We, The Wordeaters

Author: Anna Russell / Labels: ,

('He had never met anyone as alive as Ursula Brangwen or as gloriously wrecked as Heathcliff. No teenager in the world was as likable as Holden Caulfield, no villian as irresistable as Iago...It was the terrible curse readers lived with, that art held out this dream of possible life - of conciousness as gripping narrative, of individuals as violent and epic forces - but actual life undermined it...Great literature was an unsettling revelation, life was just mediocre prose. Exceptions were few and far between.' from Love Remains by Glen Duncan.)

A strange bunch indeed are
We, the Wordeaters.
Instant everything, television stew
The rat-race, the drudge -
All have conspired in our downfall.
None have succeeded
For none can offer us
The alchemy of words.
You can find us in the unlikliest of places,
Chewing thinning lip membrane
And slicing diction across our skins.
We are discernable to the practised eye,
Our responses spattered with
Thoughful pauses and droll dissections
Or silent and cock-headed
As we reach innocuously for our ink tipped shields.
We sit in cinemas, pained and indignant
As we watch another's imagination
Brush clumsy strokes over our own.
But these are letters, mere sweeps of a pen!
Do you not see it,
That they can be arranged in such a way,
These seemingly random symbols,
To give life and love and thought,
That we might fall in love?
Do you not see?
We try to be like you,
We do.
But it is futile.

Anna Russell