Literally Speaking was written in September 2019 and has remained unreleased until now.
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I have a duty this day. To go against the grain and make a few things plain which I feel need to be paraded openly to those who read the prose I bleed. I know that I’m supposed to be more secretive by nature. But never really seen the sense in bottling the feeling. At least, since I got round to the reveal. Had to find view to a kill to take my shot before it took its fill. Found myself a crimson quill; the rest is ancient history. System changed the way I think so I simply changed it back again. Tickled pink each fade to black and jacked up on the truth my game had lacked since way back in the day when I had dimples on my knees. Very same in pride of place upon both cheeks. Swore an oath to yours truly to be true to me and all I see are reasons to come good and keep that pledge until the death of me. Evidently honest I may be but maybe there exists a need to take this to the next stage, lifting veil of prose that I parade beneath. Occasionally.
Okay then. I shall do precisely that. Nothing cryptic. No fancy wordplay. Not this time. You see, the duty I speak of will forever be to my readership as this has never one time been about me. If I dare enough to reveal my innermost feelings and place them out in the public domain, then I must be prepared to reap all that I sow. And the only seeds I’m ever looking to plant are those that can flourish over time. If you read anything whatsoever that strikes a nerve, and trust me, my words have a canny habit of doing just that, then there is something I wish to make crystalline clear. I will not and simply cannot ever raise a sword towards those I adore. Not in anger. Just don’t have it in me. Only one time in all my years as a scribe have I personalized an address and, on that occasion, it was the only way left to defend a corner darkened for an entire year of vital recovery time.
The person in question is now utterly adored by me. For I realised those feelings had no place in me. Not any more. As a matter of fact, while not about to retract the words that spilled from me in the moment, I went on to write an antithesis the very next day to ensure the soul in question that I only wish her passage to be peaceful. Should I be feeling any less than sub-par, then the only way I know to address the root of the problem is to bleed it onto parchment. However, whatever is eating me away on the inside, undergoes immense transformation prior to departure onto page. Given that I don’t possess a solitary bone of badness, I cannot and simply will not use my gift to purposely harm another soul. Thus, best not ever take an angry word escaping literally. There is a method to every last dash of the madness I court, and besides, I have left myself no disguises to break. It’s all here on the one stage I will never step away from.
I used to liken it to dropping breadcrumbs and, while this term has more recently been awarded negative connotations, uphold it to this very day, as I’m over ever looking to guide a path from within the Shadowlands to a better place. Those who meet me in person, especially since I rebooted systems, will be aware that I only ever wish to raise the spirits of others higher than my own. Give myself something to aspire to, if you like. Provide them rung and they may then do the same. Before we know it, we’re perched upon fresh precipice overlooking all that appeared so bleak beforehand and I adore kicking off such transaction. Never really been one for getting the final word but, when it comes to elevation, I’ll drop in “I love you, no returns” just to denote that my work here is done. Actually, it’s nowhere near as cold and calculated as it sounds. I simply adore lifting spirits. Never ever dampening them.
There will be times, such as those when stricken by grief, when my output may appear more erratic and I may even go as far as contradicting my own beliefs on occasion. Or at least, this is how it would seem. Should this be the case, then please feel free to challenge as I will never take offence when one of my chosen duties is to informally educate through art. Naturally there are ways to breach the topic as I believe kindness should be the one prerequisite to exchanges. But the answer will be clear and concise every time as I’m not required to search for it amidst the pile of papers littering my in-tray. Given that I have nothing whatsoever to hide by being 100% sincere through prose, and lead the same way off the page than on it, you’re guaranteed the rubber stamp of authenticity. Indeed, I’ll thank you for allowing me to elucidate that which may not have been clear through breakneck wordplay.
This is why I cherish the cherry pick. As there are layers upon layers to every single piece of art unleashed, be that solo or when in the thick of fusion. Every last sentence tells a tale. And you would be astonished to learn the origins of some of them. Truly. So very often, it will turn the entire stanza on its head but this is where it is critical to read objectively. Hard to do when it all feels so in the moment, but there is a knack to riding the serpent without ever tasting the venom. Just remember… there is no venom. Simple as that. Should I have a bone to grind, then I shall grind it at the media. Make it general. A tonic to help us all shake their conditioning and break the curse they place on us. Perhaps the odd sly dig at society for good measure. But never ever those whose belief means everything in the universe within my deepest soul and more to me. I’m a lion. One who bursts with pride each time we rise from ashes as a tribe of fiery Phoenix and migrate to some place, space and time not faraway but way more scenic. No more trails of destruction in my wake. For this remains my duty on this and every other one fine day.
Richard Charles Stevens
Keeper of The Crimson Quill
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