hikikomori: salt constellations
It was enriching to work with the AGNI editors, especially Jennifer Alise Drew, who sharpened the essay’s experience, examining my sentences with me even more closely. I’m a slow writer (I feel like a snail or jellyfish), and I began writing this essay in the middle of tumultuous years. Publishing it was unexpectedly heavy–to confront the subject again and to feel as if I were relinquishing ownership of it. It made me think about the internal/external spaces of being a writer and how we negotiate them. I am grateful for its home in the world.
“Hikikomori: Salt Constellations” is in issue 81 of AGNI, and it also ran on The Literary Hub on April 17, 2015. It was passed out as a pamphlet during AWP at the AGNI booth, if anyone happened to pick it up.
“I wrote down phrases like book of shut and cultural muteness, like a creature in the ocean clicking haphazardly, unsure of what it is sounding for. Increasingly in those years I held the image of water in my mind: the invisible pressure, the sudden self-consciousness of a body submerged, a deep and impressionable and stunning silence.”