Poet’s fantasy

I wish I had been born a novelist

and had the literary stamina

of the long distance runner,

to be able to run for miles in the desert

in my bare feet like those champions out of Ethiopia,

and I could get up every morning before going to work

before eating breakfast, before going to the bathroom,

to work for two hours, or even just one,

maybe write two pages a day.

I could finish in six months if I wanted,

some three hundred odd pages,

good, steady, forward movement, picking up each day

where I left off the day before no matter what my mood,

no matter whether I felt like writing or not.

The inexorable forward progress

would be motivating to myself and friends alike,

like a rigorous exercise regime

or diet with visible results

after months of grim, monk-like determination.

And I would write an award-winning book

that would be published to popular and critical acclaim,

a book that people would read and buy.

My book would be on Oprah,

or at least among Heather’s Picks, and I could walk into Chapters

where my thick, hardcover book would be proudly displayed

in a prominent place.

My book would be discussed in book clubs,

its themes and characters and plot

dissected in serious, even reverent tones,

as the layers of meaning were slowly stripped away

like an onion, bringing tears to everyone’s eyes.

My book would be positively reviewed

in The Globe and Mail and win major awards

like the Scotiabank Giller or the Man Booker.

My book would stay in hardcover for months

but would eventually be released

in trade paperback. And just when

sales were softening

the big news would be

the movie rights had been sold to a quality studio

for a ridiculous sum, and the kind of director

who knows how to adapt highbrow literature –

resurrecting Anthony Minghella – had signed on,

and to top it all off I’d autograph copies for my mother.

Comments are closed.