Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Weekly Workshop: Dead Letters

This workshop is courtesy of Swink Magazine, an online literary journal featuring poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and special sections, including the Dead Letter Office. These are letters written but never sent, lost in that pile of papers on your desk, perhaps, or blown away by the wind on your way to the post office. These are the letters you've always wanted to write, composed each word and sentence in your head until it was perfect, but never put to paper. Or letters that should have been written, but in this day and age became a text or an email.

What would you say if you knew no one was going to read it? Here's your chance to be utterly truthful and blunt, if you like. Or tell an old secret. Tell someone off. Revisit a past shame. Whatever needs to be said, but never did. Peruse the archives, read examples, and then write your own. Submit if you like.

from Open Letter to the Stray Cat I Abandoned in the Southwest

You came to my door, unabashed, and bathed yourself in rhythm to the swamp cooler’s hum. You proved to me you were clean. My neighbor and I watched you and Hugo in the eucalyptus brush. You reunited him with his inner hunter, and he brought you inside, stood watch while he shared with you his organic, low-ph food, the likes of which you had never tasted. It did not compare, I suppose, to fresh pigeon.

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