The Scent of Cinnamon and Coffee on My Hair

IT IS official. I have forgotten how to write. It didn’t take more than a sentence to know that I won’t be getting anywhere. My thoughts could no longer command these brittle fingers to pry themselves open. Perhaps they have gotten so accustomed to wielding a pen that jabbing at a Chiclet keyboard seems so alien, unnatural.

Even if my thoughts could churn out a few writing points, what shall I write about? Should I finally write about my father, which I have so long yearned to do? Should I spew details about the boring daily grind of my uneventful existence? Or, maybe, I should write about something I was once accused to be incapable of when I was much younger. Maybe I should write about Love.

But I know better. The subject of love is a cob of corn in the middle of a minefield. Readers will cringe and laugh at “You will always be my only love,” yet swoon like docile bamboo stalks at “I want you to bite my lip until I can no longer speak, and then suck my ex girlfriend’s name out of my mouth just to make sure she never comes up in our conversations.” Could somebody tell me about the protocols? I was never good at this. Shall I just, for example, write something along the lines of…

“You manipulative bitch! I detest the manner by which you played upon my sympathies; how you coerced me into cradling you in my arms all day for the last 2 months; how you kept ignoring me afterwards as though I am but an insipid figment of your imagination; how you left me crumpled and dejected before your feet that Friday afternoon; how you made me lay fresh flowers every morning at your bed or light sweet-scented candles during the brightest times of day; how, in spite of all these, you possessed the audacity to conspire against me and let well-dressed men, folks you barely knew, carry you in a box and whisk you away from me.”

Love, regardless of what we believe in, is morbid in the end. Believing that, can I still write about tender embraces without sounding brash like a filibuster in a pulpit or callous as a celebrity’s Facebook page? How could I when I have forgotten how it feels to crown a song, a prose, a sonnet, haiku, verse or metaphor upon someone’s head. I have forgotten the marvelous patter of rain on the skin. I have forgotten the warm, electric sensation of a loving gaze. Alienation. God knows how I long for the scent of cinnamon and coffee on my hair.

I have forgotten how to write. That’s the truth. Either I have fallen into an abyss or the abyss has fallen upon me. To say that a writer will always be a writer is to deny the obvious — brain cells have no muscle memory. And to believe that I am a writer in the strictest sense of the word is to believe in striped unicorns.

(discourse over cinnamon-spiked latte)


54 thoughts on “The Scent of Cinnamon and Coffee on My Hair

  1. Perhaps it is the drifter that has intentionally drifted away from the words that always stay true within you, to create that little sense of adventure and curiosity. Perhaps it is just a momentary yearning for that long lost thoughts that lurk beneath the ever-so-illusive mind of yours that never cease to amaze yet mislead you, perhaps it is just one of those days, when only cinnamon and coffee can pull you back from the abyss of broken words…

    Anyhow, all that is, will fade and pass, tomorrow is another beautiful day, always believe in that. A writer’s journey is always, almost a lonely one, I feel… the audience can be another version of our self-comforting illusion too *_^

    Neil, be in your element, am sure you are very much, or else, this post could not have survived, this far:))

    Nice one!


  2. Wow! This is really brilliant & thought provoking, especially that I have been feeling the same way about writing in the last few months!

    You write amazingly …and all I can say is that there will be a writer inside you all the time even if he doesn’t always show himself! :)


    • isn’t it scary especially when your pen stays dry for months? if we could only just coax ‘the writer in all of us’ to come out and do their thing then the world will be a much much better place.

      appreciate your comment very much. thank you, maha!


  3. Pingback: WoW Fridays: Rudy Francisco | words become superfluous

  4. “You are like the word…melancholy…” Even in your unwanted state of feeling you are not writing as you would wish…your words betray you and are in fact evocative of the very opposite. You are all ways brilliant to me sweet sir…and I have missed you!


  5. Truer words were never written, more vivid emotions hard to express. The angst of the frustrated writer lives on. And yet as with yourself, when you put your pen to paper (fingers to keyboard) the magical inspiration that appears as we, the readers read your creatively written words, put to the lie, that which you expressed in your opening few sentences. “I have forgotten how to write!” – I think not!


  6. thank the goddess you’re back…

    I’ve come to believe that the Muse gives Writers such pain because writing is what She wants and needs you to do…even when you “can’t write” (as if) you’re helping Her (and us)…your words like ants on the peony, opening it up

    For the record, I wish you hadn’t bite open the big bloom of Rudy Francisco…I may never write again if something doesn’t revive me from this swoon.


  7. Ah Neil….your inability to write has rendered me speechless. Except to say I have fallen in love with you just because of this supposed inability. Cheers!


  8. Another thing is official – wonderful to see you back, Neil! And even when it seems you have some “unresolved relationship” with the falling abyss :), writing is in you. A part of you that probably needed some rest. For some time or a bit longer, for one reason or another. But then it returns…slowly…step by step…like the scent of cinnamon and coffee on your hair. And you will write…like you use to and what you will feel like writing about. Like you just did – the first step of many…


  9. Neil!! Folks around here have been calling me “kitten” lately, but “bamboo” might be more appropriate: *swoon*.

    Two things, for the record: 1) This – “I want you to bite my lip until I can no longer speak” – is hot. It just is. and 2) If you sound this evocative and lovely and raw when you have forgotten how to write, then you are a force to be reckoned with.


  10. You need to find something that will kick start you again. Look on the Internet for inspiration. Look on other blogs at their poetry. Their stories. Their haiku. Their acrostics. Look at photos and see what screams to you.

    You will get this back, I have confidence in you.


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