Dear Anger, What is Next? by Mekenzie Dyer

Dear Anger,

I have been staring for months at the blank word documentthat should be my next writing piece. Once a week I tap out a few bitter wordson my keyboard before deleting them once more. My problem: I am still not overyou.

For more than a year I drowned myself if you, drowned my work in you. Every day I wrote in ink mixed with spit and spite, bloody, angry tears, and unspoken curses. Angry at the world, angry at the country, angry at everything. I damaged my computer keys with the blows from my fingertips, wishing in many ways to express my anger through physicality as well. I have screamed in my writing until my voice was raw and choked with you. I joined your many screaming voices. I joined the screaming chorus. And even now my body vibrates with more of you. You leak off me, radiating, poisonous.

No longer are you bolstering my creativity, driving me to write in frantic fury. As much as you still dwell in my body, you have become a block, a bezoar of ugly feelings so matted and heavy, you lie an immobile weight from my stomach, up my throat, around my vocal folds, penetrating through organs and reaching my nervous system, paralyzing me. I cannot put anything onto the page. Your fury, my fury has not gone out, and yet I cannot put you in my writing anymore.

I heard just recently a quote by Lucius Annaeus Seneca, a Roman philosopher who said, “Anger, if not restrained, is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it.” Indeed, my relationship with you, Anger, has become destructive, not only to my writing, but to my mental health, and to my relationships with other people. Yet even as I acknowledge that fact, I know I cannot simply forgive the grievances that led to my initial rage while they continue. So where then do I move from here?

I suppose for now I shall follow more advice from Seneca, “hang on to your youthful enthusiasms — you’ll be able to use them better when you’re older.” In part, I will hold on to my anger, it being a righteous one, but I will prune it, prune you to be more manageable, to be more balanced. Every cut I make will be one of peacekeeping, one of healing. I will whittle you down in myself, and maybe others, with comradery and love and kindness and whatever else I can coax to grow out from under the roots of you until you have been dwarfed on my emotional field, until you fit once again amongst my organs as you should. I’m not even sure that will fix my writing, and I don’t know how much time it will take, but for now, it feels like a necessary progression in an uphill battle for change. After all, Seneca also said, “it is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness.”

With no love (yet)





Mekenzie Dyer is a recent graduate of the MFA program at Northern Arizona University where she also received a bachelors in English Education. Aside from her passion for teaching, she feels extremely connected to writing about growing up, physically, mentally, emotionally, the act of growing close and growing apart, and all the forms that takes. She also writes  as away of breaching topics she find difficult to speak about, mostly emotional topics as she finds herself a little emotionally constipated.