Adding Texture Day 2 - Directly Addressing Inanimate Objects

This exercise is about directly addressing inanimate objects or other things that cannot reply. This is a tool that is useful for a few reasons: 1) it often comes as a surprise, 2) it can reveal a certain emotion (like despair in not having anyone to talk to or attachment to a specific object), and 3) it forces us to use language to almost bring life to something that is lifeless.

Here are some example songs:

Thursday - Resuscitation of a Dead Man : This song directly addresses an ambulance through the verses and makes specific requests of the ambulance.

Willie Nelson - Hello Walls : In this song, the first verse addresses the walls. The second verse addresses the window. And the third addresses the ceiling. Basically, talking to the these things about a failed relationship.

Lisa Carver - Wake Up Older : In the second half of the first verse, she directly addresses a bottle of Jim Beam asking for insight.

Paul Simon - The Sound of Silence : The first line addresses darkness. This allows him to speak to the darkness as an old friend about why it is comforting after just having a dream.

These are quick summaries of the songs, there is a ton of meaning behind each one. But, for this exercise we are interested in the idea of addresses something that won’t respond. Many songs address diaries. I decided not to list those as examples because it is somewhat expected (many people begin each entry with something along the lines of “Dear Diary”). But a unique way of addressing that is also useful (the way Anne Frank calls her diary Kitty to treat it like a friend).

Exercise: Pick out something, an object, an emotion or feeling, a concept, and write a few lines to the thing you picked out. After you write a few lines, describe what you wanted to achieve. It can be simple like the above. But that will help us in reading them since we likely will not have a full song’s worth of context to go on.

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Thank you for keeping my head down
Your letters entwine in front of my eyes
With all of these strangers around
The danger is clear in the forefront of my mind
Your dust jacket embraces my hands
The way your ink smudged on page nine
If imperfection is your demand
I’m your man, and I won’t ever take you back to circulation
The date inside your pocket won’t stand
My dear hardcover companion

NOTE: I was writing to a library book. Trying to convey some shyness/anxiety/paranoia on the narrator’s part. Even though there are people around, the book is the only partner he needs and is striving to avoid any interaction. He dreads the fact that the due date is approaching is devastating to him.

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