The sentence does not need to be predicated on a loss, though memory insists, persists. Caravaggio or Cavaignac, the dates and the figures merging. The photographer from the Audubon Society. How closely that sounds now to Autobahn, Frankfurt-Berlin. The best maps show even the sidewalks, in addition to the layers of history (nowhere to be found). No, not the Audubon, Smithsonian. "We are going to kill a Swede" (pronounced, Svayed). The intersections are infinite in their possible combinations, so no period, no moment, no conjunction of influences, can be reduced to a picture, definitive. The decades definitely accelerated, yet everything appears to be standing still. Water is said to stand still when there is no wind. "Da ni budyet dano" read the line yesterday, from the first of two volumes by the Monument, published in Minsk. Place names begin to assume the commonality of chair, table, window, door. Bangkok or Cairo dreamed by you for January, somewhere warm. Everywhere, there is a train that goes somewhere. Will you be waiting for me there? The Black Sea is Russia's sea. I can remember there was too much butter on the pancakes you ate anyway in the kitchen in Uzbekistan, but why can I not remember the name of any city there other than Tashkent? Years when just about anything cost a couple of kopecks. Mountains of fresh fruit. That is a different memory than mine. European? Yes, you are right, I have never been to Europe. In the writing, a line in writing from another language is entered to hold the moment in that line up to the light, remembering the poetry, just a little, for only a little while, no longer than the length of the line. Yes, to quotate. Why not? There are lines that are quoted too often, such as Richard II or III's "Now is the Winter of our Discontent." The quotation arrives too often already announced by the place of the book in time and the order of the narrative the writing (all writing) would wish to enter. Who could write only for the sake of the writing itself? Don't all books want to belong together? Listed in the catalogue or catacombs.

How can you say of yourself that you know what you are? We grow into the habit of saying what we are not, foreclosing the possibility of something happening that has not happened before. I'm not sure what happens between two languages, never having translated before. I only know that the bringing across of KAMEHb to DER STEIN by the Romanian who wrote in German and lived in Paris happens only in the translation, after the translation, when the German word for Stone no longer means the same as before. I don't know whether Collobert ever met Celan, though they shared the same city for a while, only a little while, and only eight years separate their deaths. It is possible that Celan found himself as a poet through Mandelstam, that he did not know what he was before translating another. The book with the essay on Jabès remains closed, muted by the accompaniment of obscenities in English. Laughter may often be suspected of displacing distress, sending all that is dark in a mood or word somewhere other than the expression inadequate to the sensation of loss, whatever it is that must be missed before the image replacing it can enter the thought about it. Every word, then, substitutes for the object or sensation that it cannot be, and knowing this, we agree, words are nothing. As you have said, also, that you are nothing, how can you say that you may not find something in yourself you do not know and cannot, now, before there are the words for what you did not know before?