I can’t tear my eyes away from traumatic childhoods, comme un lecteur, the memories of hunger and madness when we were eight will latch to my mind. I’ll read Dorothy Allison or Margarite Duras feeling that lovely jungle darkness of vipers and scarlet-lipped flowers. Alors, j’ai lu Widow Basquiat, une memoire de Suzanne Mallouk, being one who is endlessly fascinated by la vie bohème in New York City expecting the silvery drugs and purple draped clubs of the early ‘80s. What actually happened was more along the lines of watching a stoning of a raven, Suzanne the raven, Suzanne the high head and blue black hair and sharp mouth and deep all-seeing eyes. Despite the rain she glistens and flies. Clement writes the memoir as if Suzanne had handed her a stack of photographs with “Madonna - 1964” “ Michel and Shenge - 1st and Madison” ... so it could be a speedy experience, reading Widow Basquiat, if you wanted it to be. I mean to say that the book is not divided by chapters, by a space of time, by an event well enough completed to become another (chapter 1, chapter 2, chapter 3) rather it is divided by moments. Each moment, being a moment, doesn’t take up much space on the page at all. Yet I found myself slowing the rove of my read down to a mouthing aloud of the sounds she was making to the tracing of the shadows. I’d find myself unable to move on from one, reading "Only One Chromosome is Missing" forward and back again. There is not much elucidation of Jean-Michel. Love often clouds, and as Suzanne observes, he acted differently around certains. Andy Warhol was a certain. Madonna was a certain. I was not familiar with him prior to reading Widow Basquait. He died four days after I was born due to complications of heroin abuse and AIDS. On August [.....]
« Sautes desous, fixes tes yeux sur le point désiré et ne regards rien d'autre. Se jetes. Comme, en ce moment-là, tu connaîtras seulement ce point, car ce point est la seule chose qui existe, tu arriveras par là. Même si la terre tombe. Même si le vent bat ton corps, tu gagneras ce point-là. » Nous sommes sur la montagne derrière la maison de ma grand mère. Les pierres sont rouges, un rouge profonde, qui semble le cuivre rouillé et chaud. C'est très chaud ici. C'est toujours très chaud ici. L'air est doux avec un sent du romarin. Ayant marché jusqu'à ce qu'on ne peut pas marcher plus, on s'est tourné vers la vallée : une ville de lavande, composée essentiellement d'espace. On voit de points de lumière fragile qui vit comme s'ils ne savent pas s'ils sont vivants vraiment. Quand on rend visite ma grand mère, on ne vient jamais à la ville. On la déteste. J'avais gardé qu'il m'avait dit. Mes yeux fixés, je vois une ville
This means blue, its roots not Armenian nor Germanic. This is a blue that needs no roots for it is the purest of its type and exists by means of suspension. Je ne connais pas Reno, he explained, je ne le connais pas du tout. Moi non plus, je voulais le dire, je suis si bleu là. He is here to research the Basque culture as it is constituted in Nevada. He speaks Spanish, Basque, French and Italian, but English rather poorly. I've seen him walking perdu dans ses pensées à l'université, toujours seul avec un fantôm d'un sourire autour de sa bouche. I've seen him once downtown, in the same style, a funny owl limping down the sidewalks with eyes only for his mind. So observing I might catalogue son mien as I tend to catalogue color after color for their muting and their shine. Je pense de bleu dans mon lit, en train de se dormir, a conversation forming like rain upon a pane. Dors, je dis. Non, je dis. Le bleu, c'est fleu. I dip from one language to the other. And you, dear man, what a jungle gym your thoughts must be. He's here, having forged his academic destinies in northern Spain, to sand down the splinters on the bridge separating the old world from the new. Son but, pour moi, rest inconnu, mais je dirais fleu : un but qui va évoluer, une petite cellule divise en deux . Le bleu, suspendu sur a pale yellow
I heard the heater pop. My heart jumped sharply. I am afraid of you breaking and entering by my bedroom window. I am afraid of you breaking and entering, yet, hopeful too. You’ll give me enough time won’t you? For me to shove you back from the sill a seven foot leap and fall on December’s frost and wait for my candle, for my basin of water, my gauze, my needle and thread to sew you up nicely in comforting half-tones, “ Don’t you scare me like that again.” Wind is picking up again, finding the flutes embedded in the drain pipes. The radiator’s spasm still has my heart in my head. Every watermark on the pane is your fingerprint, the moving shadow is your patient wavering. Unless I’m careful (I’ve been playing Girls all night long) Christopher Owens is you whispering. Fucking christ. You’re staining everything. Yet word had it that you’d learned enough Spanish to translate in Buenos Aires. The initial leap in expatriot life had you looking back often, back at me really, the iris sensitive still to the mark I left there, but settled given two years: first in an apartment too close to the Hospital General de Agudos. The landlord had, to make up for the location no doubt, enlisted a sixteen-year-old Haïtian to clean your flat regularly. She smelled like cinnamon and freshly sharpened pencils. You know she stole your Hélène Cixous tired of dusting it so often, saddened by the new sound in its spine, knowing that you couldn’t read French anyway ... why did you bring that along? Instead of Elliot or Miller or someone you could understand? At any rate, you didn’t say anything to Anaramño, the mentioned landlord, instead enjoying the secret, leaving sometimes a half-smoke Virgin Slim or dead flower on the plot of spot [.....]
perhaps staring at a mirror
with a towel over her chest
about to fall in that iris
her center, juste avant qu'elle désintrègre.