limits of language

Limits of Language OR Re-Writing Life Redux

“But in order to make you understand, to give you my life, I must tell you a story–and there are so many, and so many–stories of childhood, stories of school, love, marriage, death,and so on; and none of them are true. -Virginia Woolf, The Waves I was a clumsy kid. I’d be willing to bet…

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Re-Writing Life

In one of the earliest examples of autobiography that the literary canon possesses, Jean-Jacques Rousseau acknowledges the inconsistency of memory. Somewhere in the early sections of The Confessions–between the detailed descriptions of his public flashing and private masturbation–Rousseau writes: I am writing entirely from memory, without notes or materials to recall things to my mind.…

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DD Wright Brings Poetic Soul to Internet Airwaves

UPDATE: The below interview ran the week of the first episode of Poetic Soul. Since then, the show has moved from the 6:30 PM time slot to the 9:00 PM time slot. The show can still be heard live at blogtalkradio.com/poetry2life as well as on demand later in the week. Welcome to another special Virtual…

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Waiting for Inspiration

This is not the typical Virtual Napkins post. This has been on my mind for a while, and I thought I’d bat it around for a bit with you folks. Have you ever been to a poetry reading on a college campus? These events can range from the tedious to the awesome. (I saw Kim…

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Stories That End with an Ellipsis

The streets were full of zombies and half-naked devils with long legs and effective bras. Tod and I were in line at The Vortex in Little Five Points (L5P) hoping to get a burger and a beer (or several). If you’ve never been to Little Five Points in Atlanta, Georgia, it’s…something. It’s a small neighborhood…

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Trigger Warnings and the Right to Be Offended

A number of years ago, I was living and teaching in a small city in south Georgia. I assigned a short story to my honors lit/comp students called “At the Auction of the Ruby Slippers.” The story is by one of my favorites, Salman Rushdie. It is his typical mix of the magic and the…

Visual approximation

Lessons in Cartography

Cartography, or the act of map-making, is something that we take for granted–especially in a world with GPS and Google Earth. It hasn’t always been that easy to see the shape of a landmass, though, and throughout history, the task of mapping out a given territory fell to the cartographer. This was a particularly important…