Poet by Hatte Kelley

March 3, 2013

If you were to create the blueprint to a poet, it would be called the red-print because that’s more original. You can start with any teenager, but the broken ones are best. So any of them really.

You start with their heart, you have options on your course of action here. You can tell them to give it to someone else to break it for you, you can have their family and friends chip away at it until its just below critical mass, or you can pump pain through their veins until they start interrogating their wrists for answers.

Be sure they’re not so broken to where they can’t keep it together. Sew their heart together with weak stitching and hard string. Make it easy for words to loop their finger into the strings and pull. Weak enough to hurt them, hard enough so they never snap.

You should then take their fingertips and baptize them in self-loathing. Bless them by splattering holy ink across them. The fingertips by now will already be itching to sacrifice to gods they’ve never heard of, from the state of the heart they’re connected to. Do not blame them, but don’t let them do it again.

Once you have convinced their fingertips that they are divine, teach them to kneel. Press middle digit to corresponding thumb, sliding forward, constant pressure, slapping palm padding, snap. The description matches their learning process, confused at first, but they understand in the end.

Tattoo the backs of their eyelids notepads. That’s what they’ll dream of. The lump in your throat when you’re on the verge of tears, replace theirs with a mic, because those moments are when they’ll have the most to say. Surgically insert a pen into their hands, because there will never be one there when their best line is on the tip of their tongue.

Right about now they’ll need what we will call a poetic narcotic to help them survive the transformation into more human than one can normally handle. You will need an IV consisting of 26 letters, it is becoming their new oxygen. You will notice how their exhale is now a mixture of carbon dioxide and knowledge. Slowly increasing in the latter.

When they have recovered, prescribe butterflies. Warn them they will have to take these at every performance, warn them that the first time it will make you sick to your stomach, warn them it is highly addictive and that the doctor says you should enjoy the high.

Side effects of this transformation are important to read thoroughly before making the decision, but it’s always written off to fine print. Some patients do not make it, some hearts can’t keep it together, some fingertips turn deity against themselves and sacrifice everything, some choke on the mic, some cannot survive on 26 letters alone and the knowledge is short-lived.

Even if you do survive, the purgatory of almost snapping at every moment is torturous, constant questioning of divinity drives you mad, the butterflies are hell, but its worse when they’re gone. The hollowness turns you tin and performing becomes mechanical. And some days you’ll even convince yourself you are god, and others you’ll convince yourself reality is just a dream, and you intend on never sleeping again, both ways.

If you somehow find it to be all worth it in the end, your final transformation can begin, you become family.

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