Friday, February 28, 2014

From the Author of The Korean Word for Butterfly, James Zerndt

Knock Knock

            “Every once in a while it’s like there’s a knock, you know, and you should open the door.” – musician A.A. Bondy on his creative process

            Sometimes a knock comes and you’re not home. You’re driving thousands of miles away from your father’s funeral through the flatlines of the Midwest but the knocking won’t stop so you scribble down fragments of poems on whatever scraps of paper you can find. The poems may not be particularly good, but they are necessary. Necessary to you, anyway. Sometimes a knock comes and you are forced to answer whether you want to or not.  Sometimes you will find you need to make sense of a world where beautiful and precious things disappear in an instant and without any discernible reason.
            Sometimes a knock comes and you don’t want to answer it. Maybe you’re scared of what will come through the door, scared of the work it will no doubt bring with it, the demanding it will make of you. Or maybe you’re scared of the rejection that will come in, too, and be left like luggage on the living room floor for you to endlessly trip over.
            Or sometimes a knock will come so loud that it wakes you from your sleep and you find yourself writing quietly in the dark so you don’t wake the baby sleeping by your side.
And then there are times when a knock doesn’t come. Not for years, even though you’ve been straining to hear, your ear pressed up against the cold door.
And sometimes a knock comes, but you don’t answer because you’ve been saying “in a minute” for far too long when your child begs you to play with him, so you ignore the knock and pretend you’re not home, but you do hear it and all you can do is hope the knocks don’t go away entirely, that they won’t give up because you’ll answer again someday.
You swear you will.

In a minute.

1 comment: