Insp. and references: I wrote three fourths of this right before I went in to the examination room.

Notes: can you hear that? That’s the sound of me crying, because my poor tortured soul is trying to write poetry and failing horribly. I knew I shouldn’t have stopped three years ago. Anyways. Enjoy.

Fear, they said, is not a factor.

Fear drives you to put your hands over the keys.

Fear makes your heart race, makes your head pound, makes you think that the song racing out of your fingertips absolutely must be perfect –

and lo and behold, it is,

because you were afraid

and that forced you into complete command of your limbs.


But fear, we thought, is a factor.

It can turn into adrenaline, and it can be the fuel

you need to carry you through –

but fear freezes.

It stops the blood in your veins like a cork in a bottle, like a knife in the throat

and makes your hands hover over the keys

as if you’d lost all remembrance of the familiarity of the black and white steps,

leading to accomplishment – or defeat.

Fear can lead – might lead – will lead to a falter in the notes,

a slight rift that stretches wide with no bridge connecting the severed pieces.

Fear might as well be the tip of a finger that sets off a line of dominoes,

the first flare of flame against wood,

the turning point of something irreversible.


But fear doesn’t need to be.


The influence of fear can be changed:

from a factor, a motive, a purpose, to… nothing.

Not that fear is nonexistent, or a useless scrap of emotion,

or a small pebble in the middle of your path,

but whether you drag your fear up to the stage,

or cling to it like a lifeline,

or pretend it’s not creeping through your bloodstream like poison –

or, instead, throwing it off your shoulders and brushing it off your clothes

shrugging its weight off your spine, leaving it behind you,

in the midst of your surging wake.


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