Published on July 30th, 2014 | by Sarah Maguire


Sarah Maguire on WHY I CAN’T WRITE

Before I’ve even done anything

I’m tired

I can’t be bothered

But you’re making 2500

Neurons a minute

This week Sarah

Graeme reminds me

It’s tiring making a little human

A poet friend points out

But I was gonna be different

I’d wanted to be pregnant for so long

For Years!

I was gonna feel magical



I was gonna be

The embodiment

of the ART-TEEST Mama

I was gonna show

My radical feminist

Friends who never wanna be parents

That it’s not what they think

“Look at me I’m pregnant full of baby and just doing my art everyday”

In fact it IS an art project!

That’s how Diane di Prima made it sound

She asked “How does a woman be an artist AND mother”


She wanted to experience


Everything that a woman’s body is

Capable of

And you know how it is

You read something

That seems like

A big answer


THE answer

Books have the answer

ALL the answers

Which they mostly do

But also people are different

So I got pregnant

And I felt sick

And tired

And exhausted

And miserable

And the thing I’d waited for

The thing I held in my mind

To be so beautiful

Precious and wondrous

Made me feel like utter crap

Like shit


Made me hate all food

Made me lose my sex drive

Made me lose interest in

Anything I like






Am I depressed?

And the worst part-

I wretch every time I put a tooth brush

In my mouth

I’ve tried everything

No toothpaste

Only brushing the outsides

Only brushing the insides

Not brushing the back

But NO

I must puke into the sink

Every time I brush

So now I’ve developed

A phobia

Of my toothbrush

Every night I think

And sometimes even go as far as

Saying out loud

Tomorrow I’m REALLY getting my show on the road

No more laying down doing nothing

No more of THIS

I’m gonna REALLY TRY!

And here I am

At a cafe

Sat in the sun

Perfect writing conditions

And I feel TIRED

Kinda like someones pulled

The plug on me

My blood is pouring out

I roll my eyes at my book

And dream of heading home

For the sofa

Watching shit videos on youtube

In my pyjamas seems like the most fun ever!

But no!! NO!

I start this poem


About why I can’t write

It should be called

Why I don’t wanna write

Why I can’t be assed to write

Why I’m so lazy

Why I suddenly hate poetry

I guess the thing is

di Prima took amphetamine in her coffee

Every morning

Yep I think that would do it

Would change the story

And I for sure

Would get my show on the road

I was fooled


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About the Author

‘Sarah Maguire is a neo-post-beat feminist vegan poet who has won no prizes, entered no competitions, and whose head is as far out of the asses of the academy & pseudo-straightforward-confessional-prize-winning-pastoral poets who populate this country’s poetry ghettos as a giraffe’s is from the perfectly-formed hyena stools that blow in formation across the West Country literary savannah’ – Tim Atkins www.thisisuptight.com

5 Responses to Sarah Maguire on WHY I CAN’T WRITE

  1. Dawn says:

    Beautiful! The realities of pregnancy don’t always match our dreams, do they? No matter how much you love the little being growing inside of you, your body…well, it does take a lot to manufacture a human. You’ll find your energy again, probably about three months after the glorious event.

  2. Sarah Maguire says:

    This was written at the end of the first trimester … I’m now 26 weeks and iv been feeling really great since about 15wks! Although I still can’t write very easily.

  3. Alyson says:

    thank you for this–beautiful and honest. i can so relate! i am a PhD student in literature and was studying for my field exams in my first trimester. lived on the couch!!!

  4. Lisbeth says:

    I had to smile at your repulsion for toothpaste. It sounds so familiar. Wait until you hit the three month fatigue, or the potty training era. I’d like to read your poems on those.

  5. Neela says:

    OMG, this is exactly everything. I am 27 weeks and have been feeling a lot better since the puking-and-peeing-in-my-pants-at-the-same-time joy of the first trimester, but my novel is being an elusive bitch. Thank you!!!

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