On Writing and Religion;
or, Indefinite Directions to the End
of Language

Igor Rybak

From Issue 2

Papa says that if I am going to be a writer, I need to find my voice.
I tell papa, I have, it’s called Chekhovian.
Papa says he does not appreciate blasphemy.
It is you who is being blasphemous, I whisper.
Papa looks up. Did you say something? he asks.
Papa, I say, isn’t Jesus happy when the Christians try to imitate him?
Papa says, Chekhov is not Jesus.
Papa is correct. He is always correct.

Writing is like playing piano:
You sit with your back straight and press down on keys.
When some people hear about what you do, they say, I would like to take that up.
Others say, That’s great, but they don’t really care.

I have no time to do anything, is always a lie.
I have no time to do anything else, is sometimes true.

Writing is different from playing piano:
It is common to take private piano lessons from a young age; unfortunately, the same is not true for writing.
It is easier to get your poetry published for money than it is to get your waltz published for money, even at a reduced rate.

Indefinite directions to the end of language: Why?n

Praying is like writing: you must be good to be heard, they say.
Praying is different from writing: editing your prayers is useless because He sees and remembers every draft.

I say, Only in dreams can an absent man be the star of the show.
Mama looks to the sky. Then she crosses herself.

Igor Rybak is a silly man who writes serious stories.