Saturday, November 12, 2005

Open Letter To Paul (Celan)

I do not appreciate that way you’re standing over my shoulder, watching as I put the poems in order; shuffle, reshuffle. I do not like the look in your eyes, which says it is not there yet…or maybe ever. Fifty perfect poems. Carolyn said forty. You say fifty. I do not like how you assume, I’ll listen because you’re dead, because I can find 200 pages of perfection in a dead man’s book. You’re bothering me again. I’m taking down the photos of us on the Rhine. You’re right, I should have taken more notes. I could learn to write in pencil, maybe spell correctly. I need a system. I’ve lost something, I’m not aware of and of course, now it becomes valuable. Stop staring at me in black and white—blink your eyes. I’ve news for you. If you were a mother you'd be better off. You’d have ten perfect poems, laundry and swim practice. You’d be talking to men who cannot hear you, because they’re easier to live with, then the ones who can. You’d stay away from rivers. You’d bake bread. Okay, maybe you wouldn’t bake bread, you’d clean the counters and organize the shelves, make sure the children are fed. Then you’d be tired Paul. Trust me. The ten poems would be beautiful and you’d stop being judgmental because honestly, I think you’re a little harsh. If you count the idle minutes in my day, you’d see that 50 perfect poems are like flight. Did you know that? At the origin of our DNA we have the exact same make up in our skin as feathers. A slight slip and we’d have wings instead of fingers. One small dot of DNA, a jump would be no more than a place to take off. Think of it Paul, no more falling or failing. Well you had to put failing in there because your judgmental. Liz would call that your critical voice, the red wire. We have a lots of red wires, don’t we Paul? See if you were a mother, you’d know children are the green wire even if they are a lot of work. Even if they’re the reason you don’t write in pencil or have a black leather notebooks with rubber bands. Children are the reason, you have rocks, leaves in your pocket. And to be honest, the space between hands and wings are enormous. Think of the chickens, I mean it’s a huge genetic mistake to be a bird and have to rely on your feet. Honestly, the chicken has not faired well. No, they’re not too many birds in the manuscript, now that’s just absurd. Children are definitely the green wire. I’m going back now Paul. I going back to the book before the green wires come home and start sparking all over the place, besides the whole chicken analogy scared the shit out of me! Am I chicken? Really Paul, I’d appreciate it if you'd stand somewhere else in the room. I’ve only today to get this done. I have deadlines. Do you understand? Go stand by the mirror in the hall. Look at your self. It reminds me of water. Posted by Picasa

5 comments:

LJCohen said...

Treezaa--this rocks. Wow. Really touched me. I just wanted to let you know I so relate, though my "green wires" come with the testosterone rather than the estrogen. :) Both boys had sleepovers with friends last nite and hubby's in St. Louis, so I had the evening gloriously alone to read and write. A rare and guilty pleasure.

xo
ljc

Ali Davis said...

I feel better.

Artichoke Heart said...

I keep imagining PC exiled to your hallway, skulking about, and looking sort of shy and abashed. I see one of your girls going out there every so often to hand him a puzzling object.

early hours of sky said...

I think most of time they give him candy;) He tries to convince them to tell him ALL my secrets but my girls have been well trained.

Patry Francis said...

First Louise and her soup, and now Paul. Sounds like it's getting crowded over there.