1. Pixilated Rainbows
I play Tetris when I have writer’s block, inserting bricks like memory cards into walls that have forgotten where we live and, already, what we’ve built.
I play Tetris when I have writer’s block — I imagine peeling a big bag of Rubik’s cubes like onions, their strips falling toward the bottom of the screen, like feeding them through a paper shredder built in to the top of my television.
2. What’s Your Blood Type, Writer?
I sit staring at these keys like a piano’s crossword puzzle.
Every time I hit the space bar, I pass an empty seat in a movie theater designed for one.
Typing, it sounds like popping kernels, each letter blooming like some puffer fish as heat inflates this bag in my own private microwave.
I think of the big, dark room as a shark’s mouth, the rows of teeth I impale myself on, spilling out onto the floor which I leave for the ushers to examine with flashlights and clean up after.
I can’t think of anything to write.
I often think of critics in situations like these.
I think of their thumbs.
I think of how eager they must be to get away from things they enjoy.
They’ll give some great review, and it’s like they’re standing on the side of the road with a cardboard sign to Kansas, Alaska, The North Pole, watching the cars all speed past them.
I think of the drivers thinking, “Wow, they must really love whatever it is they’re leaving behind.”
I wonder if maybe those drivers get a sense of pride from this, that maybe they’re under the assumption the critics are giving them a good review, holding their driving skills up to the sky like an X-ray chart and, with their thumbs, telling them: “Gee, you’re great. We’ve never seen anyone who’s supposed to be driving a car just stare at some guys standing on the side of the road and not crash so brilliantly before.”
Their thumbs up, their thumbs out.
Where are these critics going? What are they leaving behind? Why do they torture themselves?
I stare at my coat on the hanger and wonder where I’m going with this.
Eric Beeny’s poems and stories have appeared in Abjective, Corduroy Mtn., Dogmatika, Dogzplot, elimae, KORA, Thieves Jargon, Willows Wept Review, Word Riot, and others. He’s a contributing editor for Gold Wake Press. His blog is Dead End on Progressive Ave.