K.S. ANTHONY: Hundreds of Bodies in a Vast Unmarked Grave

11 October 2022

Hundreds of Bodies in a Vast Unmarked Grave

 There are 438 pieces of writing on this site - 439, if you count this one - and nearly all of them are saved as drafts. I am hesitant to delete them, as they represent over a decade of personal history, and like most everything else that represents the decades of my personal history, I have no desire to engage with them.

For the Chinese bots and rare readers that stumble on this site or still visit 12 years after I started it, these pieces might as well be bodies in a single unmarked grave. You're standing on them with every visit, with no idea what they look like, what their names were, or what significance they played here. It's like looking at the ocean: you might have an idea of what lies beneath its surface... but you don't really know. 

For me, it's a bit different. I see the names, the original dates of publication, the odd cover photo here and there, and, despite the time that's passed since I wrote – and later unpublished – them, I still remember the contexts, if not the content. The contexts are invariably embarrassing, but perhaps 6 - 12 years isn't enough temporal distance to blunt their sting or perhaps I should send everything to my therapist so that we can initiate the processing that it would require to decide whether to delete them all or republish them as some tiring, vulgar Unvarnished Truth About Writing that, if nothing else, might titillate voyeuristic lovers of epistolary novels and run-on sentences. 

Either decision would require digging up these graves; digging up pieces of myself that I was relieved to finally discard. Although there always exists the possibility that I might find some minor treasure – a perfect sentence, a forgotten line of poetry – I would still see it as tarnished by context; it would be unsalvageable except as a sterile relic that other people might enjoy, but that I would cringe at. There is no reason for me to grab the shovel or cast the nets. 

At least not tonight.