Words Count



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3rd BassĀ “Wordz Of Wisdom”



Talk is cheap right? I’m not about to argue the toss here as I know only too well how empty they can be. However, if there is one thing I’ve learned during my tenure as Keeper of The Crimson Quill, then it would be that a few choice syllables at precisely the right time can offer riches unbounded. There have been numerous occasions where I have felt like throwing in the towel and needed inspiration from somewhere to prevent me doing so and the simplest gesture has come to my aid, reminding me that what I do is worthwhile, what I do matters. As a result, I have poured everything I am into my art and continue to do so, even when it has felt like a lost cause. Indeed some of my proudest work has come from the very edge of the void and the only things restraining me from taking a plunge into the abyss have been a handful of well-timed words of wisdom. Yet we live in a cynical world where every last statement is placed beneath the spotlight and picked apart until even the person making it questions its validity. Reading between the lines is all well and good, indeed, I downright encourage it with my own prose as I scribe in layers to appeal to every last sensibility all at once. But it’s the game of a fool looking for cracks in the pavement as your journey time is effectively doubled as a result.


Should I contradict myself at any point then, chances are, it’s intentional. You see, there are a thousand different ways to interpret something and a multitude of grey areas to explore. Should I present myself from a singular vantage then I’ll only ever be revealing one side of myself and that feels a little wasteful to me. I’d much rather involve my readership than exclude them by not open celebrating my inconsistencies. Like anyone else, my opinions are subject to change at any given moment. I yearn to learn and seldom spurn an opportunity to discern what is going on around me. There’s no part of me that believes itself to always be right, no misguided notion that I’m perfect or even approaching its halfway house, no stubborn refusal to accept that I’m a deeply flawed individual. I am who I am, some may dig that, others may desire only to compound my cranium with the business end of a meat tenderizer. Either way is okey-dokey, although I may raise objection the very moment you lunge towards me with wild eyes and a blunt instrument raised above your head. We’re all entitled to our own opinion after all, it’s whether we have the courage of those convictions that determines shit.


Okay so let’s imagine I’m about to be pulverized shall we? Something I’ve said has struck a nerve and the time for eleventh-hour reasoning has well and truly passed. If I’m about to have my head smashed in, then I have only a solitary request, that you don’t regret your actions directly afterwards. Don’t just put your back into it, populate your actions with deep purpose, or else it will all ultimately have been for nothing. Keep pounding until which time as my brain matter resembles trodden down muesli then keep on pummeling. My annihilation needs to be something more than just a whim on your part; I deserve that surely. Make it count goddammit and smoke a fine Cuban cigar once you find yourself staring down at mulch. I don’t want to hear “oops I did it again”, I want to hear “did you see the way his face caved in on itself?” as you grab that quick selfie beside my still twitching cadaver. Do it because it means something. Or don’t as I’m not exactly enthralled by the prospect of being murdered in cold blood just to be crystal.


Whatever actions you choose, make them from your soul, not the jerk of your knee or the persuasion of another. If you’re looking for the most honest reaction, then this is the place from which it will derive. Minds can be manipulated, hearts broken and mended, but the soul is the one piece of kit that appears to possess its own safe house. Moreover, it marches to its very own drum and the resulting chorus line can earn the kind of standing ovation that no amount of rehearsal can ever hope to encourage. Let’s not tangle the tethers here, said performance would soon fall flat without the head and heart on backing vocals. But final say comes from the one place only I can access. My mind is a vortex of opposing suggestion, my heart a ledger of every last person who has accessed it over the years. As for my soul, well that is under a different kind of jurisdiction entirely and I’m still awaiting the memo as to where its headquarters lie. Will I ever fathom its whereabouts? Negative, they will continue to elude me until my dying day and I take considerable solace from that fact. You see, once I become dust, my soul will pack its bags and head off someplace else before those pesky buzzards can swoop.


For the time being, I have it just where I want it, wherever the bloody hell that might be. What is more important than its geography is being able to access my soul freely and every single time I sit down to put quill to parchment, it is only too happy to pipe up and put in a shift on my behalf. To this very day, I still glance back at my musings and attempt to fathom where the bloody hell they actually derived from. A close friend recently remarked that “words flow from you like beautiful music” and I gobbled up this praise most appreciatively. You see, whether Milli Vanilli mimed the words to their one global hit Girl You Know It’s True is irrelevant. What matters is the amount of pairs of lycra cycling shorts they’ve been able to buy with the royalties. Besides, not once has my soul demanded a cut of the profits. Granted, that may have something to do with the fact that I have never made a solitary nickel from my art. But I still appreciate the sentiment.


One thing I go to great lengths to ensure is that not a solitary word I scribe comes across as unnecessary or wasteful. The last thing I want is for my readership to start dozing off halfway through a stanza and I know all about this as I’m such a lousy reader myself. Fail to engage me off the bat and I soon start wandering, skimming through the text in a desperate bid to reach the end before entering a voluntary coma. Given that attention span is such a weakness of mine, I’m in the best position to spot when I’m going into one of my rambles. That isn’t to say that I hit backspace until which time as the canvas is blank once again, more that I endeavor to make every last ramble entertaining if nothing else. Folk don’t need to know what color the wallpaper is if it bears no relevance to my rant; they can paint their own mental picture as long as you allow them the freedom to do so. Point every last detail out and they’re roaming around in your head space whereas, by leaving something to their own imagination, your words are briskly transported directly to their own sorting office and they’re provided a feeling of ownership.


It may appear that I have precious little respect for the English language as, while I’m not exactly sparing in my usage, I cherry pick at will and use it primarily to my own ends. It’s one thing being literate but another speaking through someone other’s tongue other than the one flapping about in your maw. The law of averages suggest that anything I say has been said a billion times over already so I’d much rather mix things up some and place my own unique spin an any well-worn tropes I happen across. If we are what we eat then doesn’t it also stand to reason that we eat what we are? Should I be longing for a sense of belonging then that would mean that I’m itching to belong in a sense right? Confused yet? Imagine what it’s like for me then. What I’m saying in essence is that words are such a beautifully expressive tool and it seems a crying shame to keep them locked down to someone else’s template. I imagine they’re flying monkeys and send them off into the night to do as they please. As a result, they always return by lights out.


I’m not a great fan of the lengths one must go to in order to earn themselves a license and this is attested by the woeful number of driving examinations I flunked before eventually being deemed safe to crash my first car barely weeks later. It’s the pressure that gets my helmet itching and this is the beauty of creative license as there are no terms and conditions, no boundaries or perimeter land mines, just a wide open vista to populate at will. I’m always looking to vary my output and never wish to grow stale in my prose, but ultimately I go where the wind is taking me that day and use any creativity at my disposal to ensure that it always leaves an impression. Some may think this article little more than pretentious claptrap and they are more than entitled to their opinion. But if just one aspiring writer reads my prose and it resonates on a personal level, no matter how miniscule that may be, then I’m of the unswerving opinion that it counts. Who would’ve thought it? All these fancy words and it turns out to be just a numbers game. Funny that.

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  1. I do like the way you express yourself, Rich. Finding one’s muse can sometimes be a daunting task. However, it does seem to strike at odd times and without warning. Keep the posts coming.

    1. Thank you Susan. I draw inspiration from wherever I can but what inspires me most is when others truly get what I’m driving at. You do and it’s a pleasure to create for such an appreciative audience.

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