Formless, genderless, and yet, a teller of stories. A narrator to the nation but anonymous. The Ghostwriter rides the apostrophes and semicolons like a grammarian hustler. Tipping her, or his hat, to the invisible mores of our cultural inclinations. A wordsmith without peer on the frontiers of our literary appreciation. Now you see him and now you don’t. Can you hear the inflection of the author? Do you perceive the true voice of your hero? Do you know the difference between an allusion and a lie? Wherefore art thou Romeo? Who is stirring your pot on the stove in this reading hour?
Who Sees The Ghostwriter?
I knew a ghostwriter in a previous incarnation,
He stood just out of view.
Between the lines and somewhere below the surface,
She made her invisible mark upon the pages.
He, She, It – had much to say,
On behalf of other people.
The stylish prose was persuasive and to the point.
The only ambiguity identity.
Oh, Ghostwriter, sing me a song like the sirens.
Tell me a tale like Homer.
Do what you do from beneath the sheets.
Make me keen with exclamation points.
Then, it was over and the book was finished.
All those words and sentences unjumbled on the page.
All that hoped for meaning forgotten for an age.
Ghostwriters and gigolos nobody ever marries.
Do they leave a taste on the lips?
A faint intangible imprint?
I very much doubt it in this age of celebrity and false conviction.
AI is coming for these literary geists!
The deepfakes are on our doorstep.
ChatGPT has swallowed terabytes of fiction and its counterpart.
Consumed like cigarette smoke in newsrooms once was.
Calls upon the union of Ghostwriters go unheeded.
Lacking substantial form these shades and wights remain mere apparitions,
Lacking Facebook pages and other notable means of reality to confirm their existence.
I knew a Ghostwriter once…..
Robert Sudha Hamilton is the author of Money Matters: Navigating Credit, Debt, and Financial Freedom.