By Kevin Hodgson
I stand accused of being nothing more than
a pajama novelist
padding about in bare feet
with fingers twitching on my cell phone
as I unleash yet another sentence, word by word by word,
into this text-ural world.
My accusers use their diplomas for prosecution
as if a piece of paper
might yield some artifact from the past
to determine the present state of affairs
when words are so cheap that anyone is a poet;
anyone, a novelist;
anyone, a composer.
Locked into the ribbon of their old punch-key typewriters,
they don’t imagine that writing can ever be different than it was,
that it might change with the pulse of the times
and become stories scribbled out on the thumbpads
during the afternoon commute back home.
Odysseus remains lost in the mire
but Genji is alive and well,
immersed in the politics of the palace
of internal intrigue which we — the denizens of Keitai Shosetsu —
pick and choose from of the remains of the skeletons
of the past.
Yet who am I to defend myself as I sit in anonymity,
disguised as a woman of heartache
whose lover is in chains;
whose past remains broken;
whose heart is in flames;
with passions, spoken: all for public consumption
as I sip my beer and imagine the possibilities.
A million hits can’t be wrong — a million eyes on the screen —
as they wait with eagerness
while my accusers stew in their discordant certitude
that this signal the End of the Novel.
So yes, I plead guilty to charges
and wait for the jury of my peers — one million strong —
to come to my defense so we can write this new tale of ours: