The Three Corpses
From the beginning, I knew that terror is a god. But now, I also believe that what might sound like a death rattle is merely the echo of ancestral song.
Jami Nakamura Lin is the author of THE NIGHT PARADE (Custom House/HarperCollins 2023), a memoir in essays that uses Japanese monster myths to investigate her bipolar disorder, her father's death, and other things that haunt us. A Catapult columnist, she's written for the New York Times, Electric Literature, and other publications.
She was the recipient of a 2016 Creative Artists Fellowship from the Japan-US Friendship Commission and the National Endowment of the Arts and a 2015 Walter Dean Myers Award from We Need Diverse Books.
Twitter: @jaminlin / jaminakamuralin.com
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Are these the only two stories? The one, where you defeat your monster, and the other, where you succumb to it?
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It’s easier to cut people out than to learn to differentiate between the chronically demanding and the occasionally needy. It’s war, we tell ourselves.
I do not have flesh; I only have ghosts. In this story, the dead are only what I say they are. Does this make them less real?
Perhaps the certainty that you are not the monster—that no matter what you do, you will never become the monster—is what gives rise to monstrous behavior.