Dante Papier

Written by

Dante Papier

9 March 2021

Novlr Authors

If You Cut Me, I Bleed Ink

Dante Papier on the Novlr Reading Room

Dante Papier is the mind-child of Novlr Author Daniel Piper, whom you can find on Instagram and substack and you can buy his book here. He has a new column here on the Novlr blog (read his intro here). Enjoy.

People often ask me why I write.

“Dante,” they beg. “Why do you write?” “What inspires you?” “What compels you?” “How are you able to maintain such a consistently high quality of output, particularly during these unprecedented times?”

And to these people, I say: If you cut me, I bleed ink. My skin is parchment. My eyes are full stops. My ears are question marks. My fingers are em-dashes. My toes are en-dashes. My colon is a colon. My head and body are an upside-down exclamation mark (if my arms are flat by my sides and my legs are together).

You see, I am not just a writer. I am writing. Writing is me.

Any moment when I am not writing is physically painful for me. It is agony. I am a fish out of water, flapping around, gasping for my pen or iPad. Take them away, and I am an astronaut sans oxygen, lost amongst the stars, drifting to my death like George Clooney in the movie Space Jam.

Lockdown has has been a gift. It has given me unlimited access to oxygen (writing time). Free from the shackles of ‘socialising’, of ‘friends’, ‘family’ and ‘loved ones’ — those wicked forces conspiring to prise the pen (or iPad) from my hand — I have been able to write, write and write, and write. And it feels so write.

Remember: Write what is right and what is left will be great writing.

Dante Papier
Author, Writer & Litterateur

This week, I would like to share a poem I have been writing for the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle. It is a work in progress, and I confess it has been slightly difficult to find words to rhyme with Markle – I suspect one word may have sent me off on a minor tangent, but I believe the inspiring message of this poem shines through regardless.

Ode to Meghan Markle

meghan markle
how you sparkle

in a world that is so

meghan markle
how you sparkle

have you ever
been to larkhall

it is a town near glasgow
and it has a castle

as well as the largest viaduct
in scotland

it is near the m47
and offers regular bus services

to nearby towns such as motherwell and

notable residents include bbc radio scotland editor 
colin patterson

and world snooker championship winner
graham dott

meghan markle
how you sparkle