Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Swatting flies and irregular verbs

This is an excerpt from my novel about Sri Lanka, "The Longest Tweet." In this section I explore some questions of ambiguity. 


Swatting flies and irregular verbs 

Why did my guesthouse owner swat flies with decrepit plastic remnants of fly swatters that smelled like dead fly? What happened when he was in Batticaloa in the Sri Lankan Air Force? Why was he there, west of Batticaloa when there were dozens of bases, maybe hundreds, in other parts of the country? Where does force come in in the peace process? And where are we mistaken in calling it a process? This is why he considered writing about peace in the context of design process. It could be parsed. It could be compared. It could wring tangible from the intangible. And the intangible could be wrought from the tangible. Irregular verbs, he learned, were often the most commonly used verbs. This speaks perhaps to their utility, their flexibility, their instrumentality. Can one tweet about verbs but curtail the verbiage? May a deep night silence hold verbs invisible and unheard?

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