Friday, June 11, 2010

Persian for "Neda" means Voice / we are Neda

I've long been affected by Neda's story. Since her very public murder last June, she has been a fixture in my mind. I am so grateful there is now the documentary "For Neda" (thank you HBO). This is something everyone should watch. The first couple minutes show her dying on camera, so if you don't want to be affected, don't watch.






Last August or so, I began writing Belen, my novel. In this one little paragraph, I have an omniscient voice speaking directly to Neda & then to the character Belen. The narrator has watched Neda dying--the narrator knows Belen has too seen the murder & is thinking on death herself; death is warned against.


If you yourself were offended, rejoice with me neighbors & friends, I have my sheep back that were lost. If he found your skirt was too long, your very breadth appalling, you are swung back, nipped into the thought transom you should be alone. You are okay. The younger son must be riotous, in want, & the daughter, hmm. If longing were your chestbone condition, velvet your ears from the hearing; Neda, I’ve not felt political urges of dissent against a government in a long while, but your condition, it affects me. I watched your death on the street. Belen the fourth story flight up is long down & you would hurt your limbs or lungs from the air rush. Quiet now, the hot water is working & your state is to not be such chaos, today.


~

I've been writing very "religiously" for awhile now. By "religiously" I don't mean prolifically, even though I have, I mean I've been steeped in the language of religions--appropriating religious language in ways in which I see useful, from the Bible & other "religious" sources. (This is pretty much only in the poems, none of which I have published yet.) Cixous spurned me forward with talk of "those he-bible". This sort of language both terrifies me & confound, but in this pull of being horrified & amazed, I find a voice for writing/re-writing something "sacred" into something itself "sacred" that is utterly secular, but which I find deeply personal & political, deeply deeply feminist at its roots. Even though I've been at it (in one way or another) for nearly a year, this is the first time I'm even close to being able to articulate where my head is at with the writing. Onward!