Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Notification of Intent to Disappear

There is violence in the act of writing. Taking thoughts from the mind and putting them down in some physical sense is an act of intention, an expression of will, and any expression of will is an exertion of force on the world.

Some writing is more honest in its violence. The pen is a knife, the slide of the nib across paper the slice of the blade, and what is written can be written over, but never unwritten. The typewriter is a less subtle pound pound pound every key stroke physical and hard pound pound pound until the words are down and won’t get back up, and can never be unwritten.

Computers obfuscate that violence. The key presses are softer, and every letter put down can be erased and unwritten and taken back. It’s easy to forget the consequences that our words and voices can summon when the delete key exists. The only way to acknowledge the violence of the written word in an electronic medium is to have the words read, so that even if unwritten, they cannot be unread.

I have been violent, and that cannot be undone;


I am tired and ashamed;


I need another hangover;


I have nothing left to say.