Distribution Automatique

Friday, January 30

Notebook: 5/18/79 [continued from 1/29]

...No, I'm not
too afraid to hug you in English,
its we were afraid to talk in
French & make love in English, or
in both languages at once,
hearing the thought, for example,
in Spanish, heard like a Peruvian
folk song, pictured in
painted abstraction,
not to be said in blacks &
blues, written &
spoken, lightly transparent.
Fissures, I know, when naked &
holding we were children again,
not yet speaking only English,
but the languages we
brought with us- Italian,
German, Polish, Russian &
French. Licking you, kissing
you, biting you was all in
Italian once, but you felt
in in Engish so I tried to
translate it back into French
in broken American which you
would certainly never hear &
understand. But this way there
would somehow be a record of it,
though no matter how fast I
write it in English it would
gloss over every bit of the
Italian gestures you were feeling
in Boston Engish. Written
English, which singled out your
musically abrupt, practical gestures-
first I saw them as rough,
later efficient & mechanically
beautiful, but, since you couldn't
melt in Italian or Spanish or
French I found a German
Jew who understood my
French but insisted on speaking to
me in 19th Century English, prim
& proper & this angered me,
so I thought only in French &
thus escaped part of the rage,
though my German was good
enough to fight with & my
French made good conversation for
the German drinking you did.
It wasn't schizophrenic, what
we were doing, it was
a United Nations having a big
fight with jammed
circuitry, so that in one ear you
might be getting French &
in the other ear English, while
I would be decoding it all in
Italian, Russian & Polish,
once in awhile recording a
snatch of it in abstract
English-American, of course,
fragmented by Freud's
associational German, which
was good, especially during
analytic sessions, when you
didn't talk at all & I spoke
in several languages consecutively &
in that way all at once.
You only pretended to understand,
you only pretended to be you in
English while I saw you & I
together in a French film with
English subtitles. The plot,
dragged out endlessly, is full
of disguised messages, coded out
refractions, juxtapositions of
French & English, The Italian
version of the movie had
Scandinavian actors & Spanish

I feel an anxiety about our
conversation- you're leading it so
steadily in Italian & while I'm
translating it into French, I'm answering
you in English which is not half
as fast as your Italian. If I speak
in French you listen. Once, when I
thought you were listening to me in
French yhou were actually probably
hearing it in Engish, because you
were answering me in English, directly &
clearly in honest English tones. Yet I would
have liked if we both could have
spoken in French, or Italian, or
both of them together. But you insist
on speaking to me quickly in Italian,
which patiently I translate into
English thinking
about your meanings seriously & exactly.
I should talk to you strictly in
Italian & ask you to answer me in
Italian, if we do talk again so
seriously & so long- so afterwards
if we make love we should make love in
Spanish & kiss in French & make love
much more in Spanish. Then we
should speak only Italian & slowly,
slowly in Italian & not translate it back into