La sagrada tarea

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Today I read
about a man
who has spent
the past thirty
years writing
someone else's
biography.
And he's still
not finished.

Not to quibble
with anyone's
life's work, but
that's a lot of
years to spend
on somebody
else's life.
I'm not sure
I've even spent
that much time
on my own.

How does that
even happen?
A random turn,
a shiny detour,
and suddenly
you've walked
a hundred miles
in someone
else's shoes?
Too late to
turn back, the
only way out
is through?

No doubt my
own devotion
to invented lives
in invented times
and places
would look as
puzzling to him.
What, reality not
good enough?
Earth not room
enough for you?
I guess not.

Or maybe they're
really the same
thing, these
painstaking
recreations of
unknowable
worlds, fictions
based in fact
or vice versa--
cathedrals
never to be
completed in
our lifetimes,
which, with luck,
will still draw
tourists after
the architects
are dead.

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William Shunn

About This Entry

This page contains a single entry by William Shunn published on March 5, 2012 9:30 AM.

Book review: "Raylan" by Elmore Leonard was the previous entry in this blog.

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