Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Readings--1--Darwish, Luxemburg,Colette--Desire for the Lost, Just and the Flesh of the Word

I want to give you the choice of what you want to read in these postings and so I am creating headings for my passions--the head and heart--trying to keep track. Authors are my fellow sojourners here--I am free to follow my impulses and bring together voices as if they are around me--and I have the time to read which is a gift. My author friends for the next few months will be Mahmoud Darwish, an old friend whose lines carry the breath of loss and the perfume of loves--for his occupied land, for his Arabic language, for the motifs of resistance, for the horse and the well and the star and the beautiful woman; Rosa Luxemburg, her dedication to change, her courage to endure the loss of freedom for a vision of another way to organize human society, every time some one now disparages The Left, I think of these women and men who took rifle butts to the face and bullets to the heart, who refused the unreal comforts of nationalisms; Colette, with the heat of summer in her words, the coolness of her view of family and mothers and fathers, her naked body in all her ages, her mistakes in Vichy France, her questionable wisdoms and her desperate practicalities, her frizzled red hair resting on a pillow as she gathers strength to write once again from her bed, her words rising from the stiffness of her body, the Proustian woman--these three, the exiled Palestinian poet, the closest to me in time, the closest to me in the temper of his songs; the murdered Jewish revolutionary, with her limp and little hat on the European balcony with the male thinkers lined up around her, so sturdy and urgent in her view of what must be done, her letters to her lover whom she cannot quite organize but for whom she longs as she crosses the borders into Poland, into Germany always one step ahead of the national police, so Jewish she is to me, the angel of secularism but with a twist; the French writer with a taste for business and for the flesh, her queer body half naked in the dance halls of France with Missy standing guard for close to ten years, a realist, a sensualist, an explorer of the underworld of touch, sensualists all I see them, here in my study in West Brunswick I dream you all and listen and yearn and wish you the longest of lives in each others dreams. Yesterday, the postman threw a little cardboard box over the gate and Cello called my attention to its arrival--your last to be translated book, Mahmoud, "A River Dies of Thirst," always the beauty so tight in your hand, the color of your taken land, and always the rain of life washes you back into history, back into the every day wonder of courage and light.

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