What Direction Now? Life at the intersection…

Blood and Ink


I press too hard with this pen when I write, the words impressedthough not without lack of harshly-imposed modesty on my partand interspersed, ink and pressure marks, on top of or beneath each other so that if you squint, you can’t see at times what’s writing and what’s written, my right feels the written rhythms of the already bumps and I know that there is no chance for unpressing, what has been etched cannot be unetched into original form and the surface can be covered over but will be marked and marred until the day it is no longer solid surface, crumbling as blue ash and blowing unbound by the win. And will my hand be long absent by thenthis pen surely will expire before long, but this book could last a millennium or burn today, no telling what the next minute holds. The sun could have burned out, or turned loose it’s fiery fury seven-and-a-half minutes ago, and I would still have 30 seconds of unknowingif not blissto whip and whisper words at this


Exaggerated tasty collaboration between the cook and the teacher making half-baked ideas steam like sand and shimmer like gold, we eat our fill of thoughts and cookiesplease pretend not to taste the grit insidethen go back for thirds, all the time denying that gold is not as delicious as it looks (I’d much prefer iron, even). The tigers tasted blood in the air and came tromping through to find not a wounded baby elephant, but rather some silly baker-teachers trying to chew their way through a lunch of gold and sand and iron. Sprinkle on the salt and see  the rust formit bubbles into a reddish-brown like the slightly burnt crust on the Thanksgiving mac and cheese platethankfully, my aunt doesn’t add in too much sand…or any at all for that matter. We don’t have any new thoughts, they say, the fall of man lies in the hands of teachers unwilling to learn further than the ends of their teens. We know the clock ticks to twelve, but stopping at six, we wait uncomfortably while the pens scratch words that we will never read unless they are shared or stolen. I don’t have to read these words to you and you’ll never know if they were any good, if they were written from a place or spirit or spite. You won’t know that I am so tired of baked teacher bread with no yeast to make it rise, so tired in so many ways and this last minute will only cramp my hand, won’t help, don’t yell or smash the tables unless you’re willing to walk away forever…and if that last part’s true, bust the lights out too before you go. I don’t want to see my own blood anymore.

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What Direction Now? Life at the intersection…

About Andrew.

Andrew Cartwright grew up in Indianapolis, IN, but has lived over the years in such places as Denver, CO; Fairfax, VA; and Rivne, Ukraine. He is a former nonfiction editor for both Indiana Review and phoebe; he has also worked for the intersectional feminist journal, So To Speak, and the national literary magazine, Electric Literature. His work has appeared in The Normal School Online, Copper Nickel, Esquire Ukraine, Literary Hub, and Word Riot.

For more information about me and links to other writing, visit my author page at cartwriter.com





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