By Zak Rosen
If you’ve heard State of the Re:Union, you’ve heard our Dear City Letters, in which we ask listeners to write a letter to the city or town they call home. We’re working on our Brooklyn episode right now, so if you live in Brooklyn and have something you want to communicate about it, here’s your shot! Whether you want to write from a place of love, anger, humor, to express your likes or dislikes or to break misconceptions, we welcome them all.
All submissions should be 400 words or less and submitted via e-mail to me at, email@example.com. Please submit your letter no later than February 28, 2010. Selected letters will be used on the program and aired with the show.
If you’re having writers block, here’s one of my favorite letters from our Detroit episode from Norene Cashen and you can also visit our site; www.stateofthereunion.com for even more examples.
“Dear Detroit,I was born in you like an alien
People looked at the skin and asked, What is she anyway?
I dreamed Zug Island before it had a mouthful of steel.
When it was just an Indian burial ground breathing through soft lips of earth.
You know, it’s beautiful the way you sleep.
Your ugliest parts are naked, and when you turn over on your back the sun hits the hair, sweat, eye lids, and makes the morning feverish.
The kettle sings. The sparrows fall. The geography forgets.
Because you are made in a circle, a mandala of black and white, there’s no forgetting, really.
I’ve loved you in all the wrong ways: indifferent, incomplete, obsessive.They are the same things.
Make a note of it as you carry your blankets up the river to camp with bums on the grass.
Do you have the guts to tell your story on a cardboard sign just so strangers will hand you quarters?
No, God is not in the business of constructing friends for you.
Your hands are in the machine. Your blood is in the suburbs.
Everything that dies does so out of sheer will, out of weariness, out of mind.
But I forget you are the city where my mother spit me out like a Chevy off the assembly line, and I rolled and rolled till I was rusted and lost, only finding you again could make me see how alone I was
How alone we still are.”