Why I Write Personal Essays

January 24, 2017 § 9 Comments

By David Bersell

After Major Jackson

zz-david-bersell-headshotBecause I relate to Kanye West.

Because I am not a rapper.

Because I am not a comedian.

Because I am not a poet.

Because I am like you.

Because you are special, but your loneliness isn’t.

Because a tornado pulled me from my mother’s arm and I learned to fly.

Because AOL Instant Messenger and The Real World killed music videos and newsprint on fingers, on tongue.

Because my war was watching towers fall.

Because trees are beautiful.


Because Joan Didion is a fox.

Because I am where antique-green water meets mud, the in-between.

Because please, because thank you.

Because the train rumbles past my house every day. I used to pause when the walls started shaking, but now I know I am safe.


David Bersell is the author of The Way I’ve Seen Her Ever Since (The Lettered Streets Press) and Nashville Notebook (forthcoming from Ursus Americanus Press). He is from New Hampshire and lives in Brooklyn.

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