Thursday, March 19, 2009

Taking-Up Ghazi's Challenge:

To write about how I write, in the space of 500 words. An exercise.
A disclaimer: I smoke when I write, so my lungs may not be ready for the intensity of this blitzkrieg.
466 words left. (Not quite.)
I write, as you can see, with disclaimers as my preface. Whatever you will read will have been qualified.
I also write to a “you,” an audience—sometimes nebulous, sometimes targeted and specific. If you find yourself in the web of my address, then watch the veins in your neck.
So I qualify myself twice over: this is me, but within these parameters, and: you—I’m speaking to you.
Typically the publicity of my writing determines my qualifiers; if I write about “truth” then I can speak over the heads of many eyes who will see my words—in this way my writing is elitist: except if you understand my meaning, in which case this is a love letter.
And then, my writing is determined by whom I address. For instance: to ____ I write in a prose that is playful, flirtatious, and never committal; to ___ I write with the stern voice of an offended suitor; and to you, I write with the closest approximation to indifference I can muster.
I’m sweating now. It’s the lights, and the interrogation of the question. I’ve failed this polygraph already, so you might as well stick me, or hang me, or what have you.
(I lit another cigarette.)
I stall: halfway there, and still nothing said.
I write, you see, looking back now, with an honesty that is uncommon.
It is to write my skin onto page, and to construct my body out of these lines.
You already know too much of me: 1) my pride; 2) my desperation; 3) my need for “you.”
I write to answer a question. Ask me, or let me ask myself. I’ve written over 200 pages on love for you who will never read them. I’ve written 500 pages on love for a “you” that doesn’t know to answer.
From a certain point on Miami’s shoreline you can see the call and response of warning-beacons. They blink in syncopation, but still to one another. I write like one of these beacons: to no rhythm but yours, and am only heeded if you sense danger.
This, too, is a warning—and a call home. Here is the shore, I write, and here is where you will run aground.
(I lit another cigarette.)
Tonight, Ghazi, I write for one person, and he is neither you, nor I. He remains a phantom, for my friends cannot know him—their eyes are too cold, their lips too quick to sharp criticisms.
(Yes, I write always and only for…)
I prefer my ears hear only him when he speaks, and not the bile of their objections.
I write because of what one chooses to not write.
And I live because of what I chose not to hear.
Or I would be broken.
With love,
Samuel.




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