywhere alone. The writing doesn’t believe in itself, but also wants to prove itself. The writing is mad; it’s totally “lost the plot,” they say, and chuckle at their pun. The writing has no idea who “they” are, and is worried, afraid polyphony is attacking, that polyphony has nuclear weapons and need only press a button.

The writing has no idea where it will go, with no plot to support it. The writing is lost, confused, but resolves to grow up later, find direction later, and then decide where to go. For the moment, the writing wants to have fun, simply to li(v)e and have adventures.


100 words per second

Alice flipped through her phone book, trying to find a plumber to fix her tap. The words had flowed down the hallway and were seeping into the living room carpet. She was almost drowning in words, but the plumbers in her phone book were, like most of the population, it seemed, post-modernists.

They looked at the surface:

“Your vision is skewed. Your perception is your reality,” they said, and left what looked like a bill and what was clearly a still-broken tap.

Alice sighed. If she was the protagonist, the center, why was her house crowded with unwelcome words?


Where did the writing go?

The writing tried to go everywhere, but went nowhere, went everywhere, exploded into madness, streaks of color like fireworks. There was a blur of superfluous vowels and consonants; the writing made no words, was no words, was colors and shapes.

The joy of being writing, thought the writing, is in the physical self, in existing concretely, in being tangible!

The writing was the alphabet and the idea, but also not the idea at all, but simply the iconography suggesting the idea to the trained imagination. The writing had no self and yet so many selves it could not count. The writing was youthful, beautiful, fun; there was no need for practicality, only orchids and orcas, orchid orchards, alliteration and senseless, essential imagery. The world fed the writing too much ‘practical,’ but all the writing wanted to do was dance.

The writing knows, intuitively, that the world is secretly enamored of imagery, with the idea of a picnic, everything turquoise blue, in the middle of the night by a lake in the center of Utopia. The writing knows everything and knows nothing. The writing is the wor(l)d.


Words, 100 light years ahead of Time

A street had flooded: a house had filled with words; the window had broken; nouns and adjectives [verb]ed down the hill. Somebody had found on their doorstep, instead of the morning newspaper, the word “constraint.”

There are situations which make you grow and others which reduce you, make you smaller.

Drink Me.

When a room is filled with words, it’s impossible not to gulp some, accidentally. It’s impossible not to shrink, being poked and pulled apart, deconstructed by a sea of words, too small to reach the key, left lying on the table.

It isn’t difficult to become a footnote.[1]

[1]   As Alice awoke one morning from uneasy dreams, she found herself transformed.

Anna Blair

Anna Blair

Anna Blair is a writer from New Zealand currently living in France. Her work has been published in The Appendix, Mausolus, Print Quarterly and Untapped Cities, and she is an editor at King's Review.

Anna Blair is a writer from New Zealand currently living in France. Her work has been published in The Appendix, Mausolus, Print Quarterly and Untapped Cities, and she is an editor at King's Review.

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