A Pinch of Cyanide

Creativity apparently can fall victim to…something. That something could be a response to massive repetitive doses of pharmaceutical drugs, excessive sleep, anxiety, allergic reactions to plant-based allergens, or a million other numbing influences. Whatever it is, my compete lack of imagination is evidence that some force is at work to stifle my rapidly declining ability to think originally. My thoughts—stuck in quicksand—are unable to free themselves from the muck that drowns them, as they sink beneath a sticky surface of ravenous goo. But stale, artificial memories seem to emerge from the gelatinous bubbles that explode in slow motion when they rise to the surface of the muddy, viscous slime. One memory reveals me as a smoker who, late on a Sunday afternoon, walks several miles to a convenience store to buy cigarettes and wine—only to find that those items cannot be sold on Sunday. And, as I walk toward my home in Dallas, a van-load of former co-workers offers me a ride and then laughs at me for forgetting the “blue” laws. Other memories so painful they will stay with me for days—and would return to haunt me for years—urge me to throw myself from a high rock formation in a western national park, a place I have never seen. Part of this tangle of creative wasteland and false memories feels like it is steeped in gasoline, waiting for a match to set it ablaze. Some it, though, is buried in a nutrient-rich soil that promises to give it an explosive spurt of growth more powerful than the most aggressive kudzu. I feel like a just-emptied balloon—once filled with air almost to the point of bursting—stretched and shriveled to the point that a single breath would cause it to be ripped to shreds, every bit of its elasticity lost. Creativity lost is like that ruined balloon. It no longer has any value, even as a scrap of membrane.


I just called my primary care physician’s office. No appointments are available today, but I have been slotted in tomorrow morning…if they get a cancellation today, they will call. My sinuses are mistreating me. My cough is troubling. My perpetual sleepiness is getting on my nerves. Ach!


The leaves on the trees outside my window are absolutely still. Their pollen-laden strings of greenish-yellow pearls look innocuous, but they are mean; a slight breeze and they will attack with a vengeance. I can imagine the county coroner’s report—Cause of death: multiple strings of miniature pearls strangled the decedent from the inside. I wonder which would be more deadly: the smoke and ash of a burned forest or the pollen forced into the lungs by an aggressive wind. Lime green is a more accurate descriptor of the leaves today, though chartreuse could be used in a pinch. A pinch; like a pinch of cyanide.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

I wish you would tell me what you think about this post...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.