Distribution Automatique

Wednesday, January 28

Notebook: 5/18/79

It took me a long time to
realize that you didn't like my
body. Even if it were a cover
for something else, a whole series
of contrasts, I wonder if now I'm
talking to you through someone else.
My art, to get back to you. I
add things on to memories. English
is anguish- a public memory.
The memories we shared- here is a
book of that, a bunch of snapshots
handed to you like flowers. Of an
evening, an evensong beginning on
a harsh note should be recognizable
to you, but would be less and
more spoken to you in French. I've
never been in love with you in
English, I'll trade languages with
you privately. A dumb song, so
many notes of which, fogging the
windows, tipping back and forth the
focusing of meanings- again, a
map disappearing into history,
fading, found, melting regularly
into political absence, not names,
before and after in harmony.
French is prepositional, but your
language is English, its tune
belongs in a gas station managed
by a mustachioed attendant.
It's your baby now, your car,
I mean really her car, her cargo
of gifts bearing me along so
slowly- a book of words the best
gift of all. You didn't realize of
course that not speaking French with
you finally came to symbolize the
dissolution of our relationship and that
was a powerful thing to happen, to
let myself float along like this
struggling endlessly with your absence,
with your multiplicity and the harsh
precise tones of my mother tongue.
English, you burst open
in a welter of voices, chorus
of voices rising over the traffic's
monotonous breathing. Before the
pronouncement, all that angry
repetition, the moldy collection of
papers, I got angry with the
way someone cleverly simplified
your gestures, speeding them up,
flashing them sharply, cracking them
loudly in the tension of two
people silently communicating inside
the hum of a descending elevator.
Out in the street English is also
silent, that is, language consists
of messages in silence, translated
partially into several languages-
Italian, Spanish, French, Chinese,
Arabic- possibly a little
Hindustani & Greek & Russian.
Bass voices, a welter of
synapses clicking reminders-
weather, hunger, rage, appointments,

[to be continued]