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letters to editors by (Sergio)



In my other life I have a wavering addiction to sodium bicarbonate, fall in love with married women, and never tie my shoes. I write letters to the mailmen and have yet to get a reply. It's a similar principle to the fact that the longest hold times you will ever experience are during calls to the phone company. On Sundays I take several vows of silence. But on Mondays I start writing letters to the newspapers. I write so many letters that there is no space left for the articles. So many words that I cannot spare the space for punctuation. The paperboy hits the streets and it is my letters all over everywhere, reading themselves and being read, lying misspelled on the streets until the mud puddles provide enough buoyancy to lift them off the paper and float them down gutters and into alleys where they take shape as old men strung up in coats, stray dogs, and babbling widows with dandelions in their hair.

An excerpt, from the June suchandsuchblahblah edition, 1909:

"At the expense of more than a little thought put into the last eighty-three hours mulling over each incoming experience with various degrees of attention, where ideals and possible pasts pop off the side light at a dubious rate, where more jelly poems than sticks once shook, where the bankroll that the thieves took, where you, scabbed over exchequer of this or that or the other whimsy--not able to be kept on the flimsy plate, where your next adventure turns out to be your next excuse, your latest regret, where you can turn tail on even this kind of guilt-ridden chamberpiece, this formal forget-me-not, this investment, where dollars fall at the same rate as bowling balls from your ten-story pockets, where you can lose anything, anything at all, without a moment's hesitation or regard for your own future self, regenerated cell by cell after seven years eluding sufficiently reasonable substantiation.

(Every disaster that you might foresee,
has spun off already
into the oblivion of surprises sprung--

The future feigns foretelling,
this is our moral and our misspelling)

and given the chance to breath, to look around, you were just sitting in that chair in your one-room apartment, writing letters to editors. The blue double lap of the word processor reflecting off your glasses. Somehow you can project such an image from the inside, catch yourself in the mirror, sit over across the room as yesterday's self, or as someone else, or as a video camera, and make the remark that two tiny computer screens have replaced the eyes that supply no evidence to the contrary.

how many different worlds can you burst out onto having drooled thyself to drift, under a candle moon, along the very tips of trees, dealing out the wind to cigar-wielding mounties, plugging up the pigeon holes with their tiny red badges.

End transmission."

In my other life, these words do not get lost in the shelved shuffle of conditioned abhorrence. They mean something to real people, going real places. They are bite-sized idealicious treats, made out of chocolate and love letters. They watch you from the doorstep as you go off to work. They eagerly await your return and rub your feet when you do.

They are as gentle as an eardrop, a chorus of the elated, handing your attention one to the other until you have been transplanted like a feather into a hat, like a fellow into his other life, like eyes to the far shore of the page.



(Sergio) is currently living large in Western Montana, translating "The Adventures of Fiction Clemens" into English.


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