This is the letter that will be going at the beginning of the book of poems I’ve been working on for mmm.. Seven months now? Maybe one day it’ll happen. Here you go-
August 28th, 2014
A very formal introduction
To a very non formal flimsy book
Of sometimes mediocre poetry.
Or, a feeling to share.
Earlier this year I acquired a typewriter. It isn’t the first one I’ve been able to set fingers to keys on, but it is the first one I’ve been able to call my own. I had high expectations for this typewriter. I envisioned myself hunched over, laboring over some piece that the world would never read. I’d be exhausted and strung out, driving the keys home. Every ounce of my energy sucked dry by this beautiful machinery. I wanted to live for this instrument, be its life force, it’s blood. I wanted to be the person I always saw in my mind. The skin and bones, the coffee drip that played the part of morphine, the dark circles. If I were male, the five o’clock shadow that would never leave my face. I wanted that so, so badly. Today I finally investigated said typewriter and to my dismay, it is nothing of what I thought it would be. I know, I mean, I imagine it isn’t so easy to find a has been from the sixties still in working order, but I had hoped so hard it hurt.
My typewriter doesn’t do much without help. The platen doesn’t travel on it’s own as it should. Every letter is forced to be typed on top of the one before it. This is a big problem, bigger than I thought I would have when originally lugging the thing home. Everything else on it, for the most part, is in okay condition. The ribbon isn’t even dried out completely. I can make faint letters in red or black ink, but always in the same spot. When I manually move the platen, using the carriage release lever, it flies in the correct direction and even makes that lovely ding! that I always adored about my Pepere’s.
Regardless of my new ill feelings toward the once impressive hunk of memories, I decided I would clean it up. I would pluck every pine needle from it’s case and I would polish off any spots. Rid its metal body of all dust and use it as a decorative piece in a home I don’t yet have. I cleaned deliberately, fully, relentlessly until it shined. Once I was done doing the easy bits, I decided to rub each key clean gently, pressing them in one by one with my pointer finger protected by a tissue, soaked in a bit of solution. I felt the indent of each key, the care that was taken in creating the beauty in front of me. Meant for comfort, for class. Cleaned up, she looked real nice.
As I continued to press each key I noticed how well each of them worked. All of them except the ‘I’ key. For some reason this sucked me in and made my head spin. The thought of the ‘I’ key getting hammered in repeatedly by it’s previous owner made my insides uncomfortable. It felt like a million remember when’s that belonged to he or she just came out on to the tissue, which then wrung itself out, and soaked into my poor, vulnerable skin. It caused me to look into where my typewriter was made, when it came to be, what the make of it even was.
My beauty is from the sixties. Sixty six to be exact and she was made for convenience. That case that she came in? It’s attached to her. Like a hermit, she never leaves home. It was supposed to make my poor Galaxie portable. I can only imagine how much she has seen, how much she has felt, how much she has heard. That being said, if you haven’t been able to tell, I fell in love with my typewriter today. Staring at her dust free insides, her polished, pale blue exterior. The color every appliance back then was painted. She makes my mind reel and kick itself. I can imagine her previous owners, I can imagine who they were and what they loved. I can imagine the life my old girl has had, having her ‘I’ key jammed in by some pretentious, New York twat that was only ever worried about what he or she had to say. I thinks this and I want that, I prefer this and I hate that. Not ever worrying themselves with what their instrument had to tell them.
I feel that scoring my Galaxie was a stroke of luck, some sort of stupid destiny. I believe it was meant to fall into my lap, to enjoy it’s retirement and recollect. It was meant to be by my side wherever I move, to be cleaned and caressed affectionately. That ‘I’ key forever getting stuck. And from here on out, I’ll be the savior, the one gently returning the arm to it’s home.
Here is a collection of poems I wish I could say I wrote, hunched over my beloved blue babe. Instead I have to be honest and tell you that they were most definitely written on a phone, on paper, on a computer here or there. A discarded napkin or recorded In pieces while driving. This collection of poems was written in the company of my typewriter and the thought of her. Though originally that would have felt so wrong to admit, I’m happy to say I haven’t caused any further damage to such an old broad. And I’m even happier to say that she’s been an on going inspiration to me.