Friday, October 9, 2009

A Crossword as a Metaphor for Life

The Sunday puzzle.
I fill in all the obvious answers,
(leaving, um, large gaps) and then go back
and try to make connections with what I've solved.
Some-times it seems so easy:
A follows B, F follows E, and so forth,
until it's A-Z all-filled-in.

Or not.

But then.

I'll solve, say, the upper right-hand corner,
feeling smug and smart, and then something
won't work that connects the upper right-hand
corner with the lower right-hand corner. And then
everything that I thought was true, everything
that was successful, suddenly is dumped out
on its face.

Oh good god where did it all go wrong?
Where did I go wrong?
How far is it necessary to backtrack,
to erase, to redefine -- in order to discover
just where it was the error occurred? Or were
they all errors -- errors built upon other errors,
and must I completely rebuild in order
to continue on the way of Truth and Fact?
And maybe, just possibly, can I make it all work
without going back and making corrections (in pencil!)
every step of the way???

No. I can't.
(There's no messing with Will Shortz.)
No messing with 61-down: Gloomy Milne character.
(Okay -- that's an easy one.)
No messing with 87-across: Stop worrying.
But at this point, I'm feeling more like
109-down: Struck down, old style.

Perhaps what I need at this time, because
I am feeling like an 89-down (Rejected as unworthy)
is a 25-across: Drug distributor.

And so I take out the good eraser,
the nice soft one which doesn't smudge
or rip the newsprint, and give in to the act
of excision, square by square.

It's not a 93-down (Pill that's easily swallowed)
to admit that somewhere, at sometime, I've made
a mistake. (Or two.)

But I do.
And it's time to start over.


  1. ooooh baby. You are a good writer!
    big hug..

  2. This combines two things I love: crosswords and poetry!

  3. I was going to write "perfect metaphor for my life right now..." but that would be redundant ;>)