Write what you know, conventional wisdom says.
Write what you know.
Only, you know, in a different-enough way to be distinctive.
But not too distinctive.
Invite with your similarity, but be different enough to be interesting.

We can’t look at each other and see perfect images.
We often can’t even see distorted ones.
Art, that imperfect medium, tries to transmit
garbled messages from ghosts,
voices on the edge of hearing in languages we don’t understand,
stories that are full of holes.
“Only if you leave somewhere for someone to enter,”
says conventional wisdom,
“will you be understood.”
Both true and false, these well-worn words with the markings rubbed off.
If I leave a place for you to enter, you fill that place with yourself.
One of the true tricks is to leave a place to enter
filled with light or sound or feeling
so that the reflections or ripples or distortions or additions
reveal what is meant.

Write what you know, says conventional wisdom.
I don’t know what I do.
But I am lucky enough to know echoes.


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