I’m descending as I write these words. 

I’m flying above the Pacific Ocean as I write these words, refusing to do it, to read or to write.

I’m thinking about my friend, the poet Melissa Buzzeo, as I write these words, and how we used to meditate on summer mornings and winter mornings alike; why did we stop?  How did we begin?

I’m trying to hold in my shit, my urine, my anguish as I write these words.

I’m figuring out how to abandon my family as I write these words.

I’m almost but never quite dead to you, beloved, as I write these words; I should stop using that word, beloved. I’m not English.  I’m not Dutch.

I’m grading papers for an MFA seminar on architecture as I write these words.

I’m sitting with my father as he’s dying in a hospice in north-west London as I write these words, because it’s 1997 and I have been sitting with Jasmine Koller’s Rigpa group in a chintzy sitting room in Ruislip, Middlesex, near the boundary of the Park Woods, where the wild boars were once hemmed in by a skirt of meat and earth.

I’m writing these words because I’m not English, not even on a rainy day.

I’m writing these words because I was recently the victim of an ordinary crime, an internet scam, and sometimes I wake up feeling as if a plastic fork is pressing into the flesh between my diaphragm and my stomach.

I’m writing these words because I just broke up with a balding factory worker called Victor who was reading Watership Down, which I thought was a sign, as it was one of my father’s favorite books.  Alas!

I’m sitting in a café in Boulder, drinking French Press coffee with cream, an indulgence, as I write these words.

I’m thinking about Cecilia Vicuna’s language on migration as I write these words: that the cells migrate, that language migrates, that galaxies migrate.  Why then, she asks, is there so much animosity and dismay towards the figure of the migrant and the rite of the migrant: migration itself? 

I’m eavesdropping on a conversation about a man called Brady, who is a single father, and a massage therapist, who occasionally texts his mother for emotional support, as I write these words!  I think this is his mother, actually.  Confirmation: it is.  She’s worried Brady is overwhelmed.  Umm, yes.  Even I can tell that Brady needs to go swimming in an unpolluted lake and lie on a blanket beneath the July stars, at some point between late April 2016 and mid-August 2019.

………….

*I presume or guess.

That you are a writer too.

Perhaps you could do this.

Write like this.

Write something and end it with: “…as I write these words.”

Too. 

I just did it, right into this blog post, without censoring myself.

Well, I went back and modified the precise impact (on my heart) of the internet scam; I have to say, it was more like a fork-spoon combo (a spork?) from Subway than a truly tined implement. 

That I felt.

Pressing into me.

See?

It’s fun. 

It’s fun to write like this.

It’s horrible.

It’s weirdly pleasurable.

You should try it.

You should go to a café and become you.

To write something, that is.

Until you reach the edges of your life.

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/harriet/2016/04/language-is-migrant/

“As I write these words”: An Experiment in Recursion*
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Bhanu Kapil is the author of five full length books: The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers (Kelsey Street Press, 2001), Incubation: a space for monsters (Leon Works, 2006: forthcoming in a new edition: Kelsey Street Press, Fall 2016), humanimal [a project for future children] (Kelsey Street Press, 2009), Schizophrene (Nightboat Books, 2011), Ban en Banlieue (Nightboat Books, 2015). A roundtable on her work appeared at the Believer, "Reading Bhanu Kapil": http://logger.believermag.com/post/111278518799/reading-bhanu-kapil. Bhanu maintains a blog on the "daily life of a writer" at Was Jack Kerouac A Punjabi?: http://jackkerouacispunjabi.blogspot.com/ And tweets at https://twitter.com/Thisbhanu. She teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing at Goddard College, and for Naropa University's Interdisciplinary Studies program in Boulder, Colorado.
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2 thoughts on ““As I write these words”: An Experiment in Recursion*

  • April 21, 2016 at 5:28 pm
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    As always, moving, exciting, inspiring and deeply sad. Thank you Bhanu

  • April 19, 2016 at 11:46 am
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    Thanks for this piece! It’s truly motivating!

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