Distribution Automatique

Tuesday, July 22


An Arab in Marrakech: Why do you look all around?

Which? To see the faces to hear the
meanings of the voicings or put more
words next to words.

A poet: Something about not asking so
many questions.

Quality moments. Sun. Sound. It has
all happened many times before....

Before the next first
Hold on tight
It's outa sight
All through the night

B does most of the talking. B
speaks to A who listens
neutrally commenting very seldom.
B needs to talk because he
needs to see something about the
totality of his experience: so he
often speaks in generalities. He
is trying to see if there is
some coherence in what he is
saying. He doesn't need A
to say very much because he needs
to understand it himself though
he is so reliant on A's interest and

B: There is something I've needed
to say to you for a long time.
After my father died, or rather,
since my father died, from time
to time...Is this too personal?

A: No. Why?

B: Because sometimes I feel
I shouldn't talk this way. That
people expect you to hold it all
in, to somehow transmute what
one feels and experiences directly,
comprehend it alone, separately.
I don't know what people talk
about. Sometimes I don't know
what to say when people talk to
me, how to respond, almost.

A: You were saying something
about your father.

B: My father was a very
quiet man. Terrific sense of
humor, sometimes, but he didn't
speak very much about himself.
Often,when we were alone
together, as long as an hour,
or two even, he wouldn't say a

A; What did you do?

B: I'd get quiet too. I'd be
afraid to say a word, afraid
to upset him. When I'd talk,
he'd hardly say anything at
all. It was upsetting, confusing,
especially, I suppose, for a
child, an intellectual olne at
that, whoh read a lot of books,
and thought a lot, and needed
to say things and be heard,
responded to.

A; How did you feel towards
him? I mean, did you resent
this, were there other things
to make up for this?

B: There must have been, because
I loved him very much and
I liked to be near him and
didn't especially try to get
away from him when we were
together like that. But what
I was getting at is, now that
he is gone, since he's been...
dead, because he was always
so quiet, I can imagine his
presence very easily. I dream
about him a lot. It takes a
long time to adjust to these
things. Is this bothering you,
my talking like this? Is it
upsetting to you?

A: No. Go on.

B: Once, when I was working
outside at a flea market, selling
magazines, I imagined that
my father ws standing right
behind me. I felt the need to
turn around to see if he was
there. And whenever I dream
about him he is always content,
and often in the dreams he
gives me advice. So, at the
flea market, in the magazine stall,
it seemed he stood behind me
serenely. As if to say, "I'm
here with you just as I used
to be, nothing has changed."
I guess as a child, even
though we didn't talk- even
when he was very sick and I visited
him alone in the hospital, we
couldn't or didn't-even then,
there was a silent communion
between us, I think. He used to
wake me up in the morning to
get me to school so cheerfully
but the conversation would never
go beyond that. And later, when
we drove to work together sometimes
for more than an hour without
speaking. I wonder what he
thought about during those times.
Maybe he was thinking about me.
He used to say I was good at
book knowledge but not at
people knowledge. Maybe he was
disappointed with me because
I was a Momma's boy,
spending hours in the kitchen
over coffee talking with her
about books, about the past,
and what life has to offer.
My mother likes to think a
lot and talk about what she
thinks. From her I learned to
love speech and from him I
learned to love silence. So that
now when I am alone and I
listen to the silence that
surrounds all, that permeates
every moment no matter how full
I often think of him and how
in some way he must have
understood this and could draw
something from it. Now, when
people in my famioly talk about
him, I don't mean my mother
or my brother, but others
who spent much less time with
him, who knew him less well
they themselves are surprised
at how well they remember his
presence and what it felt like.
That mysterious privateness.
How frustrating it was for me
that I couldn't enter into it,
no matter how briefly. You
know, I used to be afraid to
be alone and I wonder how that
connects with the way things
were with me and my father.

A: It must have.

B: I don't knolw. I have to
be certain about these things,
I don't like to guess. I'm
wondering right now, for
example, why I need to talk
about this in this way. Maybe
I should keep it to myself.
I mean, you and I are
talking. I know you understand
what I'm saying, but I feel
I should keep the facts to
myself. I think specifics
are very important and one of
them is that you aren't that
involved with me. But you
chose to be here and one would
think that might be enough.
I like to give myself a lot of
time, to get the explanation
slowly over a long period of
time. In that way I guess
I think I can direct it
more- relates its reality
to the real way I think.
I rememver you talked
earlier about fool lighting.
Out out brief candle. If
I talk this way you might not
think I wasn't explaining
anything to me. Dwelling in
the subconscious I lose
all my dramatic tension. In that
other way I'm no longer
speaking to you. This is
only an instance, this one
about my father, why I
asked you to come. I guess
I figure in ta way it's one way
to go crazy. But do you
listen somewhat horrified
just as afraid as I am.
But if you don't there's
no control and in a way I'm
just falling- falling
down a long chute into
specifics I can name in
order. Maybe telling you
this one is not fair, even
this one time. All emotion
is specific, though (again
giving myself permission)
and the next moments
after this will not be
any less significant.
I taper off like him-
what if they say it's
nothing. Anyway I
don't owe them any images.

A: I think you drifted

B: I guess I did. I
guess what I really
think is that specifics
are the most interesting
when they're sub-conscious.
Everything has it's own
private meaning. I don't like to
distinguish betgween the parts
of life that make you feel
excited and the other part you
find incredibly tedious and
contrived. But I think the
most important thing is
that I told you about my father.

I shouldn't worry about
how to write- I lost
it all that time- I
let it go...I lost control.
I guess what I learned from
them the incredible importance
of the specifics. If no oone is
interested then I am no one.
Narcissism. Loss of concentration
can be followed closely
by physical exhaustion.
The trouble with prose is
it demands experiences
of physical movement over
long periods of time. This
helps bring my attention to
my increasing lack of concentration.
It feels as if there is no
more or hardly any more bits
of consciousness left. In
a sense I am pushing myself
forward mercilessly like a
soldier. The Kafka
poem. I was working on
perfecting how to do those
when I switched to prose due
to a first class runner.

Now it's

a) Licking postabe stamps
b) nothing.

Concentration and pushing the
pen. Right now, as always,
the pen feels awkward in my
hand. But I used to print poems
in short lines on the page and
immediately type them up. But
this space is really hard to
market like that.

The situation (the specifics)
A kind of figuring out
by obsessional thinking.
There seem to be orders
demanding decorative figures,
for example, wooden parakeet
cages. But I need to let the
day go fast as often
as I want.

Let the day go fast
so slow down the day

As I listen I hear contradictory

Isolate yourself
Build your own world
Write poems
Travel the strange road inward
I hear the enchanting
Song of the bells
Each bell rings once
And its a new bell
You do it because it feels good
YOu're lost, you're making it up

I put anything in the spaces
I let myself lose track
I put spruces in the empty part of the sentence
I am sure, I become unsure
So little is permitted by the
authoritarian voice (my father)
who labels it not usable.