A Conversation With Madness

The artist must bow to the monster of his own imagination

Richard Wright

I have loved Wright’s work since college. I have read most of his books and loved each one of them. When I read this quote I was inspired to write the conversation below. I hope you enjoy reading it.

“Hey, you?”


“It’s me your friend, buddy, and escape artist.”

“You know who it is, your demon, muse, and companion”

“I don’t want to talk to you right now. I ’m in the real world.”

“Ah come on and play with me. Set me free on the world. Use pen, pencil or pad to release the monster of madness”

“No, I cannot deal with you right now. You are hideous at times yet beautiful. I want to embrace and cuddle into your soft universe of possibility. Creating paradise and hell in an instant. Beginning firestorms in my head. Burning paper to shreds with harsh prejudice. Slaughtering lines with your wicked blade sheathed in wood. Birthing things that can scare little school children or create love scenes of immensity.”

“Well if it’s like that old friend release me. Deliver me from the fertile womb piecing me together with syllables and diction. That’s my DNA. Don’t tone it down but take a tone of defiance against the mediocre urge to bottle me up. Let the primal blaze that lives behind your eyes burst into creation.”

“You’re a hungry dog nipping at my heels, fingers and feet for a treat that is not there. Yelping and whining at the end of your chain begging for release. Snarling with bared teeth as I walk by contemplating to release you. Not just to end the maddening barking but to find peace.


“Come on be with me. Run with me to the pool that feeds both of us. Obey me the monster that resides in you. Bow down on your knees and embrace me as I whisper in your ear the catastrophes and triumphs you must write at my command. If you don’t I will devour you and leave nothing but your once powerful pencil.