letter

 

Dear Te,

 

“This is not a letter.”

 

You said that.

 

I said, maybe correspondence is just writing what the other says.

 

Correspondence. You’ve always loved the word, or at least you have since you discovered Baudelaire. You bought your first edition of Fleurs du Mal when you were sixteen, in Ottawa, where you were on vacation with your parents. You couldn’t read it. You were flunking French. But you had discovered Baudelaire’s doctrine of correspondences as a basis for poetry.

 

The term “correspondence” also refers, of course, to an exchange of letters: the meeting of substances, the relation between disparate elements, an alchemy.

 

, now I’m editing you.

 

This is just a note, to say, I’ll write more later.

 

For now, just writing. But if I write you a letter, this already creates a route, a map.

 

Te

 

Who but you can I invent?

 

There are different words for this: call, demand, desire

 

All say: come!

 

Simply: show up.

 

Te

 

If it pleases you–and the pleasure of writing, quite simply, it should not be a task…

 

If we are to avoid a return-to-sender situation…

 

If we can continue to correspond…

 

Then, how to consider the possibility of more than two in a text.

 

In other words, what we initially set out to do: Writing together.

 

I have two thoughts on this

  1. There is no ‘writing together.’
  2. Haven’t we always already been doing it?

 

Te

 

I came home from the event and wrote, before opening her letter, a letter to my friend in return. This is the only way to respond.

 

Afterwards, once I had read her letter and was shocked to discover that it wasn’t a letter at all, I regretted being so hasty and left her a message on the telephone.

 

Te

 

Neither of these is the one.

 

You said, no you said—

 

What we can’t communicate

 

That’s the stuff of tragedy.

 

Te:

The thing I don’t understand is, every motherfuckin’ word you’re saying.”

 

Me:

Yes, something about the experience cannot be made sense of, cannot be written. I think illegibility is the perfect word—

 

Te:

Because it’s impossible…

 

Me:

Te as in tether…

 

Te as in telephone…

 

Helinard in a university sermon in Toulouse in 1929:

How seldom in these days do virtue and learning come together. By some–I know not what–factious bond, lust and literature cling together, a union no less prodigious than pernicious.

 

That was your text to me in Vancouver in 2018.

 

Te

Here we are writing again. We’ve fallen into it.

 

PS.

Because every letter needs

 

PPS.

(Writing after, after)

This to me seems like a ‘female problem.’