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Amber Paulen


During this period—the era of my beginnings—I wrote without capitals. I am retaining that here, as it elevates the sense of ‘feel.’

ahh. . . the sound of the typewriter. it was love at first sight and it only keeps getting stronger. suicide would be in order if this whole writing thing decided not to work out, and i don’t think that is taking it too far. i find it strange that when i say, ‘i write,’ people ask, ‘what do you write about?’ as if thoughts and ideas, these words on paper could be summed up in a few short statements; as if they don’t realize that ideas and words on paper are the reasons for writing. i am sick of shoving my thoughts and ideas into a few short phrases. all is bigger and grander, the scale has been multiplied ten-fold.

‘what do you write about?’ from now on, i am going to answer: ‘a lot.’

silly people. the same silly people who refuse to take it seriously, as if no one has ever done this before; as if no one has done it well before; as if writing is a simple task that everyone begins around the age of five; and that is the type of writing i am doing. i would be one big fucking fool to devote my life to that! do i look like a big fucking fool? maybe in italy i do. but maybe they all do to me.

where did i start again. . . one year ago, one year ago, one year ago. it’s been a long strange trip and i am still tripping over my own feet over and over again. and now it is more visible, too visible. one year ago, one year ago. so strange to think of that person, that me, separated by time and space and ocean and mind. and she is still me, still me one million times over; i am still multiplying, sporing and regenerating.

one year ago, i was counting down to the days of my departure. i was scared. i have gone through these thoughts so many times over, i can write them like a book. . .wait, i am writing a book, over and over and one year ago.

crazy. we are all headed to the asylum. that’s this world. we are fooling ourselves giving names to societies, trying to soft it all over by being humane. or did i mean inhumane?

it’s amazing how writing has opened up the doors to all i have been reading. i have been reading great works knowing they are great, knowing they have secrets embedded in their words for me to unravel. but i did not know where to dig for those secrets; not understanding the contrasts that they use; not experiencing the break from reality until i am sitting at the typewriter and writing one. writing is the greatest freedom i have ever known and it is all mine, mine for the taking!

Rome, Italy
September 2003


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