Shelley Widhalm

A Poem about Writing

In Novel editing, Poetry, Writing on September 25, 2011 at 11:22 pm

After finishing my novel in February, I, of course, had to edit it, and edit it again. I finished my sixth edit last week and upon completing the three-week process, figured the manuscript was ready for the agent search.

But because I couldn’t get enough of editing, I started editing my poetry — I’ve written 750 poems, not that even half of them are any good. I’m trying to winnow them down into a collection. I found dozens on the writing process, like this one:

HIGH/ Shelley Widhalm

I can get high off writing.

The words to me are like alcohol.

I drink them, wanting more

And more.

My heart clicks in my chest

And my breath quickens

As I slur them scribbling, trying to cram



Onto paper.

Even so, I never hear the rattle of ice cubes

In my empty glass.

I never have to say,

Barkeep, get me another.

I just keep on, feeling lighter and lighter

As I let go of them.

My buzz is from seeing the sentences

And paragraphs

Like pieces of myself

Filling up the pages.

Rows of beer bottles I can come back to if I feel


I let the words go, get crazy with them,

Don’t stumble


I change words and add some,

Leave out others,

Always coming back to the wanting

Like needing a drink.

I need words, or I go into withdrawal

With the missing of what is really me and my company.

That’s what writing is.

Or is it?

I’m only one drunk writing to another.

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