Text Me: A Puzzle

Text, a verb meaning to send someone words on a mobile device, like a cell phone. I admit, I’m frequently troubled when language undergoes transformation. Wrote becomes texted, and this expression is so foreign to me, it feels wrong. Yet, when nouns become verbs there is an excitement about the subtle change in movement. In fact, somewhat hypocritically, I have been known to change nouns to verbs myself, for poetical effect.

When I hear my cell phone chime, I alternate between feelings of excitement and worry. A new text! Ha! What adventure waits? Whoa, what’s wrong now? If I could receive an awesome text to start my day, any of the following would have me doing cartwheels:

meet me 4 dinner – Taylor Swift
The voice in ur story compels – Junot Diaz
Ur mystery rocks! – Michael Connolly
Your book has been accepted – Little, Brown
Applebees? Hugs – Lynette

Text: A Puzzle

Text, the content of written work, like a book, speech, content in a textbook, and the text of a play. Words have the power to excite, depress, enliven. If my life was a play and I was the director, it would be called “Dreams Come Home.” It would go like this:

A chance meeting with Kristen Bell leads to a discussion about my screenplay, “A Mother’s Dilemma,” in which a change of heart prompts a previously estranged daughter to surrogate her mother’s baby. Kristen decides to produce and star in the film, which shoots locally here in Port Huron. I’m frequently on the set as script consultant. Our propinquity leads to a breathtaking May-December romance. Dax Sheppard is out of the picture by then–sorry Dax.

Meanwhile, the Ken Knoll Mystery Series has taken off, with my fifth murder mytery, “The Entombed Executive,” debuting on the New York Times Best Seller list at number two. In a weird twist of fate, Dax Shepard wins the starring role in “The Civic Center Corpse,” the first movie to be made from the book series. Which is also strange because that’s the novel that has Ken Knoll dating an actress he meets at the murder scene, a character which was inspired by Kristen Bell. Luce Hale plays the part in the movie.



brakes are off the car
traffic is clear
no stoplights
tank is unlimited
scenery is lush
sun shines
music flows
speed and direction are
operators choice

let out the clutch
and fly


eyes closed,
waft a dream

grit slips away, we glide
free, dance on silk rainbows

mist seeps in wisps of
rises, floats
forms a playground

green marbles drop
rain from giddy skies,
strike flippers,
roll, clang carnival bells

lights like fireworks
glorify the day

About Christian Belz

Christian Belz has been a practicing architect in Metro Detroit for 28 years, and is a member of Detroit Working Writers. He won the Grand Prize in Aquarius Press's 2011 Bright Harvest Prize for his short story "Chambers." His fiction has appeared in Writers' Journal, The Story Teller Magazine, and Wicked East Press's anthology: "Short Sips, Coffee House Flash Fiction Collection 2." He is currently seeking publication of his first two murder mysteries, featuring architect sleuth Ken Knoll.
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