what it means to be a pro

I sat. Every week for two months in a room which was home to a university I wish I had gone to. I stared at other humans who shared the rhythm of my story. At one time, we had all been in similar rooms, moving our bones in similar ways. And for these weeks, I wrote.

I wrote about parking garages; I wrote about love; I wrote about sex; I wrote about gender. I wrote about writing these snapshots out of me. My words became the strongest bar of soap, cleaning me out.

People want to know what it means to be a writer. What it means to call myself other sometimes. What it means to say non-pro. What it means to be a poet. What it means to be queer. What it means to be human what does it mean to be human.

For all of these, I am still figuring it out.

At the end of our time together in this intimate workshop, we gathered up our pages and they magically (with the help of many talented folks) grew a spine, table of contents, ISBN and a title. Our words birthed itself into a book.

pros(e) was published through the Red Umbrella Project. These are (some) of our stories.

So I’m in a book, does that make me a pro? I meet people everyday, some I actually talk to. Some I just breathe in through observation and eavesdropping. I digest their stories and the sounds of their bones cracking into sentences and songs. Their bodies are books without the blatant table of contents and index. We are all pros just from moving each day.

You crack a part of your body open and blood arrives and a wound and scar and all that is a chapter. You fall in love with someone you weren’t supposed to but it happens and each day you kiss, you slam paintings and orchestral music into each other’s mouths. This becomes a prologue or interlude or footnotes.

We are all books. We are all writers. The words have stained us and some choose to leave smudges alone, while other’s choose translation. Regardless, the words exist.

So…..write it. Or blow it into an instrument. Or smear it onto a stretched canvas. Or cook it into a meal. Or impregnate it into your lover’s body. Or fold it into a paper airplane and send it on over this way.

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