Is It What It Is ?
by Fredrik Lloyd
I think I suffer from a form of physical dyslexia
In the olden golden days as a carpenter’s apprentice, I spent a few days alone cutting out the grand designs of a wooden floor, only to have it pointed out that the pattern I had cut, needed to be reversed as I had forgotten to flip the wood blocks over to bottom side up before I cut them…Luckily in those days, I was only paid £50 a day, and the hunger of being docked those wages has blurred to the point where I can’t be sure I was docked the debt. I never ate very well anyway.
Touring in the Ukraine running from bus to train to hotel to reading room, I once forgot my book of poetry in a hotel room. I had six hundred coal miners stamping their feet in a drafty hall to read to. I asked for five minutes and hurriedly scribbled the shortest poems I thought I remembered down. I distinctly remember a sinking feeling as I read one of my ‘favourites’ out. “That wasn’t as good as I remembered it” – I said to myself. “I wonder why I was always so pleased with it?” When I got back to the hotel room, I found that out of the four lines, I had forgotten one altogether. If a haiku is read aloud, without a microphone, missing a line, does anyone notice? They didn’t seem to.
And then today, cutting and layering holes into paper, layer after layer, that in the end should make up a bold and bright sentence: it is what it is – only to find out at 18:30, that the past five hours had been spent on multiple variations of: is it what is it.
It isn’t what it is, and it wasn’t what it was. It was never what it wanted to be in the first place. I’m packing up and going home for dinner.