Saturday, May 19, 2018

Quotes: Dionne Brand

Dionne Brand
(The Canadian Encyclopedia)
"VERSO 5.5

I have plans; I have no plans. They disappear in the Gulf of Mexico like brown pelicans and hermit crabs in an oil spill. Isn't it time we stopped saying spill? That wasn't a spill it was a deluge. It has no mercy, nation. I have no mercy. I'm jaundiced. All the while through the hoots of democracy, I was looking for the women in Tahrir Square, in Yemen, in Tunisia. I am listening. Whatever, the author says. I don't want to hear any more about waiting. In September, and now October, I am unpinned from all allegiances. Of course you're not. But what if I wrote like this? Unpinned."



On hearing of my left-hand pages, ASJ, a poet, sent me this note from Edmond Jabès:

A book without room for the world would be / no book.
It would lack the most beautiful pages, / those on the left,
in which even the smallest / pebble is reflected.

Then I sent away for Jabès's book, The Book of Questions, and received it from England after some weeks. And there was his handwriting: pour Jane et Sidney Shiff / j'ai été heureux / de connaître / En souvenir et / avec la cordiale pensée / d' E. Jabès. This last note arrived with his cordial thoughts, says the clerk. Yes, so I suppose it is a sign that we continue, says the author."



Tonight my brain is full of beautiful things collected over three weeks: the ring around Jupiter in the southern hemisphere; three flamingos dancing brine shrimp to the surface; the mirages of harbours only I have seen; the lithium salt desert; the rush for the local train at Ollantaytambo; a frantic scramble for a bundle of goods left behind; the electrochemical sky. The silence was the best thing."

-- Dionne Brand, from The Blue Clerk: Ars Poetica in 59 Versos, Durham: Duke University Press, forthcoming in August 2018.

1 comment:

  1. So wonderful, as is the above post about the Hillman translations.