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March 20, 2023

Aphasia Remembered

By Julian O. Long

Aphasia Remembered

-- In appreciation of Sheila Maldonado's "window on my
part-time employer in the one building that was once two"

If I think about it I know I'm typing
signifiers, letters that point to sounds.
'Writing is its own building' as in
a poem I read this morning, each writing
its own system of graphemes pointing to
equally arbitrary phonemes, particular in
their arbitrariness; I also know the panic
that ensues when one's keyboard
stops working --

panic as though
the world has just ended -- but before
the onset, a moment of absolute clarity
pure mindfulness, like 767s flying into
those towers before the burst of flame,
I didn't know I had had a stroke
that unknowledge gripped my mind
like a vise, and only later would I fight
'to get back to the letter, back to the building.'
Now that utter clarity comes back only as
a simulacrum. I remember, but do not know it
as I did that day my keyboard stopped working,
sent a signal to towers everywhere.

Article © Julian O. Long. All rights reserved.
Published on 2022-05-30
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