Reflection on Notebooks

I never like to write on the left side.

I can barely read my handwriting.

You shouldn’t write in what looks like a journal in a public place,

You just end up looking lonely.

I forgot my age yesterday, strange, I don’t feel 20.

Gotta come up with a way to remember the important things.

I want to remember, honest.

I confess, I’m an abuser of notebooks, written in for a week or two and then discarded.

I rip out pages every 2 or 3 days because they don’t make sense, or I want to start over.

As if ripping out these pages gives me a clean slate, scratch that, a clean sheet of paper to write on.

I need to forget.

I’ve had this notebook since Christmas though, it’s been four months.

I think I get it now. Every journal entry from before, every story or book attempt never stood a chance.

Retention: that’s not how I tick.

I’m jumbled up letters in Scramble.

A novelist draft, crunched up in paper balls by the waste basket.

Sporadic IMBD quotes and YouTube comments.

Brevity is the key, memory is the curse.

I got this notebook for my birthday, did I tell you?

Outskirts of Victoria, Texas

As my sisters help me to unload my bags
we look out from the gravel driveway and
there are no houses blocking our vision so
we can see all the way until the Earth
curves and the blue turns a shade of white.
When we were little, we would scream—
I mean we would holler—into the empty space
before us; like the coyote, we’d give a call.
We’d howl until we gasped for breath
until the air had left our small bodies
then we would go silent and wait
from across the grasses for
the echo to come back.
This is our land, it whispered,
and we would whoop in approval,
as if only we existed. We owned the world.

Originally published in R2: The Rice Review.