Translated by Alexander Booth
And now we’re standing, and I noticed that even with great attention and inasmuch as I had turned to my reading with great attention, that is, took up every word, every phrase, with the greatest devotion, I could not stop unexpected images from arising in my head and changing into other new images, that is, the images came and went and overshadowed the text so that the most diverse apparitions came in and out, appeared disappeared in my head so that I had to wait, pause until the images disappeared, and wiped away I could continue reading—but after a little while everything repeated and I could barely read a text to the end without interruption.
Lit. greyhound and -hint, and is this ever a sassy basin, and I think, I say to EJ, one cannot be realistic and crazy enough when writing and one cannot be infatuated enough with this and that and with this and that person, and all my tears of love, a lot of scribbling in my head and I am now writing figuratively, I say to EJ, and I am too old to let someone tell me what to do, nevertheless sometimes I long to be in a state where I can listen to someone, to my old doctor’s recommendations, e.g., but a couple of days ago a bee stung me on my right index finger, it was a burning kind of pain and I winced, and I walked to the pharmacy and said IT HAD TO HAVE BEEN A BEE but the pharmacist said, if it flew away it was a wasp, a bee that stings you loses its stinger and dies, and everything at heart a puzzle, and over and over this, my geriatric view of things, isn’t that so, and then my blood rushes down to my feet and my nerves were all aflutter. In my lap the scraps of paper warbling as I write, as I move, as I sit, and my doctor says, when your head’s so full then maybe the body grows heavier and loses its sense of balance until, again, something begins to float in your head, etc., a forestroar, without debt without phoenix, so Jacques Derrida. I let myself be carried by my language as if endowed with wings but I don’t see it and it’s got to come on its own.
And I am getting closer to the center of writing and it’s a wonderful cloudy morning and I swallowed a hunk of whitebread and had a stomachache because I swallowed the white bread without chewing, it slid down my throat, smooth and like a lit. snake, and here and there the atelier would be opened up so you could see what all was being made, and I took a higher dose, and my suitcase was lying on the sofa half-packed and I knew I would have to finish packing it that day to be able to begin my trip the following one, and I liked the soft continual drops against the windowpanes and I sit down at the machine and write a clean copy, then a blue vein appeared in my right arm, actually a number of blue veins, variety of violets, and it’s a confluence of blue, isn’t that so, and outside in the hall EJ’s moth-eaten suits, windbreakers, and I walk in and out and past his old clothes, and I am gullible and a skeptic, and I walked up the forest path and there was a lot of shade forestshade and then I sat down on my full rectum and had a bowel hysteria, and I was close to the center of writing and silence, and love came in and out and unparalleled and the chestnut trees along the rich avenue stretched their branches and boughs down over the slope of the meadow and they were stooped, namely, hunched over and I wanted to keep on going in order to reach the outlook at the end of the woods with its unimpeded view, etc., and forkbreakfast.
Through the closed window a passerby’s little cough, my old doctor says, I’d like to have a discreet birthday, but back to the forestshade walk, so I continued slowly on and when I was tired I sat down on a wooden bench to rest and thought about summer’s end, when the rains would come and the fog would come and I would be able to write again, namely, the brainrush in the morning, it dreamed me, then smashing the pale moth against EJ’s clothes with my naked hand, isn’t that so, and something sticking to the wall hanging’s fringe like lifeblood, etc.
This, my poetic process, namely, poetic palpitations while the cuckoo clock allows the wooden bird to hop out, which repels me, namely, to work oneself into the materiality of language that produces electrification. This morning after waking up the second time I think about Gertrude Stein’s sentence : “I am I because my little dog knows me,” and when EJ died I lost the greater part of my identity, had my friends turned away from me I would have lost another part and I would have spun back off into the by-and-large-unconscious state of my early childhood and wouldn’t have known a thing about the world and wouldn’t have known a thing about what was happening or seen any point to life.
And in the morning it’s almost impossible for me to get up and in the evening I need to stretch the day out until midnight because suddenly there are so many things that I want to do, namely, I don’t want to end the day too soon, in other words I can’t get enough of the day that’s drawing to a close, which, in any event, makes the following day’s start all the more difficult.
And I am getting closer to the center of writing and screaming and it is an incredible cloudy day and then it begins to rain and I look out into the rain, and everything that was but is no longer there comes closer, and being alone is a curious thing, isn’t that so, a mixture of anxiety and pride, and then one day followed another without life’s basic questions having been solved, and in the welcoming moon in the welcoming garden “Geibel Service” and at the height of Mother’s head a palm branch.
And I said to my old doctor, that is what makes you so dignified, your discretion, you made me healthy, I say to my old doctor, the logs wood kindling detailed work, I mean, tiniest work of my brain is thanks to you, ach, the gallbladder thyroid stomach. You must know that I’m not a hypochondriac but like every crazy person a solipsist, an egotist, I only go to the doctor, repeatedly, once again, to attempt to halfway cobble together my torn body so that I can carry on with my writing, that’s the whole secret, isn’t that so, breakdown of the glance.
Ach, the secrecy of language behind hedges I’m mad about walking I hear the yapping or signal mechanism in the dahlia cove, etc., I remember a tree on a hill in Rohrmoos a number of years ago, I’ve sealed everything deep inside but can reproduce the image in front of my eyes whenever I want, blue be it this blue heaven, so Hopkins.
When the large red-lobed flowers on the tablecloth : appear in a poem of mine my balance will have been restored, namely, this collection pansy family in its speed with its reverent faces and the glimmer of her eyes it’s a thought flurry a forestroar and in my lap the scraps of paper warbling as I write, as I move, as I sit, and it floraed all around me and I shook myself a beloved, and EJ says, there is nothing outside the text, and the right arm is longer than the left, two black eyebrows on the sidewalk, I say, a few plants shot up on my roof garden probably sunflowers, ach, the menu chair’s wobbling the menu chair creaks and Motherwell says, for years afterward spattered blood appeared in my pictures, while the largelobed red flowers on my table floraed like the moon beyond the window, and I took a higher dose.