Chinese Poetry : “When the water-clock sounds…

When the water-clock sounds three times, I realize it’s midnight
Lovely wind and cold moonlight everywhere in pine and bamboo,

we sit here in perfect idleness, empty and still, saying nothing :
just two people in the shadows of a medicine tree, just two people.

Meng Chiao

 

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Picasso & how to glean the best from letters.

Some Picasso‘s exes were writing him letters, sometimes daily, for years. I read that he loved these a LOT.

I’m writing an article about “Types of Muses”, idea given by his life & wives. Instead of giving a list of names with a few labels on each (intellectual/innocent, tortured/happy, silent/talkative) let’s say he met very different persons – which is common, but means maybe a lot more for a artist.

Daily stories, thoughts, attacks, melancholia, gossips, hopes or life moments, anything : Picasso opened the envelopes and loved them all with gourmandise, like love of good food, it “made his honey”, like we say in France (“Faire son miel”) : He knew how to glean the best from these letters.

Why, what for?

This leads me to some ideas or tools :

  • Keeping bonds with personalities that count.
  • A way to make excellent use of everything, extract or invent seeds of them.
  • A form of happiness – to be a “best gleaner”, a happy amor fati person, a dancer with what “comes”.
  • It also shows a strength. Knowing what he wants in his life, what he’s worth, in a way : “…but words will never break me”.
  • What would one do else with daily letters? Trash them? It’s a pressure, right? Some likes pressure from others, because it’s life?
  • Knowing that these persons think about him?
  • Simple entertainment?

 

It makes me wonder about the daily writers too :

  • Was it a promise – to keep in touch?
  • When you know you write to Picasso (even if he is your “ex”), you stand up differently, you have to be “up to the conversation partner”, which is great for steam and inspiration, of course…
  • Therefore it gives you a force, ideas, attitude, and a desire to impress, probably.
  • A displacement/substitution for love and conversation…

 

(Hmm sorry I’ll be Picasso-ed for a moment)

Thanks for reading!

JP

 

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Paul Valéry about “writing for someone”?

Why I talk to my exes

You’re great / You’re not great anymore

 

Picasso about Matisse : “We must talk to each other as much as we…”

Picasso about Matisse :

“We must talk to each other as much as we can. When one of us dies, there will be some things that the other will never be able to talk of with anyone else.”

 

“Il faut que nous parlions ensemble le plus possible. Quand l’un de nous sera mort, il aura des choses que l’autre ne pourra plus jamais dire à personne”.

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Unconditional Friendship

Poets’ Names’ Sharers’ Roofs

A boutique is a special place, the most various people come in and come out. Whatever its dimensions, its installation, or the place it’s located, there’s a common feature : an opened door on the road.

M. Bealu

ONE

Theater & Poetry represent 3% of the book market turnover in France.

Many students have to buy poetry & theater for school, therefore I can imagine that poetry alone embodies (can I say that?) 1% of all bought books in France. It’s bigger than I thought, haha.

A big part of this, consequently, comes from French old masters studied in classrooms : Rimbaud, Verlaine, Appolinaire, Hugo.

So I can easily say that 0.1% of the books are bought here by poetry lovers…

TWO

Some conversations between two persons raise instantly a common roof.

A few days ago a lady asked me about a French poet totally unknown to me : Marcel Bealu.

To work in a bookstore is a bit frustrating : you can’t have all existing books (unless you own a 8.900 floors skyscraper) right? Thus we booksellers often order books, and explain to people that we would LOVE to have this rare poetry book, waiting for its customer for 17 years in a corner…

We know that people are aware we didn’t read all the books and can’t have all of them. But there’s this little pinch here, though.

Bealu’s style : French, imaginative, fantastic, grim, cerebral. “Dreamlike prose”, said the lady.

“Oh, a bit like Reverdy, then”, I replied.

And instantly, her answer, in a smile : “Yesssss!”.

Her gaze changed in a second, “Exactly!”. The roof was raised…

THREE

I love Reverdy’s poetry. It’s… unique, and here, Reverdy become a key, a spark.

This roof is a very special thing. It’s not about “at least someone who gets you”, not that early. It’s this process, a key word -> the roof.

“We’re the same family on this topic, right?”

It can be done with two 8 years old kids with Star Wars, that’s normal. But it’s something when you get this roof with a microscopic topic, Bealu’s poetry or parturition in the Middle Age, Kurdish architecture, Jünger’s essays or mantis macro photography.

“Heyyyy you know this!?”

FOUR

L’araignée d’eau

“Et soudain, tandis que reprenait tout près, fragile et sonore à la fois, l’étrange suite de sons, je compris que cette araignée exprimait, par son chant presque humain, sa joie d’insecte.
Alors, dans la solitude nous entourant, il ne me parut pas ridicule de lui adresser la parole.
-Sais-tu qu’il manque peu de chose à ton chant pour que je m’en éprenne tout à fait ? lui dis-je mi-sérieux mi-badin. Avec une telle voix, ta place est dans le monde.
-Tire-moi d’abord d’ici, me répondit-elle, et tu verras comme je saurai te plaire.”

The water spider

“And suddenly, as the strange line of sounds started again, nearby, fragile and sonorous at the same time, I understood that this spider expressed, with this almost human chant, her insect’s joy.
Then, in the solitude surrounding us, it seemed to me that it was not ridiculous to adress her.
– Do you know that hardly anything lacks to your chant to be taken with? I said to her, half-serious half-playful. With such a voice, your place is in the world.
– Get me out of here first, she answered, and you’ll see how I’ll be able to appeal to you.”

Thanks for reading!

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Alliance

When I was 25 I talked with my friend who was 40 and she said :

“Love? It’s an everyday choice!”

What? At this young age you’re NOT ready at all to hear that, right? You think meeting, magic, bond, “the one”, etc. Choice sounds not romantic enough…

Well it’s a whole subject, you’ll find books and blog articles about that. Married couples can explain. That’s not my point.

Of course, she was right!

When I began to read the letters between Gide and Valéry, two big French intellectuals, I found this idea. These guys were very different, have very little in common, but they found a spot, a territory, and they stayed friends their whole life!

It was not about “good friendship”, best pals and laughing while having beers. It was not magic of eyes and long smiling walks. It was like some work. It was like… a choice.

They used each other.

You know me, I’m constantly flipping through many pages and many books. Today I found a chapter about Sollers and Barthes. Of course : I found the same idea, very clearly exposed : they needed each other, they ate each other twice a month, and they used each other, intensively. One published the other. The other wrote an article to defend his friend. One had more experience, but loved the rocketing ideas of his friend. Etc.

Alliance.

Explicit, and probably untold. Dance of brains. Hands given. Stairs.

I don’t know why. What I understood about love decades ago existed for friendship and I ignored it. Strange…

Have a nice day!

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Instagram : _bodylanguage_

The strange bliss of instant reconnection with old soulmates

I have 5 or 6 friends with whom I have rare great bursts of emails.

An ex. A penpal. Or a friend. Some of them I’ve never met – only online. For one of them, I’ve even never seen her face, not a picture, not once. We call it “The meeting of spirits”, la rencontre des esprits…

You can stop writing for YEARS, and when you talk again it’s like it stopped the day before. You know, that kind of friend. Soulmates. It can be weaved with past love, but not necessarily. This strange friendship is a treasure, a connection, a link, a bond.

That makes me think, tonight. This kind of bond is delightful, because you both KNOW. You don’t have to say, to explain. It’s just there. You understand each other : “I know you”.

No news for years, and then an email, an answer, and often a burst : five or six emails. Long letters. One skype conversation in 15 years. One phone call in a year. Immediately it climbs to a secret good place you both know. We don’t have to explain. It ours. As if a myriad of appendages were connecting to each other at fast pace.

The link can be reactivated in a second. In many ways. It can be “I need you”. It can be “I have something to tell you”. It can be “I have a problem”. It can be “What’s up dear?”. It can be “Long time no see”. It can be “You seem to need some help”. Or “I miss you”. It depends! But it’s there. Whatever happens.

My soulmates. L. O. PdP. SL. JA. L. BE. ED.

Hey! I know you’re here. You know I’m here. Thank you!

Thanks for reading!

 

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The Merciless Intimacy of Driven Conversations

Paul Valéry, in his notebooks, wrote a little paragraph about conversations.

We all know what is a good conversation, right? Valéry throws some elements, like a puzzle (each one could become an article), to understand “this” type conversation :

  1. Conversations with your own kind, your “very own kind“.
  2. It’s driven, there’s a thrust.
  3. You need a favorable evening.
  4. You drive the conversation together as far as you can.
  5. It’s a melt of hate and love, it creates a merciless intimacy.
  6. There’s a growth of mutual divination, clairvoyance.
  7. There’s a fury, a will to go faster, deeper.
  8. It’s like a fight, a chess game, intercourse, it’s like running together.
  9. It’s one proof of the existence of humanity…

 

What would you add? How is the subject of conversation chosen (or does it fall from the roof, pushed by mood, events, words)? How is it colored by wine, vodka, whatever? What would add, for this puzzle?

Thanks for reading!

JP

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