What Does It Mean To Write

Lydia Lydia, O Lydia, in your stories you were stripping yourself down, thin to begin with, slowly unloading a very heavy burden with in your craft.

  1. Yes, I come from Lydia,

I come physically, away, from, Lydia,

But to what to what to what to what do I come,

What does it mean, to write,

What the hell does it mean, to write?

Our stories are of living, it means simply living

All the while setting senses down with words widening

Making marking making marking whole

Telling truths, it means truth,

It means in Nazi concentration camps

They immediately killed



With scraps of their own writing,

For this reason,

It means writing because you write

Could not stop,


It means with attention in-attention taking pencil taking Pen pen pencil in hand

Placing keys under fingers

Paper — white yellow green onionskin cream

It means making tangible for another

A cold shower or sweet, the taste of an orange.

It means listening listening listening to that voice

Those whispers no one else hears

Those shadows no one else sees,

It means

Listening listening listening,

To everything.

Then, it’s not about having time season reason license

Not a room of one’s own

Not even a space of one’s own

Sometimes just a box with holes for air,

A toilet seat,

A bathroom with a door.

It means being a writer,

Writing through it all,

Or not writing,

But coming back

Always back

To this first and forever lover

Who is always


For us.

Being a writer means sanding like an intricate sculpture Shaping into words our living our lives it means impact It means having power power over what was before The unnamable, unspeakable.

It means work work work work creating a new a new

A new world, a new universe,

A forest from one seed

An ocean from one river

A continent from one mountain

It means chaos becomes light

It means being a writer

It means simply writing writing writing writing.

What Does It Mean To Write © Susan Lynn Gesmer, Written, early 1981, edited December 2015/November 2017.

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