donderdag 28 mei 2015

I Can't Remember #3

I can't remember where I bought that Penguin edition with Yuan Plays. Most probably I must have bought it in a Brussels bookshop. It soon became a major influence. Lao Tse, Basho and Wu Wei, none of it failed to tell me the thing told. For a somehow similar reason I had no interest whatsoever in Western haiku. I can't remember when I first had the impression that Western haiku was a fake. The five seven five syllable thing annoyed me and this annoyment spat from most of the haiku's that I began to write. I do remember why but I can't remember when. Most probably in that Brussels bookshop or some tiny spoonship later.

I can't remember what he said or what I said, in 1986, during that last meeting ever. He looked fairly depressed and unable to make it nil nil. For many years I have been totally unable to trace anything whatsoever on the fact that he had been born from a wound, not from a womb, and that he kept bleeding ever since without anyone noticing the blood.

I can't remember the lines but it read that an amateur from the State of Washington had plunged into the woods near La Push with honey on his body and the frivolous idea to make photographs of a bear.

I can't remember how many but at least two geese, or four maybe, or three, made the major stock of wildlife at Little Pine, a charming little house where my parents lived early sixties, in many of its aspects similar to the house where the trouble with Harry began and ended. Me and the geese had separate living. They had their hide-out, far from secret, I had mine. They had respectful behaviour and I had mine. Of course they respected me, as I respected them. We had friends, sounds of fire and specks of sunlight on the garden path.

I can't remember her name. The girl. We'd been dancing all night. First of May. First of May Ninety Eighty Five. I can't remember if I liked her that much. Maybe it wasn't Ninety Eighty Five. She was sweet though. Hours and hours of dancing and drinking, other people around of course, but no one else seemed to have the dancing part closer than we had. She had that thing called desire, right there, on her face, or whatever she had on her face. After six hours of dancing and drinking we got to the surface again, that of a dizzy 2nd of May. The tide of deep and mysterious blue had faded, the ballroom neared closing time, we stumbled through a corridor, stepped out of the building and I must have had that blind feel of being close enough to suggest one more step, to get to her place. Or mine. She could have said yes, she could have said no, or whatever, but she obviously saw it from a different angle and left me baffled on the pavement. Later she had a short affair with someone from Ghana. I can't remember her name.

I can't remember the format, it had Dutch grammar maybe or math, but I do remember the thing I saw outside the cage, a flat surface of brickstone, the orange rooftop on top of that and above that a peaceful blue, that of early summer.

I can't remember when it occured to me that Plato was missing. I had the Complete Works. All of a sudden, even without looking for it, I realized that it wasn't there anymore. Years before that I had had a similar experience with Die blaue Reiter Kalender, an extremely exciting edition with texts by - among others - Kandinsky, Klee and Schönberg, but the experience had been different. The disappearance of the volume of Die blaue Reiter came gradually, first during a conversation on the topic when I failed to trace the volume in my library, that of Plato missing all of a sudden. Other volumes had disappeared as well. Ulysses had gone and Oostakkerse gedichten had gone, the latter in an early stage of family Miocene, the same era that included the disappearance of Die blaue Reiter and other volumes unremembered. The funny thing is that I traced another volume, Kunst Praxis Heute by Karin Thomas, an early seventies edition, in the library of the person who doubtlessly had stolen more than just that single volume, only because of its colour. The title page had his name, written as he used to do it, above a stroke of black ink, on the back of that page a similar stroke of black ink and apparently nothing else but the date, June 1977, in my handwriting.

I can't remember when I heard the word elephant for the very first time, nor when I first wrote it and why I had to write it.

I can't remember the spectacle on Broadway, late 1977, apart from one phenomenon, a man of unknown age and origin dead on the pavement.

I can't remember how many times I read De X-bom, nor the year that I travelled to Hoeilaert to visit Sleen, apparently during summer, and as such indeed rang the frontdoor of the newbuild cottage where he used to live. Peeping through the window I noticed a fabulous collection of exotic butterflies. No one came to the door to open it. Did I rang twice?

I can't remember why I dislike eel in green.

I can't remember how many of the Kronos Quartet members accompanied Philip Glass when I noticed them taking Plaza Merced in a straight diagonal from calle Granada to Teatro Cervantes. I do remember the year but I can't remember the month. It was a foolishly hot day. Hundreds of doves whirled around the statue.

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