Sunday, November 19, 2017

19 November 2017

I want to write an honest sentence. Someone asks what it's called when you keep starting over in the same way. Surely there's a name for this, other than obsession or compulsion or a strange insistence. We tell those stories that make us feel better, and this is mine. Once upon a time, the word “fragility” meant we weren't to drop a box, or push a glass off the counter top. After leaving the station of fact, our word wandered into a courtroom. A lawyer argued that she was easily broken, that he couldn't handle being questioned, that they denied the privilege they wore on their heads like Sunday hats. Our prose grew more and more heavy, until not only would it not break, but it turned immovable, like a bronze statue in a park. Who that man was mattered to us, but how we transposed him into words did not. They rained on us like rubber bullets. Our parkas frayed and fell apart, fabric scattering like feathers the dog tore up. One man grabbed a woman's ass, while another raped her. According to a spokesman, the (first) one who admitted it was guilty, and the (second) one who did not wasn't. Words hang like donuts on a president's finger as he jabs the air. Turned out he was lying, but we couldn't decide how much that mattered to us. The men I love are good men, but they're fragile. How to reach out with all the delicacy I can muster and pull them down from their perches, or out from under their beds. What are the words I need to use that are light as air and cleansed of judgment? How can I make the word true again? After his uncle's stepson killed himself on veteran's day and a girl fell to her death outside the restaurant where he edited a poem, he told us he was broken. A crushed glass is sometimes truer in the light than one that still sits on the shelf.

--19 November 2017

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