My True Love

photo by Carlos Porto

by Pauline Masurel

Writing is a strange affair. It can be an art, a craft, a job of work or even a game but it can also be something to flirt with or to be seduced by. Sometimes I just want to push words around and watch them glitter and interact like a bowl of marbles. Other times I want to stroke them softly, gently manipulating them into my chosen positions.

And that, for me, is where the fascination with writing lies, with the words themselves. Some people are ‘born storytellers’, others are natural entertainers, some have great themes or messages to convey, regarding words as simply the means of communication. Perhaps I’m just a frustrated poet, I want to commune with the language itself.

Writing involves constructing a mosaic with words. Some people say that it’s impossible to write anything new. Obviously, at the quantum level of the words themselves this is true, unless you’re going to start creating neologisms. And writers are always told that the basic number of plots is numbered in less than double figures. However, as soon as we begin to combine words and begin constructing sentences we have the power to make a unique moment of language occur.

For my next trick I’ll make one happen here, right in front of you, without so much as a limbering up exercise.…Hector the pygmy aardvark skipped through the maroon wastelands, stopping only to blow his nose in an enormous pocket handkerchief and finally coming to rest at the bottom of an incline having turned several complete somersaults. Now, I’ll grant you, in a literary competition up against Shakespeare and an infinite quantity of monkeys I might well come in a poor third with that sentence. But I do feel confident that no one has ever written it before. I can’t prove that to you though and once I’ve released it onto the Internet it’s highly likely it will crop up again somewhere else.

I love words for their mutability. I’m a sucker for straightforward puns, but also covert ones. The very fact that on the page you can turn a tiller from starboard to soil without so much as a punctuation mark is as important a part of the joy of text as a full-frontal bout of double entendre.

Words I love you truly. Be my Valentine.

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