The Rose of Ardony

La Rose d’Ardon

bilingual novel

roman bilingue

Rose Reiss

Rose Reiss

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

&

Catherine Uccellatore

¿Le gusta este jardín, que es suyo? ¡Evite que sus hijos lo destruyan!

Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

Ceci est une œuvre de fiction. Toute ressemblance à des personnes existant ou ayant existé serait purement fortuite.

From: Murder

Date: 26 April 2000

Subject: Society for Chromatic Art

This rutgersfuckingpine account is really starting to wear thin. I have to fight the undergraduate scum for a connexion, since we all share dialup numbers. It may even be time for a shitty hotmail account. Tonight's performance went rather well. On the third page of George Perle's Monody I for solo flute, I played a truly inspired high E. But it wouldn't have meant shit if I had played it out-of-tune, with the wrong attack, or at the wrong dynamic. That's why I practice. No one in the audience, including my teacher, would know the difference between my rendition of an "inspired" high E and an uninspired one. The listeners can only factually comment on the intonation, attack, and dynamic. We all know inspiration exists. But what good is it if the technical foundation does not? Nichelle has been an excellent writer for as long as I have known her. As far as I know, she has always been a voracious reader and a prolific writer. Some of the letters she wrote me in high school still make me weep when I read them. She may have looked into her heart (or shorts) when she wrote them, but they would not have been as effective if she had not been tossing words around long before that. I like the Babbitt/Bobbit pun, especially because I am going to meet with the man himself in Princeton next week to discuss None But the Lonely Flute. I don't remember what I say from one day to the next, much less week-to-week. If that's not anticlimactic, I don't know what is.

Murder

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 6 August 2005

Subject: La Ballade de LA 440

Chere Catherine,

Tu me fais un tres grand don (deux fois hier soir) en jouissant avec moi au telephone. Peu importe que je n'arrive pas a me caresser jusqu'a l'orgasme au telephone. Ca ne me gene pas. Quand je serai la, bientot, cherie, on fera l'amour et jouira ensemble dans le sexe, dans la bouche, partout, tout le temps. Je pense que lundi le 26 septembre est un bon jour, car il y a trois trains (15h10-17h09, 17h03-19h09, 19h22-21h23) de Marseille a Acume. C'est aussi le debut de la semaine scolaire, donc les damoiselles auront quelques jours d'ecole pour s'acclimatiser avant de passer toute la journee avec nous le week-end.

Les consignes du psychiatre ne me convaincent pas. (C'est tres difficile pour moi de ne pas savoir exactement ce que chacun a dit, au moins les phrases clef.) La sexualite des parents (ou d'un parent) gene toujours l'enfant. On a beau se cacher, les enfants savent et s'expliquent a leur maniere ce qu'on fait derriere le rideau, ou derriere la porte fermee a clef. Notre contexte n'est pas plus etrange qu'un autre. Je me souviens de la parole de Vernon Jordan, avocat et homme politique desabuse, quand Monica Lewinsky lui a raconte ses amours avec Bill Clinton: "I am an old man. I don't know what phone sex is."

C'est la psychologie et la sexualite de l'homme qui est etrange, qu'on soit vierge, divorce, ou veuf. L'homme qui couche avec ma mere, que ce soit mon pere, mon beau-pere, ou un inconnu, represente toujours une menace, fait toujours quelque chose d'interdit, viole un tabou. Dans la Bible, dans la tragedie grec, chez Shakespeare, il y a peu de familles pere, mere, garcon, fille. C'est un mythe bourgeois et assexue. Je me souviens de l'histoire racontee par Saint Simon, ou le nouveau roi renvoit le ministre des menus plaisirs en disant que se promener au jardin est son plaisir, donc il n'a guere besoin du ministre. Je ne retrouve pas cette citation sur le site Saint Simon. Peut-etre qu'elle n'existe pas.

La peur de Sarah est reelle. Et celle de Stella aussi, puisqu'elle est temoigne. Il n'y a de moyen de les rassurer que par le temps. La discretion s'impose par precaution, quant aux chambres, aux baisers, a la nudite. On fera attention en adaptant la nouvelle situation a leur sensibilite et a leurs besoins. L'amour se voit; la passion n'a pas besoin de s'afficher.

Le solfege est un systeme de representation semiotique, c'est-a-dire un systeme de signes, des unites d'opposition. Voila la notation des douze tons de la gamme chromatique en France et en Amerique, ainsi que la mesure de la frequence normative en Hertz:

DO = C = 523 Hz

DO# / REb = C# / Db = 554 Hz

RE = D = 587 Hz

RE# / MIb = D# / Eb = 622 Hz

MI = E = 659 Hz

FA = F = 698 Hz

FA# / SOLb = F# / Gb = 740 Hz

SOL = G = 784 Hz

SOL# / LAb = G# / Ab = 831 Hz (ou 415 Hz dans l'octave superieure)

LA = A = 440 Hz (ou 880 Hz dans l'octave inferieure)

LA# / SIb = A# / Bb = 466 Hz

SI = B = 494 Hz

Le LA 440 Hz du l'oboe auquel s'accorde l'orchestre n'est pas une realite physique, mais une unite logique. Pour etre reconnu, il suffit qu'il soit suffisamment different du LA# 466 Hz et du LAb 415 Hz de l'ocatve superieure. Un LA 435 Hz est un LA, meme si les collegues de l'oboiste ralent. Par definition, tout ce qui est entre LAb et LA# est forcement LA, peu importe les nuances du ton. D'ailleurs les orchestres europeens s'accordent au LA 435 Hz. La musique de l'Amerique, comme les langues, est un peu plus aigue.

Bien entendu, on peut decouper autrement l'octave. La musique hindoue divise la meme gamme en vingt-deux notes. Le signe est arbitraire et conventionnel. Seule la poesie (au sens large du terme) arrive a motiver la relation du signifiant au signifie. La rose de Juliette ne sentirait pas si bon sous un autre nom, car l'autre nom ne fera pas l'alliteration et l'assonance avec le nom de son amant Romeo.

Seule la difference des formes importent, et les relations entre elles, les regles qui gouvernent leurs agencements. On peut faire une langue avec deux signes + et - ou 0 et 1, comme le langage binaire des ordinateurs. Le 0 signifie: "Je ne suis pas 1".

Or, il est evident qu'un tel tableau de la frequence des couleurs visibles de lumiere (en TetraHertz puisque la lumiere vole plus vite que le son) n'a strictement aucun sens dans la peinture, qui est un systeme de representation analogue, ou les signes ne sont pas discrets:

Rouge 384-482 THz

Orange 482-503 THz

Jaune 503-520 THz

Vert 520-610 THz

Bleu 610-659 THz

Violet 659-769 THz

Un rouge 440 THz n'a rien a voir avec un rouge 435 THz. La relation entre les signes n'est pas fixe. Le rouge n'est pas rouge par rapport au jaune et a l'orange. Il est particulier.

Le sens et le non-sens sont determines non pas par la semantique, que ce soit au niveau des idees, comme dans l'exemple de Noam Chomsky: "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously," que Roman Jakobson a correctement interprete comme une phrase ayant parfaitement un sens. Ni par les morphemes lexicaux, comme le demontre l'exemple d'Alice (Through the Looking Glass):

Jabberwocky

Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

Le Jaseroque

Il brilgue: les tôves lubricilleux

Se gyrent en vrillant dans le guave.

Enmîmés sont les gougebosqueux

Et le mômerade horsgrave.

El Jabberwocky

Adolfo de Helva

Era la asarvesperia y los flexilimosos toves

giroscopiaban taledrando en el vade;

debilmiseros estaban los borogoves;

bramatchisilban los verdilechos parde.

On ne peut circuiter le sens qu'en s'attaquant au systeme phonologique ou aux morphemes grammaticaux et aux regles de syntaxe qui les gouvernent, comme l'a bien vu Edmund Husserl dans son exemple de non-sens que je ne retrouve plus. Ce sont paradoxalement les morphemes les moins doues de sens, les infixes ou autres marques des parties de discours, de conjugaison, de declinaison, les prepositions, et les conjunctions, qui donnent le sens a un discours.

Le mot n'a pas de sens; la phrase a un sens. La note n'a pas de sens; l'accord a un sens. Les sens, c'est la relation entre les signes. Mais les operateurs booleens ne relevent pas des langues naturelles humaines. Celles-ci ont besoin de l'homonymie, de la polysemie, de l'ambigu, des tropes et des schemes de la rhetorique.

Je suis desole que ce texte est un peu ingrat. Je ne sais pas si c'est important, ou meme coherent. Sur le plan affectif, les mots exacts sont tres importants pour moi, plus la forme que le sens, ou son interpretation et sa traduction. La phrase: "Tous les memes," m'a un peu choque, car elle me rappelle une phrase qu'on entend au bistrot: "Toutes les memes." Je serais surpris d'entendre cette phrase dans la bouche d'un enfant.

Bon, cette lettre est trop longue. Toujours est-il que je t'aime. Les consignes du psychiatre, le drame du passe recent avec Sarah, ne me posent aucun probleme. Notre contexte n'est pas etrange. C'est le notre.

Je t'embrasse tres fort, mon amour.

Je t'aime.

Gabriel

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 6 August 2005

Subject: RE: La Ballade de LA 440

Cher Gabriel,

J'ai entendu cet après-midi un cd de Sarah "Hommes...Femmes" de Linsha qui dit : "Ils sont tous les mêmes...". Bistrot ? Chanson ? Ecole ? ........... Je n'ai pas de faculté divinatoire... Je peux juste t'affirmer que Sarah ne fréquente pas les bistrots... Que je ne fréquente pas ses discutions entre amis... Que je n'interprète pas les chansons à sa place... Mais qu'une complicité qui prend des années s'est installée entre nous...

Tes théories sont intéressantes... Prenons du toi et du moi, si tu le veux...

Uccella, T'AIME.

 

From: Nichelle

Date: 17 October 2005

Subject: You know you want to write me

I'm in Phoenix, got here on Tuesday. Tonight I watched a series of lovely rain storms, nice fat raindrops making crazy noise on the aluminum roof across the parking lot. Palm trees swaying in the wind. I stood in the rain and got drenched. I wonder sometimes about how you are doing, what your life is like. I miss your emails. I miss the details of your daily life, your dinners, your sexual misadventures. My life has changed significantly and March 17, 1996 seems like quintillions of years ago. It seems strange to me that I could be the same person.

Are you well? Are you happy? I feel that I have set my feet on the right path for the first time in so long... I hope you have found some joy. Write to me, I miss your letters.

Nichelle

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 1 November 2005

Subject: Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

Nichelle,

Few things in life excite me so much as reading your mail. Your style thrills me.

Tomorrow is the Day of the Dead. I shall soon become a father, if all goes well, and you are the first person I've told.

Bueno.

Gabriel

 

From: Nichelle

Date: 4 November 2005

Subject: Re: Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow

It's good to know that I've still got it over Joyce Carol Oates, or whoever it was you said sucked monkey dick. I miss writing to you, and I miss your letters. Murder is a big time flutist in New York and every now and again he sends me a staggeringly beautiful letter. Laurent was in Atlanta, but last I heard he got laid off and may or may not have gone back to Paris. Hanne is writing and editing erotica and the like. That's about all I know about the fate of those who shared The World. Can you believe it has been almost ten years since I flew to Syracuse? March 17, 2006 will be our ten year anniversary.

Day of the Dead always makes me sad. I think of leaving the clinic with Halloween candy and then bleeding in bed for days. No bueno. Congratulations on being a parent. I'd like to know more about your circumstances... perhaps not the specific circumstances of the conception, but the rest. Oh hell, why not tell me about the conception too.

Take care, write soon.

-Nichelle

PS- I like "Bueno" much better than that thing about your rectum.

Catherine Uccellatore, Le Roman de la Rose

From: SAGReiss

Date: 7 November 2005

Subject: Othello on Escoutay

The passage of time does not surprise me.

Murder is holding out on me? Tell him I piss in his tuxedo pocket.

Neither Joyce Carol Oates nor anyone else could ever have written this sentence: "Tonight I watched a series of lovely rain storms, nice fat raindrops making crazy noise on the aluminum roof across the parking lot." It is most beautiful.

I fear I can't tell you much for the moment. Writing has been a subject of great tension for all of my post-World gfs.

I have deleted much of the stuff no one else liked on my site, and replaced it with a link to the site I created for Uccella.

I can tell you a little about our life, however. We are in Helva, a village in the hills of southern France. Yesterday we made a picnic with Uccella's daughters in the Roman amphitheater. A brook or stream splits the stage between an orchestra/frontstage and a backstage/balcony built on two levels. Two onstage bridges (wooden, not period) cross from frontstage to back. I can imagine a summer day production of The Tempest with the sinking of the ship in the storm or Othello with sailboats performing a naval battle in the Escoutay. When we got home, I took pictures of Uccella holding the newspaper by the refrigerator and washing machine, which the sadistic landlord has threatened to remove. Today we are going to ask the mayor if it is legal for him to raise the rent by ten percent at the outset of winter.

I am smoking Gitanes Mais non-filter cigarettes which are yellow and go out between puffs. I think you would like the smell. I am growing a beard and, as I've said, may soon become a father, although I'm not sure how one knows exactly the details of conception. Was it today or yesterday?

 

12 November 2005 17:16:23 SAGReiss: Murder, what's up, bro?

12 November 2005 17:16:35 Murder: Hey Gabe! How are you?

12 November 2005 17:17:13 SAGReiss: Not too bad. Nichelle mentioned your recent conquests, so I've been thinking of you. I even saw your pic with Ashlee.

12 November 2005 17:17:42 Murder: Oh, cool! Yeah, the concerts are coming in "fast and furious."

12 November 2005 17:17:47 Murder: Where are you living now?

12 November 2005 17:18:54 SAGReiss: I'm in the south of France with a lady and her two daughters. We're looking for a home. In the village there's a Roman amphitheater built on a stream which separates the orchestra from the actors, in case they get mad at one another.

12 November 2005 17:19:30 Murder: Sounds idyllic. Are you writing these days?

12 November 2005 17:22:16 SAGReiss: Not too much for the moment. I've written a bit on Hebrew and Biblical poetry, but it's not very interesting. For the moment I've got more domestic concerns. You can see my gf's site at

12 November 2005 17:22:28 SAGReiss: http://www.uccellatore.com

12 November 2005 17:24:54 Murder: Wow, she's done some very colorful pieces.

12 November 2005 17:25:54 Murder: Bain de Soleils Abyssal is particularly engaging.

Catherine
          Uccellatore, Bain de Soleils Abyssal

12 November 2005 17:25:55 SAGReiss: Yes, well, I'm not really an expert. It's hard to know. She does think about colors the way you think about tones and I think about words. You haven't got a site? (I did look.)

12 November 2005 17:26:08 SAGReiss: That's her favotire too.

12 November 2005 17:26:43 Murder: Not yet. I have two people doing press stuff for me, and I think one of them will design me a site sometime in the not-so-distant future.

12 November 2005 17:27:58 SAGReiss: It's not really a lot of work. I use doteasy.com. You only pay for the name registration. It's free, unless you want to put huge amounts of music/images or get too much traffic.

12 November 2005 17:28:52 Murder: I'll check it out. What's your site?

12 November 2005 17:29:08 SAGReiss: http://www.sagreiss.org

12 November 2005 17:31:14 Murder: Ah, so that hasn't changed. I'll check it out -- you probably have a lot of new stuff since the last time I looked. You still correspond with Nichelle regularly?

12 November 2005 17:32:24 SAGReiss: On and off. I wish it were more regular. She still writes sentences that drive me crazy, even when she's not trying. She told me you had written her some lovely letters. That's why I wanted to make contact again. I miss you.

12 November 2005 17:33:41 Murder: I miss you, too. I sometimes think about The World, and have many of those letters saved, both in print and in e-files.

12 November 2005 17:35:55 SAGReiss: Yes, it was a privileged moment for us. We can do other things. Nichelle tells me that your career has taken off.

12 November 2005 17:36:20 Murder: At some point I'll pluck up the courage to read through a lot of them on your site.

12 November 2005 17:37:41 Murder: Well, it's getting there. It takes a lot of time. Ever since graduating this past year, I've been re-evaluating where I want to be.

12 November 2005 17:39:02 SAGReiss: Yeah, I guess it's tough. I couldn't tell from the photos if Ashlee is hot. I guess it depends if you want a full-time position in an orchestra with a season and shit you might not want to put up with.

12 November 2005 17:41:34 Murder: That's the crux of the problem. In many ways I'm happy with (or, maybe simply addicted to) my freelance lifestyle. There's always the pull to "settle down" and have a job somewhere, but I don't know if that would agree with my personality.

12 November 2005 17:43:02 SAGReiss: I can understand. We're working on living reasonably well with our independent artist status. When we get a house, maybe you can visit and play a concert in the theatre. You have to incorporate the sound of the stream, however.

12 November 2005 17:43:43 Murder: I'd love to! Just let me know when and where, and I'll be there.

12 November 2005 17:44:48 SAGReiss: Since you don't need a piano or anything, we can do it at midnight without authorization.

12 November 2005 17:47:10 Murder: I love the idea. Maybe a program that is half-prepared, half-improvised. Ah, the possibilities...

12 November 2005 17:48:07 SAGReiss: Of course. I'll send you a few pictures. Maybe we can even convince Nichelle to come out of retirement and play her devil's penis. You still use this address?

12 November 2005 17:49:00 Murder: Yeah, I have maybe 6 e-mail addresses, but the murder one is supreme.

12 November 2005 17:49:44 Murder: Maybe Nichelle and I could visit in June.

12 November 2005 17:50:27 SAGReiss: Perhaps. I don't know if we'll be ready by then. I certainly hope so. Buying a house is not a process I relish.

12 November 2005 17:51:01 Murder: Though I imagine the red tape isn't as thick as it is here in Amerika.

12 November 2005 17:51:52 SAGReiss: Not really sure, but it's complicated. We'll have to see.

12 November 2005 17:52:48 Murder: Your gf has two kids?

12 November 2005 17:53:18 SAGReiss: Yes. Two daughters, 10 and 11.

12 November 2005 17:53:55 Murder: So you're looking for a 3 br place, or 4?

12 November 2005 17:56:12 SAGReiss: 4-5 depending on the circumstances.

12 November 2005 17:58:22 Murder: When you get settled in, let me know and I'd be thrilled to visit, It'd be a great excuse to at least acquire some basic skills in coversational French.

12 November 2005 17:59:48 SAGReiss: OK, I think maybe we can work something out. Also, let me know if you are going to Spoleto or something.

12 November 2005 18:00:58 Murder: Will do. I may go back there to play on their chamber music series at some point.

12 November 2005 18:01:48 SAGReiss: OK. I look forward to seeing your new site. That way I can criticize your publicist's work.

12 November 2005 18:02:59 Murder: Exactly! I'll let you know when it's up and running. Meanwhile, I have a rehearsal in a few minutes. Let's stay in touch, and let me know when you buy your house!

12 November 2005 18:03:27 SAGReiss: Thanks, bro. Have a good pratice.

12 November 2005 18:03:33 Murder: Thanks! Ciao!

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 12 November 2005

Subject: Flute and Devil's Penis on Escoutay

Nichelle & John,

I miss you both. I wonder if we could find a way to keep in touch. Uccella is a fervent fan of contemporary literature and art. I've told her that I wasn't especially interested in contemporary literature, or even modern literature, but of course both of you know better. I might wonder why such a simple sentence as this:

"Tonight I watched a series of lovely rain storms, nice fat raindrops making crazy noise on the aluminum roof across the parking lot."

moves me so much, but it's easy enough to analyze the rhythm and semantics, and I don't want to bore you with the details. You both know how to do this. I would also like to add music to our lives, but we are both woefully ignorant. I should have done this while I was living with Nichelle, but I was probably too drunk at the time, and we were both concentrated on writing and other pursuits.

I was talking with Murder about a possible duet in the amphitheater. I was not entirely joking. We have to buy a house first, possibly invite one of Uccella's friends, so that I can try to prove my humanity. I have no idea how to explain my relationship with Nichelle. Fortunately Uccella doesn't ask too many inconvenient questions.

I would love to see you both, and there's no police in the amphitheater at midnight. You can just wake me up, in case I'm taking a nap.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 4 December 2005

Subject: Les Juifs Florentins

Nearly 3,000 Jews lived in Florence in 1931. The Nazis occupied Florence in the autumn of 1943. Most Jewish families in Florence lost a family member due to the Fascists or the Nazis. The first deportation took place on November 6, 1943, and a second one occurred five days later. Rabbi Nathan Cassuto, physician and spiritual leader of the Florentine Jewish community, was sent with the second group. In a third deportation, on June 6, 1944, sixteen elderly Jews were taken from the old age home to Germany.

The temple was damaged by the Germans in August 1944, when they detonated several mines in the interior. Some of the synagogue’s treasures, which were confiscated by the Nazis, were recovered. A total of 243 Jews were deported from Florence, only 13 returned. After the war, Florence’s Jewish population numbered 1,600.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/vjw/Florence.html#Holocaust%20Period

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 24 December 2005

Subject: SAGReiss Pere IV

I've just finished rereading "reading Freud", tears flowing from my eyes, my body wracked in pain. I have to think that life is worth the sorrow one bears in order to write such a letter. So this is my official announcement. I am a potential father again. I am happy. We have chosen the names Rose and Roman Reiss, depending on the sex. I imagine you can figure out which is which, or translate into gender or whatever. We are still screaming at the landlord on an almost daily basis, as he tries to cut our water, gas or electricity. I can hear him outside doing some job, possibly reconfiguring something new to torment us. We have finally got the information necessary to sick a huissier de justice on him, but that will have to wait until we open the Christmas gifts and sing yuletide carols by our little tree, decorated mostly in blue. I have an mp3 of Paul Robeson singing Bill Blake's poem "Jerusalem". I wrote very nasty mail to amazon.com and have finally received both a reimbursement and Romeo and Juliet. I guess they really like me. Vegetable soup is cooking, and a leg of lamb is ready for lemon and rosemary treatment. We will also eat a bread/cake/brioche called "pogne [bread in Provencal] de Roman". We like names. For lunch we had Scotch smoked salmon and oeufs de lompe (poor man's caviar) and foie gras de canard (poor man's foie gras). We have a very big bottle of champagne in the refrigerator. I bought one hundred red roses for Uccella. Actually I didn't count them, but one of the girls counted forty-one roses in our blue pitcher/vase.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: (This message has not been sent.)

Subject: Une Phrase extraordinaire

The French possessive adjective agrees in gender and number with the object possessed, as opposed to the subject possessing, the latter being the case in English. (In German the possessive adjective agrees with both subject and object.) This tends to create ambiguity in French that is typically resolved by making the subject of the sentence the antecedent of the anaphora. The fourth sentence of the following passage (beginning "Mme Arnoux") illustrates Flaubert's scorn for this kind of clarity in favor of his shifting focalization or points of view:

« Ah! ce serait drôle! »

Mais il eut honte de cette perfidie, et, une minute après:

« Bah! est-ce que j'ai peur? »

Mme Arnoux (à force d'en entendre parler) avait fini par se peindre dans son imagination extraordinairement. La persistance de cet amour l'irritait comme un problème. Son austérité un peu théâtrale l'ennuyait maintenant. D'ailleurs, la femme du monde (ou ce qu'il jugeait telle) éblouissait l'avocat comme le symbole et le résumé de mille plaisirs inconnus. Pauvre, il convoitait le luxe sous sa forme la plus claire.

II.5

The fourth sentence may be analyzed as follows:

1. Mme Arnoux - subject.

2. (à force d'en entendre parler) - subordinate clause indicating means, infinitive subject (unexpressed) = "il" two lines above - by dint of hearing about her/it (Mme Arnoux/"amour" next sentence) The partitive pronoun "en" does not normally replace living creatures, however apparently here it does, as is similarly the case with "ce" and "femme" three sentences below.

3. avait fini par se peindre - reflexive verb, pronoun (unmarked for gender) antecedent = subject "Mme Arnoux", past perfect tense - had ended up painting [her]self.

4. dans son imagination - locative complement, possessive adjective (feminine gender in agreement with object "imagination", masculine form to avoid hiatus) antecedent = "il" two lines above - in [his] imagination.

5.extraordinairement. adverb of quantity/manner - similar to "alternativement", last word of "Herodias" in Three Tales.

The fourth sentence may be translated as follows, using square brackets in an effort to avoid making explicit that which Flaubert has left implicit:

"Mrs Arnoux (by dint of [his] hearing about [her]) had ended up painting [her]self in [his] imagination extraordinarily."

The official translator, one Douglas Parmee of Oxford University Press, whose minions have kindly allowed Amazon to use the "Search Inside" function, thus the translation, has thrown up his hands. He rewrites the sentence replacing the subject "Mrs Arnoux" with "he", which unhappily solves the problem that Flaubert has created.

'Ah, that would be fun!'

All the same, a dirty trick like that made him feel ashamed. Then, a moment later:

'Damn it all, what is there to be scared of?'

Through hearing so much about Madame Arnoux, he had finally created an extraordinary image of her in his mind. Such undeviating devotion had become a sort of irritating problem for him and its rather theatrical earnestness had grown tiresome. Moreover, the society woman (or one whom he thought of as such) was in his eyes a dazzling symbol, the epitome of a thousand and one arcane delights. Being poor himself, he had a yearning for luxury in its most conspicuous form.

As I've long upheld, the preterit tense (passe simple) does not exist in French, or rather it has always been a purely formal, literary tense, seldom even used in epistles, for example. It belongs to Balzac, and Flaubert never feels quite comfortable with it. Thus, instead of using the periphrastic form of this tense ("eut fini"), he uses the pluperfect ("avait fini", the auxiliary verb conjugated in the imperfect). One critic called another example of this tendency: "the deadening 'C'etait'". Flaubert uses this introductory verb to slow down the reader, and beat him senseless. As one of my professors at McGill once said: "I need a lot of breath to read Flaubert."

A similar, though far less complex, instance of a dangling participle appears in the last sentence of the following passage:

Martinon arriva au même moment. Ils passèrent dans le cabinet; et Frédéric tirait un papier de sa poche, quand Mlle Cécile, entrant tout à coup, articula d'un air ingénu:

– Ma tante est-elle ici?

– Tu sais bien que non, réplica le banquier. N'importe! faites comme chez vous, mademoiselle.

– Oh! merci! je m'en vais.

À peine sortie, Martinon eut l'air de chercher son mouchoir.

III.1

Since Martinon is a man, there is an ostensible lack of agreement. Of course the understood antecedent of the feminine participle "sortie" is "Mlle Cécile" four lines above.

This elliptical construction is analogous to the Latin ablative absolute, and may be rendered in unequivocal but slightly less economical French as follows:

"À peine fut-elle sortie, Martinon eut l'air de chercher son mouchoir."

The sentence may be translated as follows, once again using square brackets to avoid explicitness:

"Once [she was] outside, Martinon appeared to look for his handkerchief."

Once again the translator removes Flaubert's ambiguity:

At the same instant Martinon arrived and they went into the study. Just as Frédéric was taking his sheet of paper out of his pocket, Mademoiselle Cécile suddenly appeared.

'Is aunty here?' she enquired innocently.

'You know very well she isn't,' retorted the banker. "Never mind, make yourself comfortable, my dear girl!'

'No thanks, I'm going!'

She'd hardly left when Martinon seemed to have mislaid his handkerchief.

Et tous profitèrent de l'occasion pour tonner contre le Socialisme, dont M. Dambreuse était mort victime. C'était le spectacle de l'anarchie et son dévouement à l'ordre qui avaient abrégé ses jours. On exalta ses lumières, sa probité, sa générosité et même son mutisme comme représentant du peuple, car, s'il n'était pas orateur, il possédait en revanche ces qualités solides, mille fois préférables, etc., avec tous les mots qu'il faut dire: « Fin prématurée, -- regrets éternels, -- l'autre patrie, -- adieu, ou plutôt non, au revoir! »

La terre, mêlée de cailloux, retomba; et il ne devait plus en être question dans le monde.

On en parla encore un peu en descendant le cimetière; et on ne se gênait pas pour l'apprécier. Hussonnet, qui devait rendre compte de l'enterrement dans les journaux, reprit même, en blague, tous les discours; -- car enfin le bonhomme Dambreuse avait été un des _potdevinistes_ les plus distingués du dernier règne. Puis les voitures de deuil reconduisirent les bourgeois à leurs affaires. La cérémonie n'avait pas duré trop longtemps; on s'en félicitait.

III.4

All the speakers seized the opportunity to inveigh against socialism, which had led to Monsieur Dambreuse's death. It was the spectacle of anarchy together with his devotion to the principle of order which had brought him to an early grave. They priased his enlightened understanding, his honesty, generosity and even his failure tos peak when representing the people in the Chamber, for though he may have had no gift for oratory, he did, instead, have those sound qualities, far, far more valuable ... and so on and so forth ... with all the obligatory phrases: 'Untimely death ... boundless sorrow ... that other homeland ... not farewell but until we meet again in a better world ...'

The stony earth fell on Monsieur Dambreuse; he was gone and the world would never concern itself with him again.

They did still go on talking about him a little as they left the cemetery and their comments did not lack candour. Hussonnet, who had to report the funeral in the newspapers, went so far as to parody all the speeches; after all, old Dambreuse had been one of the most notorious 'palm-greasers' of the previous regime. Then, these pillars of society were driven away in their mourning carriages to see to their own business affairs; thank God, the ceremony hadn't been too long!

 

From: stephanie

Date: 6 February 2006

Subject: (no subject)

hello!

donne-moi de tes nouvelles...

 

From: Nichelle

Date: 9 February 2006

Subject: your address

I have something I'd like to send to you. What's your mailing address?

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 16 February 2006

Subject: Re: your address

SAGReiss

Chez Ruze

Quartier les Fauves

96000 Helva

 

From: Nichelle

Date: 17 March 2006

Subject: March 17th

Happy Anniversary Honey.

Nichelle

 

From: stephanie

Date: 3 May 2006

Subject: (no subject)

please gabriel, just tell me if you are ok...ok?

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 9 May 2006

Subject: Re: (no subject)

I'm OK, living in Ardony with a very jealous pregnant woman. Baby girl due 1 September.

 

From: stephanie

Date: 9 May 2006

Subject: RE: (no subject)

Merci de ta réponse.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 26 August 2006

Subject: Breakwater

Catherine seems to have broke water, so we are leaving for the hospital.

Good luck.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 28 August 2006

Subject: Room 126

A Rose (Vared) was born yesterday 27 August 2006 at 10:08, according to the somewhat suspect and unsynchronized clocks at the hospital. There was tense bickering about family and given names. Happily we didn't have to declare a religion, as I think Rose is as bereft of a religion as she is of a nationality, for the moment. Someday she will probably be Italian and American, maybe Israeli, possibly French, but for the moment her civil status is contained on an ankle bracelet. I will try to get her a birth certificate this afternoon. I will try to get the date and place of birth right, as are respectively wrong on my sister's and mine. The gynecologist-obstetrician was nowhere in site because, well, apparently that isn't his job. He just does the prenatal interviews, leaving the labor and birth to a midwife. She was assisted by an auxiliary puerculturalist. Neither of them looked anything over twenty-five. The only experience I can compare the birth to is The Alien, a film which of course I have never seen. One body lurches out of another body amidst a flood of flesh, blood, unidentified fluid, and the two bodies look very little alike. Everyone around is very tired and stressed out. I cut Rose's umbilical cord, which was blue and corkscrew-shaped. I was shaking badly, shedding a few tears. So far as I can tell, a man becomes a father the moment he sees the birth of his child. I wish I could show you pictures, but I seem to have screwed up something in the webcam. Rose has a full head of black hair, soft, pink skin. She weighed 3.1kg and measured 48cm, although those measurements are very approximate. I dressed her. She didn't cry. In fact, a little more than a day old, she has only cried a couple of times for a few minutes. Mostly she sleeps and thinks about things. One of the nurses used the word "aterrissage" meaning "landing", a cognate of Earth usually applied to airplanes. The term strikes me as particularly apt, the shift from a watery womb to the open air. It is all very much of a woman's world. The only man showed up was the Anesthesiologist, Dr. Geisskopf, who promptly yelled at the midwife for turning off Catherine's heart and blood pressure monitors, which were bothering her and making noise no one needed. The only useful monitor was of Rose's heartbeat. The contraction monitor seemed to me to be a random number generator.

Oops, you can download pictures in a 1.3kb ZIP at the following address:

http://www.sagreiss.org/rose.zip

Got to go.

Rose
        & SAGReiss

From: SAGReiss

Date: 28 August 2006

Subject: The Painkillers

The fight broke out over painkillers. Until then, I had more or less managed to bend and break the house rules and spend two nights in Catherine's private room, one night before the birth and one afterwards. Time slows to a crawl when you spend it looking at bloody, swollen body parts, then peering lovingly into a face that mostly sleeps, while you read into each tiny change of expression all kinds of imaginary meaning, when the slightest sound of breath or movement brings joy into your heart. One of the first things Rose Reiss did when she was placed on her mother's belly was to extend her right index finger in my general direction. I placed my finger in her hand, and she grasped it. This has become one of our favorite games. She seems to be very good at grasping. So far her job specialization seems to include sleeping, gripping, and not crying. She doesn't drink too much (hypoallergenic bottled milk). I am very sad that I had to leave her tonight, but things are a little tense at the hospital. I got kicked out last night and stayed anyway. The fight over the painkillers poisoned our already tenuous relations with the help. Since apparently the midwives (midwifes?) do all the work, I can understand why they are reluctant to accept the authority of the doctors, who alone can write prescriptions, especially when our doctor, whom I hated anyway, prescribed a painkiller that another doctor thought was too strong. All of this while Rose has seen absolutely no care whatsoever, except for ours, which is probably enough anyway. No hearing test, nothing. No one has taken her temperature. Perhaps this is an exaggerated version of the Hypocratic oath to do no harm. In that case, I am in favor.

OK, I must eat something. I joked with Catherine that if I take a shower and change clothes Rose will no longer recognize me by smell.

More pics at:

http://www.sagreiss.org/2006_08_28.zip

Rose & SAGReiss

From: SAGReiss

Date: 29 August 2006

Subject: By Any Other Name

I can smell Rose on her dirty laundry. Her odor comforts me in my fatherly exile. I think we shall leave the hospital tomorrow after the pediatrist's visit based on mutual incompatibility. They don't seem to want us anymore, and we can't see what they are doing for us, except giving us bad food and no care.

 

From: Murder

Date: 30 August 2006

Subject: Thornless

She's beautiful. Rose is obviously in good and loving hands, even if Dr. Scheisskopf and his crew aren't able to provide for her the way her parents do. Congratulations, Gabe. I'm sure you have many joyful (and sleepless) days and nights ahead of you.

John

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 31 August 2006

Subject: The Cherry Tree

I was supposed to plant it on Rose's birthday, but that turned out to be impossible, so I planted the Bigarreau Reverchon cherry tree in the backyard this afternoon. Rose spent a good night mostly in our bed. I guess the theory is that babies need to learn some independence from their parents sooner rather than later. i am not so sure I subscribe to this theory. It is very hard to hear her cry and not go pick her up. It seems fine with me for her to sleep with us. Can't she learn independence some other time? Oh well, there's plenty of fun with milk and shit and bathwater. We get our fair share of QT.

I hope I'm not boring you with the pics. If I were you, I wouldn't bother downloading the files, but this may interest you:

http://www.sagreiss.org/2006_08_31.zip

The
        Cherry Tree

From: SAGReiss

Date: 1 September 2006

Subject: Endless Updates

In case any of you were wondering, Rose (Vered in Hebrew as my father kindly informs me) was born on 3 Elul 5766 in the Jewish calendar according to my savant calculations. She has been able to spend two relatively long and quiet nights in our bed, sleeping for six or seven hours at a stretch. When she gets tense, as she seems to do at sunset and around midnight, it is hard to know what to do. The stress racks her whole body, from her crying mouth to her driving legs. A finger to suck calms her, but we can hardly do this all the time. A nipple or whatever the fuck that's called might do the trick, but we are trying to hold off on that to see if she can do without one. We will have to give in if she decides to suck her thumb all of the time, which is far from being the case so far, though this might be because she can't always find it.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 1 September 2006

Subject: Liens aux images

http://www.sagreiss.org/rose.zip

http://www.sagreiss.org/2006_08_28.zip

http://www.sagreiss.org/2006_08_31.zip

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 2 September 2006

Subject: RE: Liens aux images

merci

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 2 September 2006

Subject: RE: Liens aux images

tu as envoyé des photos intimes à tes amours, tu as partaté ce que j'aurais aimé partager, ce que tu ne partageras jamais avec moi. Je me sens comme une merde, comme rien, rien. Ma fille comme un trophée, parce qu'elle est belle, tu la montres. Il y a peu, tu te posais la question de celui qui est à l'essai. Tu ne me parles pas, ok, tu ne m'écris pas, ok, vivez ça ensemble, j'imagine que ce doit être bon. Riez ensemble de la grosse vache. La grosse vache vous dit MERDE.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 2 September 2006

Subject: RE: Liens aux images

C'est toi mon amour. Tu es belle comme le jour, et tu l'as toujours ete. Je suis desole de tout ce que j'ai pu faire pour que ca aille mal. Ca ira mieux dans tous les cas.

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 3 September 2006

Subject: RE: Liens aux images

oui, c'est moi, uccella à la recherche des mots perdus. où sont ces mots qui font des phrases, qui font des textes, dis-moi, gavriel, où puis-je toucher ces mots, palper ces phrases, lècher ces textes, je suis perdue dans un océan de lettres et le tumulte des vagues ne peut les associer. je suis triste.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 3 September 2006

Subject: RE: Liens aux images

Je suis desole, cherie, que tu sois triste. La parole ne me vient pas souvent. Les textes sont problematiques, car ils s'echappent a leur auteur comme a leur destinateur ostensible. J'ai toujours pretendu: "There's no such thing as virtual reality,' tout en demarquant l'abime infranchissable entre le monde des mots et le monde des choses. Pourtant il y a bien une gamme qui va quelque part du texte a l'image a la voix au monde physique, dit reel. En tout cas je reste la, cherie, pour m'occuper de toi et de Rose dans la mesure de mes capacites. On n'a pas besoin de manger de la viande.

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 3 September 2006

Subject: RE: Liens aux images

Tu me dis que tu restes là, devrai-je sauter de joie!!! Tu es le gros lot!? Tu n'as même pas eu le courage de me dire que tu allais me quitter, j'ai du l'entendre de la bouche de ta mère. J'imagine, tu ne pensais pas aimer Rose comme tu l'aimes... Tu n'as pas été présent au moment où Rose et moi en avions tellement besoin. Tu as détruit ma personne, petit à petit, avec tout le mépris du monde. J'ai des valeurs et je compte bien les retrouver même si tu m'as fait perdre toute confiance en moi.

Ok, tu ne me parles pas, ok, tu ne m'écris pas, tu n'écris rien pour moi. Tu me disais ne pas avoir d'amis et pourtant même si tu n'as pas de réponse, c'est ces amis qui existent et que tu attends, c'est avec eux que tu partages ta vie, tes mots,...ton bien être...

Je ne suis ni réelle, ni virtuelle, je n'existe tout simplement pas à tes yeux. bien entendu, j'ai eu envie d'une belle histoire, je pense que les éléments étaient suffisants pour que tu puisses te sentir bien. Je ne peux plus vivre dans le mépris de ma personne. J'aimerais retrouver celle que je suis.

Je suis d'accord pour une garde alternée si je suis certaine que tu ne quittes pas le territoire français sans mon accord.

Je t'aime encore et Rose, je l'adore depuis qu'elle est dans mon ventre. J'aurais tellement aimé que tu sois heureux... et que l'on ne se quitte jamais. Que Rose vive dans l'amour de sa famille, même si tu ne me considères pas comme faisant partie de ta famille.

Uccella,

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 4 September 2006

Subject: RE: Liens aux images

Je ne pense pas etre le gros lot. J'ai l'intention de m'occuper de toi et de Rose et de trouver du travail en Ardon ou pas trop loin, par exemple a Ares que tu dis etre une ville.

Je suis desole. Ma confiance et ma volonte (de me lever, de me laver, de manger) ont souffert aussi. J'espere qu'on s'en remettra. Je ne te meprise pas.

J'ecris aux autres parce que je n'ai jamais su tenir un journal intime. Ecrire aux autres, c'est une autre facon d'ecrire a soi.

Moi aussi je t'aime, et j'aime Rose. J'ai aussi envie d'une belle histoire, et nous n'en sommes pas loin. Je n'ai pas envie qu'on se quitte. Le bonheur, etre heureux, je pense que c'est du bovarysme, mais je ne demande pas tant. Vivre, m'occuper de toi et de Rose, travailler (pour l'instant j'en ai besoin pour m'organiser), c'est tout ce que je demande.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 5 September 2006

Subject: Gesture without motion

Rose strives with surprising strength in her arms and legs, seemingly impossible for her tiny body to generate. I guess that adults temper their gestures with conscious and unconscious inhibitions to prevent losing balance and falling down or doing grave harm to self or others. Rose seems to strike with unreflected singleness of purpose. Like a Buddhist monk she can concentrate all of her energy into one gesture. If one really wants to hit something, with no concern for damage to self or others, one can probably concentrate a terrible amount of archaic force.

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 6 September 2006

Subject: RE: Liens aux images

On en a parlé et j'espère qu'on trouvera un compromis entre ton travail et le mien et les besoins de Rose.

J'espère aussi qu'on s'en remettra, j'aurais aimé vivre une grossesse avec la présence d'un futur père pas spécialement "heureux" (ce terme n'est pas bien clair pour moi) mais pas dans un état de mal être aussi prononcé et sans jamais en parler avec moi...

Ecrire aux autres est une façon d'écrire à soi, sauf qu'il existe un échange, tu écris et tu reçois des réponses et ainsi de suite... C'est un partage... Et ce en guise de journal intime... C'est une manière de vivre ton intimité mais je suis triste de ne pas faire partie d'une certaine intimité... et de même m'en sentir totalement exclue.

Je ne parle pas du "bonheur". Mais, se sentir aussi mal, au point de n'avoir plus envie de rien, c'est de la survie. Je pense que le partage d'une certaine intimité est indispensable pour que les envies naissent à nouveau.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 6 September 2006

Subject: La Lettre volee

Mais oui, differentes solutions sont possibles, pas de travail, peu de travail, travail a la maison, etc. On verra deja ce que dit l'avocat et le prefet de Brives.

Le mot "heureux" a une etymologie curieuse qui semble en faire un doublet du mot "heure". Je vais deja un peu mieux, et j'espere etre le plus present que possible. J'essaie de faire mes vocalises.

J'ai commence a ecrire vers l'age de quinze ans a un camerade de lycee que j'ai peu frequente. Je ne sais pas pourquoi c'etait lui. Il ne me repondait pas souvent, peut-etre a une lettre sur dix que je lui ecrivais. Pendant les dix ans que je lui ai ecrit, on s'est vu peut-etre cinq fois. C'etait une relation epistolaire et assez univoque. Pendant ce temps et apres j'ai concu (etant donne mon incapacite d'ecrire un journal intime) une esthetique influence par Les Liaisons Dangereuses et Le Naufrage du stade Odradek (par Harry Mathews, traduit en francais par Georges Perec). Au lieu d'un auteur qui ecrit les differentes voix narratives d'un roman epistolaire, si c'etait une oeuvre collective, si le roman consistait en des lettres reelles par des auteurs/narrateurs differents? Ceci m'evitait aussi la tache de creer des personnages et une histoire, ce qui ne m'a jamais interesse non plus. Il s'agit simplement de creer un style epistolaire, qui a evolue depuis le temps de mon camerade de lycee jusqu'en 1994, quand j'ai decouvert le mail et la possibilite technique de realiser le genre de roman dont j'ai reve toute ma vie. Il n'y a rien de personnel dans mon art, si je peux me permettre ce mot. C'est un art classique, formel, symetrique, meme si le style est un peu devergonde. Le roman "vr" n'est pas une autobiographie. SAGReiss n'est pas moi. C'est un narrateur/personnage. Les autres aussi, meme s'ils ne savaient pas exactement qu'ils participaient a un projet de redaction litteraire.

On va redecouvrir nos envies, meme s'il faut forcer un peu de temps en temps. J'espere qu'on refera le pain, et les petits soupers de legumes me vont tres bien. On va se promener avec Rose. En attendant, ca reviendra.

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 7 September 2006

Subject: RE: La Lettre vole

D'accord...

Je suis contente que tu ailles un peu mieux.

Bien, je trouve magnifique de pouvoir réaliser un projet. SAGReiss n'est pas toi, mais les photos de moi en plein accouchement, celles de Rose, et celles du cerisier de Rose font partie d'un partage entre toi, moi et Rose. Si, pour toi, ces moments et ces personnages n'existent qu'à travers un projet de rédaction littéraire, en ce qui me concerne, j'aurais aimé qu'ils fassent partie de moments de bien être que l'on n'aura plus l'occasion de vivre à nouveau ensemble.

J'espère que l'on redécouvrira nos envies sans forcer, forcer mes envies, je n'y arriverai pas. Mon inspiration artistique est partie, je l'attends. Mon aspiration au quotidien, celle que nous avions imaginé, est partie avec le départ de tes envies...

Rose est magnifique.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 8 September 2006

Subject: RE: La Lettre volee

On les vit ensemble. VIvre et ecrire n'est pas la meme chose. Le monde des mots n'a rien a voir avec le monde des choses. Nous sommes dans le quotidien avec ses joies et ses peines. Nous vivons l'histoire du chat infernal, le chat de Bulgakov, comme je viens de le dire. Traduire ce chat en un personnage litteraire, c'est autre chose. Alice Liddell n'est pas Alice au Pays des Merveilles. Les deux peuvent coexister. La distinction n'est pas toujours facile a faire. Marcel Proust avait un frere qui s'appelle Robert, si mon souvenir est juste. (J'aurais pu verifier, mais je prefere encore me tromper.) Le narrateur Marcel n'a ni nom de famille ni frere.

Nos envies reviendront ensemble. Une confiture de figues par ci, une sauce pesto par la. Je ne connais pas ton inspiration artistique. Si elle est comme la mienne, ca reviendra. Il suffit d'attendre.

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 10 September 2006

Subject: Nous

Mon Amour,

Trop d'évènements nous ont éloignés. Nous n'avons pas eu le temps d'apprendre à vivre ensemble. A Helva, les problèmes avec le gite, Ruze, le contact avec Sarah et Stella, le manque d'espace créatif, les souris, la vente de la maison en Belgique, le déménagement, la recherche d'une maison, les papiers que tu n'avais pas, ma grossesse, mon état dans la grossesse, personne d'extérieur à qui parler, le déménagement à nouveau, ma grossesse encore plus grosse, l'installation, notre mal être............................................

Je t'ai dit des mots terrible sous l'effet de la colère. La colère pouvant être un état de follie passagère, ne retiens ces mots que comme tel. Puisque tu n'oublies pas, comme je n'oublie pas... J'espère que tu pourras faire la part des choses entre les mots de la follie et la souffrance qui a été la mienne.

Aujourd'hui, après tous nos efforts et notre courrage, nous sommes enfin installés, tes papiers arriveront bientôt,Rose est magnifique et en bonne santé, Sarah et Stella s'adaptent enfin, nous avons la possibilité de travailler, comme nous l'entendons, même si l'inspiration n'est pas encore là... Nous pourrions même, peut-être, nous offrir un peu de vacances, voir la mer, écouter les vagues.

Je t'aime, Gavriel, et je suis désolée de la tournure des évènements passés. Je pense que nous avons été très courageux de vivre ensemble 365 jours sur 365, jour et nuit, dans des conditions aussi précaires.

Tu es magnifique, l'homme dont j'ai toujours rêvé, l'homme avec lequel je voudrais vivre toujours. Le jour et la nuit, la nuit et le jour.

Uccella,

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 10 September 2006

Subject: Re: Nous

Cherie, je ne fais pas un drame des paroles prononcees trop tard dans la soiree. Nous sommes tous la, toi et moi, Rose et Rose, Sarah et Stella. Nous perdurons.

L'inspiration reviendra. Elle revient toujours. Il suffit qu'on etablisse petit a petit les conditions ou le germe puisse prendre racine, si ce metaphore n'est pas trop tordu. Pour l'instant, s'occuper de Rose, tenir le menage, essayer de gouter a la nourriture et au sommeil avec plaisir, faire l'amour. Bientot lire, ecrire, peindre, travailler dans la mesure du possible. Nous pouvons.

Je t'aime aussi, cherie. J'aime faire l'amour avec toi. Nous parvenons.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 10 September 2006

Subject: Grow

Sorry I can't find more time to write. Rose grows and changes her expressions. I can't remember if I mentioned that she weighed in at 3.14 kg. Her umbilical cord fell off a couple of days ago. We thought about keeping it, but that seemed a little lugubrious. I will keep every minute of Rose's life in my memory. She continues to be an easy-going, happy baby, seldom crying or complaining. Her facial expressions and body movement, while seemingly meaningful to me, are difficult to describe. I haven't really got the time and the concentration necessary for this exercise. I guess you have all been through this before. I wish I could show you Rose. It will take a little time before we can arrange that. The tension here stemming from the month of July has not abated. We will have to be a little creative.

I appreciate hearing from you. It also helps me remember to write, as I am not always online and can't seem to get my intellectual life organized yet.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 25 September 2006

Subject: 15 September 2006

"We two alone will sing like birds i' the cage", Lear, V.iii.

On Friday 15 September 2006 at 17:00 I learnt how a battered woman feels. Nowhere to go. No way to answer the violence. Shame. Catherine had left me and the baby upstairs at 15:30. Fifteen minutes later I heard the front door shut. I thought she might have come back for something, or simply taken her time getting out, due to Albert Camus' disease, departure anxiety. I went downstairs to check, and locked the door before going back upstairs. At five o'clock in the afternoon she returned, and asked me why the door was locked. I answered: "Because I was upstairs." This answer was not enough. Catherine became more and more angry. She claimed that I was locking her out, although she naturally has a key to our home. Soon she was screaming, not long afterwards close to delirious, imagining in grotesquely lurid terms that I was locking the door (to which she has a key, I repeat) in order to rape our three-week-old daughter. I gave up trying to answer and went to bed around nine, not taking Rose upstairs for fear of further antagonizing Catherine. Increasingly drunk on beer, creme de mure, and Ricard, she made a few hostile trips upstairs, demanding that I sleep downstairs. I refused. At about four in the morning she came upstairs again in a foul, violent mood. She repeatedly kicked me in the torso. When I arose from bed, she repeatedly punched me in the face, knocking my glasses off and across the floor. I refrained from striking back. I do not remember all of the timing, so some of this chronology is off. Catherine's children witnessed some, but not the worst, of her violence. I do not know if they heard her wild and untrue accusations of rape and incest. It is a shame if they did. She eventually calmed down enough to ask me to leave in a fairly polite manner. Obviously I would have left in an instant, had I had anywhere else to go. Unfortunately my paperwork is not yet done, and we bought a house together. I could forget about the latter, hoping to recover the investment at a later time, meanwhile paying rent to live, but I would need a job before I could get a lease. For the moment I have no other option but to stay here, no matter what the level of madness and violence is. I can't fight back because I could never prove that she started it and the presumption would always go against the man. I am scared of hurting her just trying to protect myself with my arms. People get hurt in physical fights, even if one of the parties refuses to cast a blow. Anyway, I couldn't win a custody battle until the baby is at least two years old, so I want to try to stay here for at least that long. In theory we should sell the house at the majority of the two minors (Catherine's daughters from her late husband) in order to give them their share (12.4% each) in seven years. I don't know if I can last that long. I want to stay with Rose for as long as possible, but once I get my papers and a job, I cannot live with a sustained campaign of physical violence. In that case, it would be better for me and for Rose if I rented an apartment and sued for some form of shared custody, of which I would inevitably get the short end. In the meantime I have to wait. I don't even know to whom I can confide these awful truths. I don't know anyone I trust, or else I don't trust anyone I know.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 12 October 2006

Subject: The Poo Face

This is a little embarrassing, but let's assume we're all family here. No talking about the poo face in front of Rose's first date, for example. From the first days at the maternity ward, Rose has made a special poo face when, well, she goes poo. This is actually quite useful for parenting skills, since it's pretty easy to know when she poos, except for the occasional false alert, a poo face without the poo. Today, as I was trying to encourage her to make the poo face, and thus to poo, which I thought she hadn't done in a few too many hours, I managed to make the poo face myself, with a little help and technical advice from Catherine, who was in the best position to observe us both. The eyebrows are raised towards the middle of the forehead. The sides of the mouth are raised towards the jowls, compressing the cheek muscles. A red face is optional.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 27 October 2006

Subject: CII

On Wednesday 25 October Catherine went crazy again, this time drunk on bad wine and obsessed with the fact that I had once, days or weeks before, sung Waltzing Matilda to Rose. This because Nichelle's cat is called Matilda. In the middle of her hysterical, six-hour monologue, she tried to go to sleep, then went to sleep on the floor. Rose coughed a little, so Catherine picked her up out of her bed and lied her down on the floor next to herself, all the while accusing me of treating the two of them either like cats or dogs. She claimed, despite the obvious fact that she had put Rose on the floor, where it may have been cold and uncomfortable, that this was somehow my fault. I finally managed to take Rose away from Catherine and put her back in her crib. Catherine droned on for another couple of hours, mostly about the song Waltzing Matilda. Eventually she apologized and went to sleep.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 31 October 2006

Subject: Songs we have sung

My Grandfather's Clock

My Pigeon House

You Are So Beautiful (Joe Crocker)

The Most Beautiful Girl in the World (Charlie Pride [Rich, but it's basically the same thing]) [the first song I sang to Rose, an hour or two after her birth]

No Rose No Cry (Bob Marley)

Here Comes the Sun (Beatles) [the song I sang to Rose when we left the hospital, the first time she saw the sun]

Are You Sleeping, brother John

Summertime

Here we go round the mulberry bush

The Hollow Men

Clementine

The Erie Canal

Greensleeves

The Silver Swan

Splashing in the Bath (Singing in the Rain)

Mockingbird

Fare thee well, my dear

Au Claire de la lune

Rockabye Baby

Row, row, row your boat

...many more that I can't remember. Suggestions are welcome.

[I did not forget Waltzing Matilda. I knowingly suppressed it.]

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 7 November 2006

Subject: CIII

On Saturday 4 November Catherine went crazy again, this time because of I can't even remember what. Oh, yes, she rented some dumb film she wanted me to watch, and I suggested that the only interest of these films was for me and Rose to hear a little English, while she prefers for some reason I don't understand the French dubbed version, even though she seems to understand English pretty well. She began by throwing a glass of wine at me, which wasn't really so bad since I am using synecdoche. It was just the wine she threw, not the glass. In the course of another evening of drunken hysteria, which I am getting used to about twice a week, though I only write down the episodes of physical violence, she ripped my shit and slapped my face and head more than a dozen times, laughing and taking apparent pleasure in my discomfort. She dared me to strike her back, which I refrained from doing, of course. I did, however, hold her back as gently as I could, under the circumstances, slightly injuring her right wrist, according to her complaints the next morning. We speak more and more openly of splitting up, and yet she continues to apologize and make plans to buy a bigger car and make home improvements. I want to stay with Rose for as long as I possibly can, until the situation becomes so unlivable that it begins to effect Rose more than it already has, not much so far, so far as I can tell. Things will get much better once I find work, at least a month from now before I can look, unfortunately. We will both be better off, if I am away during the day and she needs to find activities. Rose can stay home or sometimes go to the nursery. I will feel better just getting out of this house. And once I have a confirmed salary, I can more credibly either leave or at least insist on the terms of a non-violence pact.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 10 November 2006

Subject: Speech Sounds

Rose has begun making what I would like to call speech sounds, rather than phonemes, which might imply a more advanced neurological system than is probably hers for the time being. She babels. A new game we play called Whooo are Yooou, as the wise old owl says, seems to show a concerted effort at articulation, as I think her facial expressions recognize and imitate my rounded lips. Oo is a good phoneme to begin with because it's fun to say and it's useful in the word "poo", which is a pretty important part of our daily lives. I am thus far able to confirm my suspicion (first arisen twenty years ago when I was teaching English) that Chomsky's poverty of stimulus argument about the incredible speed with which children learn their first language is bullshit. Children learn their first language very slowly, in two to three years of massive language stimulus overload. I have probably already spoken directly to Rose for five hundred hours, the standard amount of language instruction allocated by Berlitz to learn a language. We're in no hurry.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 24 November 2006

Subject: Holiday Tidings

Catherine has asked me to give her your addresses. I answered that I would be glad to do so, if you wished.

Please advise.

Thank you.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 26 November 2006

Subject: Adresses

Voici les adresses. Je n'ai pas fait d'introduction parce que je ne sais pas le faire.

April Sarah Siegler: asarah@abc.com

Pallas Athene Reiss: par@xyz.co.uk

Moshe Reiss: moshe@123.co.il

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 4 December 2006

Subject: Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose

> From: SAGReiss

> Date: 23 February 1997

> Subject: The Death of Humanism

> Snow falls on the prairie. In the Wheat Province

> negatron has again forgotten to plug in his car.

> Forsaken and lovelost he turns on his Pentium 200

> mega

> herz amplifier, picks up his guitar and cranks out a

> few deafening chords while crooning his "Ballad of

> the

> Sisters Palm". Few garage rockers would be so bold

> as

> to claim they could score this haunting melody for a

> hundred-piece orchestra. But every love-struck idiot

> with a rhyming dictionary thinks that he's doing the

> same thing Shakespeare did when he writes a sonnet

> on

> Saint Valentine's Day. This, Nichelle, is what I

> meant

> when I said that musicians have it a little easier.

> Most people see the qualitative difference between

> what you do and what John (the chef) does. You could

> learn in a day to strum "Stairway to Heaven" on some

> cheapass guitar, maybe two days in order to learn

> how

> to shake your head with emotion. He would be lucky

> to

> learn in ten years to make music with a clarinet.

> The

> distinction is simple, yet elusive. Where do we draw

> the line, at John Cage? at Richard Strauss? When

> does

> entertainment end and art begin? For more on this

> topic see "The Gentle Art of Making Enemies" by the

> brilliant and very mean master, James McNeill

> Whistler. He was, so far as I know, the first to

> suffer publically the my-kid-could-do-that argument

> and he didn't take it kindly. He brought a suit on

> the

> world famous art critic who had ridiculed his work

> in

> writing and pursued his wrath despite the fact that

> Ruskin was half dead from a stroke and in no

> condition

> to defend himself. Needless to say he won his case,

> a

> symbolic victory as I recall. I don't know,

> Columbine,

> to whom you refer when you attack deconstructionism.

> The little experience I have with this fad is a

> passing acquaintance with Jacques Derrida, a

> philosopher of broad and deep learning not to be

> taken

> lightly and a very insightful reader of Saussure. I

> cannot imagine him defending any of the claims in

> your

> text. Let us assume that in the case of a message we

> have three elements, a sender, a text and a

> receiver.

> If we're going to study a text, then we can

> eliminate

> from our consideration anything and everything

> pertaining to the former and the latter and

> concentrate on the matter at hand. Thus the title of

> this letter. As Freud said, in one of his more

> headstrong moods: "Copernicus showed that the Earth

> is

> not the center of the universe. Darwin showed that

> man

> is not the center of the Earth. I have shown that

> consciousness is not the center of man." Humanism is

> dead. Texts are the proper object of linguistic

> study,

> not authors and not readers. Columbine, you seem to

> be

> playing both sides of this argument. Let me quote

> from

> your work:

> "I do not like the proposition that authors always

> embed hidden symbolism in their work, whether

> consciously or unconsciously. I do not like the

> proposition that the reader is as much the creator

> of

> the story as the author. I do not like the

> proposition

> that you can always learn something about the author

> from his/her work."

> All three of these negative statements seem to

> distance both the sender and the receiver from the

> message. We agree on that. I would go much further.

> There is no such thing as symbolism. Something is in

> the message or it is not. Nothing stands for

> anything

> else. The reader and the author have nothing at all

> to

> do with the message, which is independant of both.

> You

> can never learn anything about anything from a text,

> except about the nature of the text itself.

> Two later sentences seem to contradict this healthy

> attitude: "You will eventually end up guessing, and

> adding content which was not intended by the author

> to

> be there," The question is not what the author

> intended. The question is what is there. Everything

> else is irrelevant. Again: "It was written to thrill

> and is (or should be) read in the same spirit." What

> do we know or care about why it was written? The

> text

> is a phenomenon of a linguistic order. It can be

> studied by the same methods used to study other

> phenomena of the same order. No reference need be

> made

> (indeed none must be made) to either reader or

> writer.

> Once more: "Either the fiction succeeded as an

> escapist experience for the student - the student

> liked it, in other words - or the student did not."

> If

> the study of literature is reduced to the likes and

> dislikes of students, then why study it at all? This

> is no study, requires no learning. This is choosing

> a

> flavor of ice cream from Baskin Robbins. Why the

> reference to the student (reader)? What has the

> reader

> got to do with a phenomenon (a text) that existed

> before him? Surely art entails something more than,

> and different from, the unaccounted-for preferences

> of

> readers and writers. One last time: "What's

> important

> is, does the scene have an effect on you mentally,

> emotionally?" Why is this important? Studying

> literature I learned a number of techniques for

> analyzing works of literary art, phonetics,

> morphology, syntax, philology, rhetoric and

> semantics.

> I need neither authors nor readers to do my work,

> just

> a text, and it is completely irrelevent whether I

> like

> the text or not. As I have said before, surely not

> every proctologist likes the smell of every asshole

> he's ever had the pleasure to peruse. The French

> system of education is based on an exercise called

> the

> explication de texte. The student is asked to write

> about a very short work or extract, shorter than a

> page for a four-hour exam or a ten-page paper.

> Everything about the author's life, the student's

> opinions on art, whatever, is expressly excluded

> from

> the discussion. Indeed he is forbidden the use of

> the

> word "I". French students learn to analyse a text

> word

> by word. A good example of this technique available

> in

> English is Erich Auerbach's "Mimesis". Which brings

> us

> to your chosen text:

> IULIET

> O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?

> Denie thy father and refuse thy name:

> Or if thou wilt not, be but sworne my loue,

> And ile no longer be a Capulet.

> ROMEO (aside)

> Shall I heare more, or shall I speake at this?

> IULIET

> Tis but thy name that is my enemie:

> Thou art thy selfe, though not a Moutague,

> Whats Mountague? it is nor hand nor foote,

> Nor arme nor face, nor any other parte

> Belonging to a man: o be some other name.

> Whats in a name? that which we call a rose,

> By any other word would smell as sweete,

> So Romeo would were he not Romeo cald,

> Retaine that deare perfection which he owes,

> Without that tytle: Romeo doffe thy name,

> And for thy name which is no part of thee,

> Take all my selfe.

> Juliet begins with a rhetorical question. She's

> talking to herself and expects no answer. She merely

> vents her frustration at the inconvenience of her

> lover's first name, which in her mind implies his

> belonging to a rival clan. She uses the name, Romeo,

> twice in the vocative, as if she were talking to him

> (which she unknowingly is), and once in the

> nominative. The question: "wherefore art thou

> Romeo?"

> means: "Why is your name 'Romeo'?". She then

> proposes

> a stern either/or solution to the problem. Either he

> must give up his name, or, if he refuses, she will

> give up hers. Romeo chooses neither of these

> alternatives and listens on. Juliet keeps thinking,

> moving from the concrete problem to a higher level

> of

> abstraction. She draws a clear distinction between

> the

> name/enemy, socio-linguistic conventions, and the

> self, a discrete and indestructible force. The

> surname

> Montague is more apt to this level of

> generalization.

> She will only switch back to the given name when her

> argument allows it. Juliet comes down hard on the

> side

> of the conventional or arbitrary theory of language.

> The name is neither the self nor the body, but only

> an

> accident of fate, against which she rebels. She

> repeats her first offer: "o [choose to] be some

> other

> name." This time, however, she does not reciprocate.

> In (almost) open revolt against the social

> conventions

> of her time, she already has a more radical, and

> more

> equitable solution in mind. Beginning again with the

> interrogative pronoun, she returns to the world of

> the

> particular, this time choosing a comparison to

> follow

> the implications of giving up one's name. She

> reassures herself that nothing would change in the

> real world if we were to call things by other names.

> The concrete thoughts and image of the rose bring

> back

> the given name. The syntax grows more complexe, less

> easy to follow, which gives the somewhat awkward

> construction: "So Romeo would were he not Romeo

> cald,"

> phonetic ballance with the name anchoring the line

> at

> both ends. This slow rhythm gives way to the swift

> (polysyllabic) run-on conclusion in beautifully

> regular verse. Having meditated on the nature of

> socio-linguistic conventions in general, and proven

> (to herself) that in the particular she and her

> lover

> could defy them, Juliet changes her tune and makes

> an

> offer quite different from before. Instead of an

> either/or, you-or-I ultimatum, she now proposes a

> quid

> pro quo in which Romeo gives up something, his name

> as

> distinct from his self, and in return receives

> something, her (presumably nameless) self. Whereas

> before one must give up, and one retain, the element

> that pits them against one another socially, now

> Juliet's thoughts have given her the strength to

> imagine the possibility that they might both escape

> social convention and live nameless, two selves

> united

> in rebellion against the constraints which oppress

> them.


From: SAGReiss

Date: 6 January 2007

Subject: RE: Suff. à valeur DIMIN.

Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise :

http://atilf.atilf.fr/dendien/scripts/tlfiv5/visusel.exe?67;s=3258839055;r=2;nat=;sol=9;

-ON1, -ONNE, suff.

Suff. à valeur DIMIN. (particularisante, partitive, de spécification, fréquentative, hypocoristique), entrant dans la constr. de nombreux subst. souvent masc. et de quelques adj. (fém. -on(n)e) désignant des pers., des animaux ou des choses concr.

Je ne sais trop qui :

http://www.etudes-litteraires.com/suffixes.php

DIMINUTIFS (er)on, illon bottillon

Les Belges :

http://users.skynet.be/fralica/refer/theorie/annex/racines.htm

-ON, -ERON, -ETON, -ILLON diminutifs veston, aileron, caneton, portillon


From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 7 January 2007

Subject: Re: RE: Suff. à valeur DIMIN.

Une lecture partielle, svp !!!

Je préfère que tu ne te vexes, je fais des copier-coller de ce que tu m'envoies ! :

1.Les Belges :

http://users.skynet.be/fralica/refer/theorie/annex/racines.htm

Suffixes formateurs de noms
---------------------------------------
ON, -ERON, -ETON, -ILLON
diminutifs
veston, aileron, caneton, portillon

Suffixes formateurs d'adjectifs ( laid est un adjectif)
-----------------------------------------
-ET, -ELET
diminutifs
propret, aigrelet
-OT
diminutif
pâlot

2.http://www.etudes-litteraires.com/suffixes.php

Les suffixes nominaux (des noms et pas des adjectifs)
------------------------------
Diminutifs : (er)on, illon bottillon

Les suffixes adjectivaux (laid est un adjectif)
-------------------------------
Je ne parviens pas à copier le tableau mais il te suffit d'aller voir et de rendre compte qu'il n'y a aucun on-onne

3.Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise :

http://atilf.atilf.fr/dendien/scripts/tlfiv5/visusel.exe?67;s=3258839055;r=2;nat=;sol=9;

-ON1, -ONNE, suff.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-ON1, -ONNE, suff.
Suff. à valeur dimin. (particularisante, partitive, de spécification, fréquentative, hypocoristique), entrant dans la constr. de nombreux subst. souvent masc. et de quelques adj. (fém. -on(n)e) désignant des pers., des animaux ou des choses concr.
I. -on, -onne
A. [Le dér. est un subst. le plus souvent masc.]
1. [La base est un subst. masc. ou fém.; -on a une valeur particularisante]
a) [-on a une valeur dimin.]
[Le dér. désigne le petit ou le mâle d'un animal, un jeune animal ou un petit animal; la base est un nom d'animal] V. ânon, châton1, dindon, lamprillon, moucheron1, oison, ourson, puceron, raton1, etc.
[Plus rarement, le dér. désigne une pers. jeune, avec parfois valeur fam. et/ou péj.] V. clergeon, curaillon, cureton, enfançon (vx ou littér.), négrillon, valeton, etc.
[Plus rarement, le dér. désigne une chose] V. carafon, cordon, cruchon, meulon, peloton, etc.
b) [-on a une valeur partitive; la base est un subst. fém.]
[-on «(petit) morceau de» la matière (substance continue) désignée par la base] V. chiffon, croûton, glaçon, pâton, etc.
[Plus rarement, la base est masc.] V. crépon, flocon (de floc2), lardon.
Rem. À noter le plur. de termes désignant parfois des résidus, v. cretons, croûtons, graisserons/graissillons (rem. s.v. graisse); v. aussi grattons (infra 3 c).
[-on «partie de la matière» (substance discontinue) ou de l'obj. désigné(e) par la base] V. chaînon, cuilleron, échelon, maillon, etc.
c) [-on a une valeur de spécification; la base est un subst. souvent fém.]
[Le dér. désigne une chose ou un organe]
Lang. usuelle. V. blouson, boulon, chausson, jambon, jupon, paillasson, saucisson, veston, etc.
Lang. sc. et techn. V. bourbillon, laiteron, membron, tierceron; arboric., v. cap(e)ron, couton, greffon, etc.
Lang. fam., pop., arg. V. birbe1/birbaillon/birbon, litron, polochon, etc. ; forme arg. -(e)ton, v. frometon (rem. 2 s.v. fromage), gueuleton, paveton, peton (fam.), ripaton, etc.
[Le dér. désigne une pers.; parfois fém. en -onne]
Lang. usuelle. [Pour désigner notamment un métier] V. charreton, charron, marmiton, mitron, piéton; forme -eron, v. bûcheron, tâcheron, vigneron.
Lang. fam., pop., arg. V. daron, troufion; forme -(e)ton, v. bricheton, capiston (rem. s.v. capitaine), cureton, fiston, gradeton (rem. s.v. gradé), griveton/grif(f)(e)ton, micheton (rem. s.v. miché), etc.
d) [-on a une valeur augm. plus ou moins réduite (infra étymol. empr. ital.)] V. ballon, barbon, caisson, carton, médaillon, million, perron, toron, etc.
2. [La base est un adj.; le dér. est un subst. concr. ou un adj. caractérisé par la qualité désignée par la base]
a) [Le dér. est une chose] V. clairon, molleton, sauvageon, vermillon; forme -illon, v. durillon, raidillon, etc.
b) [Le dér. subst. (ou subst. adjectivé) est un être animé] V. grison1, laideron et aussi tendron et louchon.

Je récapitule :

a) [-on a une valeur dimin.]
b) [-on a une valeur partitive; la base est un subst. fém.]
c) [-on a une valeur de spécification; la base est un subst. souvent fém.]
d) [-on a une valeur augm. plus ou moins réduite (infra étymol. empr. ital.)] V. ballon, barbon, caisson, carton, médaillon, million, perron, toron, etc.
2. [La base est un adj.; le dér. est un subst. concr. ou un adj. caractérisé par la qualité désignée par la base]
a) [Le dér. est une chose] V. clairon, molleton, sauvageon, vermillon; forme -illon, v. durillon, raidillon, etc.
b) [Le dér. subst. (ou subst. adjectivé) est un être animé] V. grison1, laideron et aussi tendron et louchon.

LAIDERON EST DANS LE PETIT D.,

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 18 January 2007

Subject: (no subject)

Attached: raphael_djavani.jpg

Chéri,

Quand je communique avec d'autres personnes sans t'en faire part, j'ai l'impression de te tromper.

Je t'envoie l'image que Raphaël m'a envoyée.

Je t'aime,

Raphaël
          Djavani

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 12 February 2007

Subject: (no subject)

Ca fait des mois que tu me craches à la figure et dans le dos.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 12 February 2007

Subject: Re: (no subject)

Cherie, je t'aime. J'essaie de ne pas te vexer et de faire comme tu veux. Je suis desole que la situation est difficile. Elle ne me semble pas desesperee. On a eu une bonne nouvelle aujourd'hui.

Voici le plan des travaux:

D:\SharedGab\2emeEtage.doc

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 14 February 2007

Subject: Re: (no subject)

Cher Gabriel,

Si tu pouvais ne pas essayer de ne pas me vexer et de faire comme je veux... Tu ignores ce qui me vexe et ce que je voudrais. Mais ça n'a pas beaucoup d'importance. Ce qui est important, c'est que tu fasses comme, toi, tu veux.

Ce soir, tu m'as demandé si j'étais prête à ce qui va arriver. J'ai ouvert le feu ouvert et je me suis demandé ce qui allait arriver, je n'ai pas de réponse, toi seul sais de quoi tu parles...

J'ai été très en colère par rapport à beaucoup de choses dont je t'ai parlé. Cette colère est sortie, ce n'était pas très joli... C'est comme ça, c'est tout ce que je peux en dire.

Je ne te demande ni fleurs, ni photos, ni fête pour la Valentin, je ne suis plus jalouse, je trouve beau que tu ais pu donner autant d'amour à Bénédicte, Nichelle, Miss Marseille, Ophélie... Miss qui pisse dans les bouteilles de Ricard, celle à qui tu as offert le plus grand saint-nicolas de saverne, même si c'est une fête dite chrétienne.

Ma mère m'a souvent dit "tu n'as que ce que tu mérites, tu l'as bien cherché". Aujourd'hui, je sais, merci, qu'elle a raison. Je me souviens , un jour nous prenions un verre dans un bistrot après avoir signé les documents du prêt, une dame est tombée dehors et tu t'es précipité pour aller l'aider. Ce matin, je suis tombée dans les escaliers, oui... Ce n'est pas un reproche, toi, tu es bon puisque tu te précipites pour quelqu'un que tu ne connais même pas... Mais, moi, je suis tellement juste comme il faut pas être...

Il me reste les filles et la peinture, j'aimerais beaucoup préparer mon exposition. Je m'occuperai des tâches ménagères et des repas le soir.

Merci de ne pas faire payer Sarah et Stella parce que leur mère est nulle.

Amitiés,

Catherine,

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 21 March 2007

Subject: photo de Rose

Attached: rose_reiss.jpg

Love from Rose and I....

Rose Reiss

From: SAGReiss

Date: 21 March 2007

Subject: Re: photo de Rose

Merci, cherie. C'est une belle image. Je crois voir le reflet de toi dans la prunelle de ses yeux.

Je t'aime.

Gabriel

 

From: tara vega

Date: 28 March 2007

Subject: Nouvelles

Hola,

Que tal? Hace mucho tiempo...

Apres la retraite hivernale, les roses fleurissent à nouveau, j'ai toujours tes cd.

Quand est ce qu'on se voit?

J'espere que tu vas bien, ca me ferait plaisir d'avoir de tes nouvelles.

Je t'embrasse.

Marie

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 9 April 2007

Subject: CIII

Last night Catherine's violence spun out of control again, as it hasn't since last November. She uprooted the cherry tree, which I replanted this morning. After a short scuffle, in which she claims I injured her left hand, she tore my credit card receipts from my hands and burnt them. She was frustrated that she couldn't find smoking-gun evidence of an imaginary affaire she believes I had with the mother of one of Stella's friends last summer. She is insanely jealous. Supposedly someone has written her e-mail inventing this affaire. I have no idea what she is talking about. I don't think I have even been alone with this woman, and I've certainly never cheated on Catherine, never even thought about it. Sex has become far less interesting to me in my middle age. I don't know what provoked this latest outburst, the stress after the three weeks' visits of my mother and Sarah's friends, the thought that I will soon have my working papers (Thursday, if all goes well), a problem with alcohol and/or her medication, the frustration of hurting her right hand working in the garden. I do not know if this is just a short relapse, or the beginning of another downward spiral. I don't know how crazy and violent she can become.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 15 May 2007

Subject: Re: Nouvelles

Marie,

Si j'ai hesite a te repondre, c'est parce que ma vie est un peu compliquee pour l'instant. J'ai une fille de huit mois, Rose Reiss, mais j'ai beaucoup de problemes avec la mere. J'ai besoin de conseil juridique. La situation est la suivante:

1. Ma mere m'a donne de l'argent pour une maison qu'on a achete en indivision comme suit:

- EUR75k de moi

- EUR25k de chacune des deux filles ainees de la mere de ma fille

- EUR77k en pret immobilier (pas d'hypotheque) de la mere de ma fille avec ma signature comme caution

La mere voudrait probablement vendre au bout de sept ans, a la majorite de ses filles ainees, mais pas avant. Elle n'est theoriquement pas obligee de rembourser le pret a ce moment-la, mais je pense que je peux l'exiger avant de signer le compromis. La banque peut exiger le remboursement.

2. Je viens tout juste d'avoir le droit de travailler, mais on habite en Ardon, c'est-a-dire nulpart. Il me faut ou un teletravail a domicile ou un travail a au moins 50km de chez nous.

3. La mere de ma fille (qui touche une pension de veuve et les allocations de logement et familiales, entre EUR1k et EUR1,5k/mois) est tres volatile. Pour l'instant elle refuse de s'occuper de Rose, ce qui rend un travail a plein temps a domicile presque impossible pour moi. Je ne sais pas ce qu'elle ferait si je prenais un travail a l'exterieur. (C'est complique de toute facon, il me faudrait une voiture etc.) Je ne peux pas louer un appartement avant d'avoir un contrat ferme. Je ne veux pas partir avant les deux ou trois ans de Rose, donc j'avale tout, sauf si le niveau de folie et de violence me devient insupportable.

4. Les filles ainees vont a l'internat l'annee prochaine, cause mauvaise conduite.

Je suis desole de te confier tout ca, mais j'ai personne.

Bonjour a toute la famille.

Meilleures salutations.

Gabriel

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 30 May 2007

Subject: Schedule

Shlomo,

I'm sorry, but we are still having big problems here. I can't work today. I'm trying to resolve these issues, which are complicated, as surely you know.

I almost had to sleep at a hotel last night.

I will log on to Skype tomorrow morning before or at 9am and will try to work all day, if I can.

I apologize again for the inconvenience.

I really appreciate your understanding.

Life is hard. And long. And then you die.

Best Regards.

Gabriel

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 3 July 2007

Subject: (no subject)

Attached: coup_de_gabriel_1.jpg

Dear April and dear Moshe,

I know i'm talking about your son, i'm sorry about that. I've tried to give him a wonderfull live, with a house a family a wonderfull daugter. He's violent to me, send you picture, all my body is hurt, he's also violent with Sarah and Stella, He's on his computer at 5 o'clock in the morning until eleven at night... with girlfriends, i send you a message of Nichelle one of his poor girlfriend, it is on Gabriel's website, he's so proud of it:

"And so I get cast in the role of the Jealous Girlfriend. Not much I can say about that, just haven't got enough self-esteem or enough projects to occupy my mind. You see, Gabriel falls in love every two weeks or so, and when he does I get to hear about her several times a day. But I don't tell him what to do, ever, and I'm big enough to deal with him having cybersex if that's what he wants to do, which he does, and while he's doing it I'll just go masturbate in the shower again.

Nichelle."

I don't know what to do, if you can please help, it will be helpfull for Rose and Gabriel too...

I just want to be in peace with love,

Gabriel only loves girls on the computer, in the same time, I don't think that it is the right way to enjoy is live and his dougter live.

I've closed his computer and it brokes... I didn't want to but...

Much Love,

Catherine,

Catherine Uccellatore

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 4 July 2007

Subject: Re: (no subject)

Thank you April, I've tried to talk to Gabriel and asked him to stay at home but he went to the hotel in front of the house. I am very sad, I love him and Rose is sad too, she looks aroud...

Life toghether could be really wonderfull but it's difficult to comunicate.

I'm a little lost, I don't know what to do.

Catherine,

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 4 July 2007

Subject: (no subject)

Mon Amour,

Je suis triste....

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 5 July 2007

Subject: (no subject)

Dear April, Gabriel doesn't want to leave with me anymore. He wanted to see Rose 2 hours a day but I am very depressed and I'm not able to take care of Rose so I let her going with Gabriel.

I try to get better, I need time.

Much Love,

Catherine,

From: SAGReiss

Date: 5 July 2007

Subject: Lettre manuscrite reconstruite de mémoire

Je préfère qu'on se voit [sic] à la mairie à 14h.

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 6 July 2007

Subject: (no subject)

Dear April,

I don't know if you want to have a contact with me so I'm not going to write to you even if you ask me to tell you how things are going.

Much love,

Catherine,

From: Gendarme JACQUES

Date: 7 July 2007

Subject: Procès verbal retranscrit

Objet Situation entre M. REISS Scott et Mme UCCELLATORE Catherine suite séparation du couple

Le samedi 7 juillet à 15 heures 05 minutes

Nous soussigné Gendarme, Laurent JACQUES, Agent de Police Judiciaire en résidence JOYAU

Vu les articles 20, 21-1 du Code de Procédure Pénale

Nous trouvant au bureau de notre unité à JOYAU, rapportons les opérations suivantes:

Le 07 juillet 2007 à 15 heures 05, nous procédons à l'enquête citée en référence

IDENTITE

Nom Prénom: REISS Scott
Date et lieu de naissance: 26/07/1963 à THOMPSON (Etats-Unis)
Domicile: Le gougeon aux BLACHES/96000 (France) (France)
Profession: sans

DECLARATION

« Je me présente à votre unité afin de faire état à M. Le Procureur de la République à BRIVES de la situation actuelle entre ma compagne, Mme UCCELLATORE et moi-même.

« Nous nous connaissons depuis le 19 septembre 2005. De notre union est née Rose le 27 août 2006 à AUBAGNE 96000. Nous vivions ensemble aux BLACHES.

« Le dimanche 01 juillet 2007, nous nous sommes disputés et je suis allé passer la nuit à l'hôtel en face de notre maison. Le lendemain, Mme UCCELLATORE m'a demandé de revenir à la maison. J'ai donc passé une nuit chez moi. Le mardi 03 juillet 2007, j'ai décidé que la situation n'était plus vivable et je suis retourné à l'hôtel en face.

« Mercredi 04 juillet 2007, je me suis rendu auprès de l'assistante sociale des BLACHES au local de JOYAU afin de m'expliquer les droits de visites concernant mon enfant. On a écrit une lettre à Mme UCCELLATORE afin d'établir un droit de visite. J'ai téléphoné à 18h00 ce même jour à Mme UCCELLATORE qui m'a dit que soit je revenais à la maison soit elle ne m'autorisait pas à voir mon enfant jusqu'à qu'il y ait une décision de justice. Peu de temps après, j'ai appris que Mme UCCELLATORE avait essayé de me joindre et je l'ai donc appelée vers 20h00 ce même mercredi. Là elle m'a dit de venir chercher notre enfant et toutes ses affaires et qu'elle ne voulait plus la voir et que j'avais la garde de Rose.

« Je me suis donc rendu chez nous j'ai pris mon enfant que j'ai emmené ailleurs. Puis je suis revenu chercher de nombreuses affaires de ma fille. Je suis rentré à l'hôtel avec ma fille.

« Le lendemain, je me suis présenté à la Mairie des BLACHES afin d'effectuer des recherches pour un logement adapté pour ma fille et moi même.

« Ce jeudi, j'ai reçu un message de Mme UCCELLATORE me demandant de passer à la maison avec Rose et j'ai répondu que je préférais que l'on se voie à la Mairie des BLACHES.

« Après mon arrivée, Mme UCCELLATORE a téléphoné à la Gendarmerie.

« J'ai compris d'après ce que m'a dit le gendarme JACQUES que j'étais obligé de rendre l'enfant à sa mère. Ce que j'ai fait.

« Hier 06 juillet 2007, j'ai eu droit à voir deux fois ma fille à l'extérieur. Aujourd'hui, j'ai frappé à la porte de ma maison où se trouve mon enfant à 10h30 comme j'avais prévenu par écrit. Mme UCCELLATORE n'a pas ouvert, je suis revenu à 14h00 comme j'avais prévenu par écrit la fille de Mme UCCELLATORE a ouvert la porte en me disant que sa mère n'était pas là. Je suis donc parti dans un café des BLACHES où je pensais trouver ma fille. Mme UCCELLATORE était présente avec Rose et elle n'a pas voulu que je passe du temps avec ma fille.

« Voilà donc la situation dans laquelle je suis et la relation que j'essaie d'entretenir avec ma fille Rose.

Question: Lors de votre entretien téléphonique avec le Gendarme JACQUES, ce dernier a déclaré qu'il valait mieux que l'enfant réside au domicile familiale et habituel de l'enfant. Avez vous compris autre chose?

Réponse: Oui. J'ai compris à tort ou à raison que la loi m'obligeait à rendre mon enfant à Mme UCCELLATORE.

A JOYAU, le 07 juillet 2007 à 15 heures 50, lecture faite par moi de la déclaration ci-dessus, j'y persiste et n'ai rien à changer, à y ajouter ou à y retrancher.

La personne entendue L'Agent de Police Judiciaire
Scott REISS [signé] Laurent JACQUES [signé]

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: (This message has not been sent.)

Subject: I wuz had

Inspector Jacques lied to me. He told me I had to give Rose back, then said he had only suggested the possibility. After I corrected the illiterate pig's half a dozen spelling mistakes and solecisms, trying to improve the style and give the correct judicial nuances to the case I made in my deposition, I had to sign it despite the fact that those are not my words, and no one who has ever heard me speak, let alone read my prose, would ever believe I was responsible for that tripe. I joked to Jacques that his style was flaubertien (since he kept mistakenly using the imperfect) and that we needed a balzacien style. He did not get the joke and threatened to throw me out, since he is big, for a Frenchman. He stepped into a legal vacuum (le non-droit) and acted as my judge, jury, and executioner.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 8 July 2007

Subject: Fight the Power

Attached: 2007_07_05c_i.jpg, 2007_07_05c_ii.jpg

Murder, Laurent,

Please read and forward this message to the greatest writer on Earth.

 

From: Murder

Date: 11 July 2007

Subject: RE: FW: CIII

Dear Gabriel,

Reading these letters put me on the verge of tears. If you need my assistance in any way, please let me know. I am in Japan for the rest of this month (in Okinawa, currently), and won't return to New York until the beginning of August. If you need a break, you can always crash with me. I've just rented a fairly spacious one-bedroom apartment in uptown Manhattan. Having a guest would not be a problem in the least.

All the best,

John

 

From: Maitre REBOURS

Date: 16 July 2007

Subject: Assignation retranscrite

L'an DEUX MILLE SEPT et le

A la requête de:

Monsieur Scott REISS

Né le 26 juillet 1963 à THOMPSON - Etat de New York - Etats-Unis d'Amerique

De nationalité américaine

Domicilié Le Gougeon 96000 LES BLACHES

Ayant pour avocat Maître Isabelle REBOURS

Avocat au Barreau de l'ARDON

Demeurant 96000 ROSIERE

Elisant domicile en son cabinet.

J'ai

Huissier de Justice, susdit et soussigné,

DONNE ASSIGNATION A:

Madame Catherine UCCELLATORE

Née le 16 juillet 1968 à Namur - Belgique

De nationalité italienne

Domiciliée Le Gougeon 96000 LES BLACHES

Où étant et parlant à:

D'avoir à comparaître le JEUDI 19 JUILLET 2007 à TREIZE HEURES TRENTE

A l'audience et par devant Monsieur le Juge aux Affaires Familiales près le Tribunal de Grande Instance de BRIVES

Statuant en la forme des référés et siégeant en son Cabinet, au Palais de Justice, Cours du Palais à 96000 BRIVES

IMPORTANT:

Etant rappelé à la personne assignée que faute par elle de comparaître ou de se faire représenter par un Avocat de son choix, elle s'expose à ce qu'une décision soit rendue sur les seuls arguments avancés par la partie demanderesse.

POUR:

Des relations qui se sont nouées, en septembre 2005, entre Monsieur Scott REISS et Madame Catherine UCELLATORE est issue une enfant:

+ Rose REISS, née le 27 août 2006 à AUBAGNE;

Le couple, l'enfant commun ainsi que les deux filles de Madame UCCELLATORE, Sarah et Stella, issues d'une première union, ont jusqu'alors vécu dans un immeuble acquis en indivision par les concubins, sis Le Gougeon à 96000 LES BLACHES;

La situation est cependant progressivement devenue intenable pour Monsieur REISS, qui ne parvient plus à gérer et assumer les excès et les accès de violence de sa compagne;

Madame UCCELLATORE est extrêmement instable depuis plusieurs mois, usant ouvertement de la violence physique à l'encontre de son compagnon, particulièrement lorsqu'elle est sous l'emprise de l'alcool;

Monsieur REISS a longtemps hésité à partir, préférant endurer la situation plutôt que de prendre le risque d'être séparé de sa petite fille, dont il assume quotidiennement l'entretien et l'éducation;

Rose est très proche de son père, qui en a toujours eu la charge principale et Monsieur REISS, dont elle est le premier et, le seul enfant, ne  peut imaginer vivre sans elle;

La situation a atteint un point de non retour au début du mois de juillet, contraignant Monsieur REISS à quitter le domicile familiale, pour s'installer à l'hôtel;

Madame UCCELLATORE a d'abord purement et simplement refusé que Rose voit son père;

Elle a ensuite fait savoir à Monsieur REISS qu'elle était trop déprimée pour s'occuper de leur fille et qu'il devait venir la chercher, avec l'ensemble de ses affaires, ce qu'il a fait le 4 juillet 2007, à 20 heures;

Le lendemain, Madame UCCELLATORE revenait sur sa décision et h'hésitait pas à faire appel à la Gendarmerie pour obtenir de Monsieur REISS qu'il lui ramène Rose, dont elle s'était sciemment "défaite", 24 heures auparavant;

Ignorant qu'il était parfaitement en droit de ne pas déférer à l'injonction qui lui était faite, Monsieur REISS n'a pas voulu jeter d'huile sur le feu et a ramené Rose à sa mère;

Depuis, il tente, en vain, d'obtenir de Madame UCCELLATORE qu'elle lui permette de voir Rose dans des conditions satisfaisantes;

Monsieur REISS entend rappeler qu'il a pratiquement toujours occupé, auprès de sa fille, le rôle que Madame UCCELLATORE laissait plus ou moins vacant;

Dans l'impossibilité d'exercer une activité professionnelle, tant que sa situation sur le territoire national français n'était pas régularisée, et bien que sa compagne n'ait pas, elle non plus, d'emploi salarié, Monsieur REISS a, dés sa naissance, affectivement et matériellement veillé sur le quotidien de sa fille;

Madame UCCELLATORE n'a jamais cherché à modifier cet équilibre, tirant probablement parti de la situation et de la liberté que Monsieur REISS lui offrait, bien volontiers au demeurant, en assumant des tâches dont elle ne voulait pas;

Pour autant, la question se pose, désormais, de savoir ce qu'il doit advenir de la situation de Rose et de ses relations, tant avec son père qu'avec sa mère;

Madame UCCELLATORE l'écrit elle-même, elle ne se sent pas capable de prendre soin de sa fille dans l'état psychologique qui est le sien aujourd'hui;

Monsieur REISS n'entend pas priver Rose de sa mère mais il souhaite ardemment la protéger et la soustraire au climat de mal être qui ronge sa compagne depuis de longs mois;

Monsieur REISS dispose d'un studio meublé, à proximité de l'immeuble qui abritait le domicile familial;

Il est, d'ores et déjà, parfaitement en mesure d'accueillir sa fille et de la prendre en charge, même s'il est en quête d'un logement plus spacieux où s'installer rapidement, étant observé qu'il est pressenti pour occuper un poste de Professeur d'Anglais dans le secteur privé de l'Education, à la rentrée prochaine;

Disponible quoi qu'il advienne, Monsieur REISS se rassure en pensant que ce sont les deux filles de Madame UCCELLATORE qui prennent soin de leur petite sœur;

Il est cependant évident que ce rôle n'est pas le leur et qu'elles ne seront plus aussi présentes à la maison dés le mois de septembre, leur mère ayant décidé de les scolariser en Internat à AUBAGNE;

En conséquence, si Monsieur REISS ne voit évidemment aucun inconvénient à ce que l'exercice de l'autorité parentale sur Rose demeure conjoint, entre ses deux parents, il souhaite que le lieu de résidence habituelle de sa fille soit fixé à son domicile;

Madame UCCELLATORE pourra évidemment bénéficier d'un droit de visite et d'hébergement le plus large possible;

S'agissant de la contribution alimentaire éventuellement mise à la charge de Madame UCELLATORE pour part à l'entretient et l'éducation de Rose, rien ne s'oppose, a priori, à ce que son montant soit fixé à la somme mensuelle de 150 euros;

PAR CES MOTIFS:

Déboutant toutes conclusions contraires;

Vu l'urgence,

Dire et juger Monsieur Scott REISS recevable et bien fondé en ses demandes;

Y faisant droit,

Dire et Juger que l'autorité parentale sur Rose REISS sera exercée conjointement par ses deux parents, le lieu de la résidence habituelle de l'enfant devant être fixé au domicile de son père, au foyer fiscal et social duquel elle sera rattachée;

Allouer à Madame Catherine UCCELLATORE un droit de visite et d'hébergement à exercer, à défaut de meilleur accord, les premières, troisièmes et cinquièmes fins de semaine de chaque mois, du vendredi soir 18 heures au dimanche soir 18 heures, ainsi qu'à l'occasion de la moitié des vacances scolaires, première moitié les années paires, seconde moitié les années impaires;

Dire et juger que le partage s'effectuera par quinzaine durant les congés d'été, tenant le jeune âge de l'enfant;

Condamner Madame UCELLATORE à verser à Monsieur REISS une pension alimentaire de 150 euros par mois, pour part à l'entretien et l'éducation de Rose;

Statuer ce que de droit sur les dépens;

SOUS TOUTES RESERVES

BORDEREAU DES PIECES JUSTIFICATIVES

1. Acte de naissance de Rose REISS

2. PV de renseignement judiciaire du 7/07/2007

3. Liste des effets donnés puis repris par Madame UCCELLATORE à Monsieur REISS, et destinés à Rose

4. email Mme UCCELLATORE à la mère de Mr REISS, en date du 5/07/2007

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 18 July 2007

Subject: Assignation

Attached: asignation.zip

Tha attached document from my lawyer may be the single most vicious text I have ever read without being the author. It took me time, and a few rereadings, to understand what she had done. She took my five messages detailing the abuse and translated their spontaneous outbursts of English poetry into a coherent chronological narrative of French prose. It's as if she took my inarticulate screams and cries and added conjunctions and logical links. She infered motives and thoughts, where I had only written pain and gesture. Needless to say, C the G is not pleased. We go to court tomorrow. I'm sure she'll have plenty to tell the judge.

 

From: Nichelle

Date: 18 July 2007

Subject: hi Gaby

I got your message from Murder. I was surprised to hear from you... what has happened since the message you sent? It was strange to see your handwriting after so long.

I don't see you on Lambda anymore... I'm on Yahoo instant messager under catkins, and I log onto Lambda from time to time.

Write soon.

Nichelle

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 19 July 2007

Subject: Re: hi Gaby

I just got back from the hearing, which ajourned to 3 September without any action taken. My left eye is twitching. I accidentally saw Rose for five minutes yesterday, despite the vociferous objections of C the G, when we both happened to stop in the same bar thirty kilometers from home. I have not MOOed, chatted, or written e-mail in two years of house arrest. I was beaten for singing Waltzing Matilda to my child, so I couldn't much shoot the breeze or ask you to write scores for me. I asked Murder, who was kind enough to do it fast and meticulous enough to do it without mistakes, which is much more important than kindness. Now I just need to come up with a survival strategy for the next seven weeks. Supposedly I have the right to see my daughter, but I haven't the power, unless someone grants it to me. Until then I will weep by the waters of Babylon.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 23 July 2007

Subject: Reiss & Uccellatore

Maitre Vessie,

Maitre Rebours a du vous contacter de ma part au sujet du droit de visite et d'hebergement de Rose et moi.

Quand puis-je passer chez moi chercher ma fille?

Merci de votre cooperation.

Meilleures salutations.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 25 July 2007

Subject: Fwd: Reiss & Uccellatore

Maitre Vessie,

N'ayant pas recu de reponse a mon message du 23 juillet, j'ecris pour reiterer ma demande du droit de visite et d'hebergement de Rose et moi.

Quand puis-je passer chez moi chercher ma fille?

Merci de votre cooperation.

Meilleures salutations.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 26 July 2007

Subject: Rose

Je suis triste de la tournure des derniers évènements. J'aimerais vivre notre rupture dans la paix et le soucis du bien être de notre merveilleuse Rose. C'est bien dommage pour elle de ne plus avoir ses parents réunis. Tous les mensonges et les coups de poignards que tu portes dans le dos de sa mère ne vont faire de bien à personne.

J'ai reçu le jour de mon anniversaire, ton joli poème… par des huissiers de justice.

J'ai bien compris que tu veux la garde de Rose pour avoir des allocations de parent isolé... et une pension alimentaire que tu me réclames.

Rose a besoin de sa mère, c'est encore un bébé... Elle est née dans cette maison, elle y a ses habitudes, beaucoup d'amour, comme tu le sais... Elle est épanouie...

Je suis contente que tu sois parti, je ne pouvais plus vivre avec un homme qui ne m'aimait pas… et qui détruisait tous le monde autour de lui.

J'ai toujours espéré pour que Rose ne connaisse pas ce déchirement et cet abandon.

Je ne sais pas si j'oublierai un jour le mal que tu as causé dans notre famille. Dans tous les cas, je ne me souviens d'aucun moment de tendresse ou de présence pour la mère de ta fille.

Quand j'étais enceinte, j'ai supporté ta dépression. J'avais besoin de toi, de ta présence, d'affection et d'amour, d'intérêt pour mon état... Tu nous as négligée, Rose et moi. Tu ne me parlais que pour me dire des méchancetés.

Tu n'as pas de vie en dehors d'internet. Du moins quand tu étais en couple.

Je ne vais pas dire que tu as de la chance d'avoir une mère qui fait tous tes caprices. Cela ne t'aide pas à assumer tes responsabilités.

J'espère que tu vas un peu réfléchir au bien être de Rose et devenir raisonnable.

Je te souhaite un joyeux anniversaire.

Catherine,

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 26 July 2007

Subject: Re: Rose

Catherine,

Merci de ton mail et du souhait.

Quand puis-je passer chez moi chercher ma fille?

Meilleures salutations.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 26 July 2007

Subject: Re: Rose

Afin que Rose ne soit pas perturbée, je préfère que nos avocats s'occupent de l'affaire.

Bien à vous,

Catherine,

From: SAGReiss

Date: 28 July 2007

Subject: Transaction

Maitre Rebours,

Ne pouvant voir ma fille, n'ayant pas de nouvelles, il m'est tres difficile de continuer. Si Maitre Vessie propose donc une transaction, vue que Mme Uccellatore ne veut probablement pas la garde de Rose, meme si elle se sent obligee de la demander, je suis pret a envisager ceci, si vous pensez qu'une resolution relativement rapide, voire amiable, est possible:

- residence habituelle et foyer fiscal & social de Rose chez son pere;*

- compensation financiere a la mere de Rose pour les allocations et autres avantages eventuellement perdus;**

- annee scolaire, annees paires, semaines paires, Rose demeure chez son pere;

- vacances d'ete, annees paires, 2eme quinzaine de juillet et d'aout, Rose demeure chez son pere;

- annee scolaire, annees impaires, semaines impaires, Rose demeure chez son pere;

- vacances d'ete, annees impaires, 1ere quinzaine de juillet et d'aout, Rose demeure chez son pere;

- restitution par Mme Uccellatore des affaires de Rose apportees d'Amerique par sa grand'mere paternelle et celles que j'ai achetees, ainsi que de mon frigo, de mon matelas, des casseroles apportees d'Amerique par ma mere, et de diverses affaires m'appartenant, ceci dans le mois qui suit l'accord ou au plus tard des que je trouve un logement definitif.

* J'ai besoin de cette assurance, car Mme Uccellatore est une grande risque de fuite. Elle a une pension viagere et presque insaisissable. Meme sans que Rose n'ait un passeport, Mme Uccellatore peut partir a Paris ou a Tahiti. J'ai une carte de sejour valuable pour l'Ardon seulement, et une autorisation d'enseigner dans l'academie de Bellevue seulement. Mme Uccellatore a deja envisage de vivre a Paris, en Italie, et en Amerique latine. (Elle parle espagnol couramment.) Rien ne la retient en Ardon sauf notre maison, qu'elle peut probablement m'obliger a vendre.

** Mes revenues en tant que professeur remplacant sont imprevisibles. On peut donc proposer une somme mensuelle modeste (150 ou 200 euros par exemple) ou un pourcentage (5 ou 10% par exemple) de mes revenues nettes.

Si Mme Uccellatore le juge utile, je suis pret a faire des declarations d'amour, meme sinceres, a la mere de ma fille, mais je ne veux pas vivre avec elle, ni sans Rose.

Sachant que vous ne preconisez pas la residence alternee d'habitude, c'est peut-etre mieux que si Mme Uccellatore obtient une garde dont elle ne veut meme pas, ce qui risque malheureusement d'arriver.

En vous remerciant de votre aide precieuse, je vous prie de bien vouloir me donner votre avis sur les divers points de cette proposition, qu'on peut eventuellement soumettre a Maitre Vessie meme s'il ne propose pas de transaction.

Le premier point doit obligatoirement etre le droit de visite. Si Mme Uccellatore ne veut pas me laisser Rose la nuit, je suis pret a accepter une promenade a l'exterieur de la maison tous les jours a 10h30 (ou des que Rose se reveille) et pour une duree de deux heures.

J'ai fait le necessaire pour que mon dossier passe devant une commission pour l'aide juridictionnelle le 8 aout.

Priere de m'ecrire des que vous savez quelque chose. Mon telephone ne semble pas toujours capter aux Blaches.

Meilleures salutations.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 28 July 2007

Subject: Re: Rose

Cher Gavriel,

J'ai bien reçu ton courrier recommandé.

Je ne peux laisser partir Rose de la maison avant qu'un Juge ne décide d'un droit de visite.

Je t'ai laissé venir à la maison presque tous les jours, dont deux fois avec ton père et même à l'improviste pour la fête d'anniversaire de Stella.

Ton comportement perturbe mes trois filles quand tu viens à la maison.

Malgré cela j'ai continué de te laisser voire Rose.

Malgré cela tu pleures dans tout le village en disant que je t'empêche de voire ta fille et tu demandes des attestations mensongères à tout le monde, que tu essaies d'acheter, mais d'après ce que je comprends, ça ne marche pas fort.

La dernière fois que je t'ai croisé avec Rose, tu nous as tellement molestées que Rose, qui comme tu le sais ne pleure jamais, a pleuré pendant une heure dans mes bras avant de s'endormir pour la nuit, et s'est réveillée en pleurs à 2h00 du matin, je l'ai consolée pendant une heure, ses sanglots m'ont déchirés la poitrine.

Tu as quitté la maison et bien que tu aies une part sur celle-ci, ce n'est plus chez toi. Quand tu passes dans le jardin sans prévenir, tu nous perturbes.

J'ai essayé de communiquer avec toi à différentes reprises et en vain.

Tu répètes toujours la même phrase « Quand puis-je venir chercher ma fille chez moi pour un droit de visite et d'hébergement ». Quand j'essaie de te parler, tu raccroches…

Je m'occupe de trois filles, d'une maison, de toutes les charges, tu ne m'as jamais demandé comment allait Rose (ce n'est pas une poupée que l'on prend dans ses bras pendant une heure et que l'on dépose comme un sac à sa mère), ni, bien que tu n'aies pas de revenus en France (tu vis à l'hôtel et manges au resto, matin, midi et soir), tu ne m'as jamais proposé une aide financière pour le bien être de ta fille.

Ce n'est pas grave, j'assume la situation. A tout point de vue.

Je te propose de prendre un appartement, de trouver du travail… Et de profiter de ta vie de célibataire.

Je ne te laisserai pas la garde de Rose, ce serait criminel de ma part.

Bien que tu aies toujours squatté chez l'une ou l'autre, ou chez tes parents. Tu ne peux squatter chez Rose et profiter des revenus qui te seraient octroyés si tu en avais la garde, ce n'est pas à Rose de te loger et de te nourrir afin que tu puisses vivre devant ton ordinateur.

Rose n'a que dix mois, elle est restée 9 mois dans mon ventre.

Pendant cette période, peut-être que tu réfléchiras à tout ce qui t'as été donné.

Je réfléchis, moi aussi, de mon côté.

Après la tempête, si tu as de l'amour pour moi, ce qui est essentiel pour ma conception de la vie de couple, je serai peut-être prête à essayer à nouveau notre vie de famille pour le bien être de Rose.

Mais aujourd'hui, avec le recul, j'ai compris qu'il fallait poser certaines conditions. Je ne veux pas te changer, mais il est indispensable que tu changes ton comportement vis à vis de moi, de Sarah, de Stella et de Rose. Un peu d'affection et de gentillesse pour mes filles et des activités avec ta famille. On ne pose pas un bébé devant un ordinateur toute la journée… De l'amour pour moi, et un peu d'attention, du respect. Aussi, il est essentiel que tu trouves une solution pour ne pas ingurgiter une dose aussi importante d'alcool, ce n'est bon pour personne.

Si tu préfères vivre de 5h00 à 23h00 avec tes amis et tes amies d'internet, ou dans les bar, et te saouler tous les jour, c'est ton choix et je le respecte. Mais loin de nous, nous en avons suffisamment souffert.

Tu as choisi de faire les choses via avocats, cela me coûte suffisamment cher et je n'ai pas, comme toi, une mère qui paie tout à ma place. Je dois tout assumer seule.

Laissons donc nos avocats s'occuper de l'affaire.

En attendant la décision du Juge, je te demande d'arrêter de nous harceler.

Merci,

Catherine,

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 28 July 2007

Subject: CC a la Gendarmerie

Maitre Rebours,

Je suis de plus en plus inquiet quant au comportement de la mere de Rose, et je crains pour toute la famille, car Mme Uccellatore recommence a frequenter les cafes, ceci malgre les medicaments anti-depresseurs qui lui sont prescrits par le docteur Telseau aux Blaches, et malgre le fait que je ne suis plus a la maison pour m'occuper de la famille, comme c'etait le cas aux mois d'avril, mai, et juin, lorsqu'elle etait au bar de l'hotel Saturne tous les soirs. Personnellement je m'en fous completement que Mme Uccellatore frequente les cafes, et de ce qu'elle y fait, sauf que ma fille reste malheureusement pour l'instant sous sa tutelle instable.

Vendredi soir Mme Uccellatore est sortie deux fois, une fois en voiture vers 18h et pendant une heure environ, et une fois vers 20h30. Je n'ai pas vu si elle a pris la voiture la seconde fois, et je ne l'ai pas vue revenir. Elle est peut-etre allee au concert a Payzac.

Hier soir Mme Uccellatore etait au cafe du Commerce vers 17 avec un villageois qui s'appelle Guy. Elle est rentree vers 17h30. Sa fille Stella Chevalier est sortie vers 17h45 avec une amie et en apportant des coussins. Mme Uccellatore est resortie vers 18h00, et je l'ai vue entrer au cafe du Commerce. Vers 18h15 sa fille Sarah Chevalier est sortie. Me rendant compte que ma fille Rose etait probablement toute seule a la maison, j'ai signale le probleme au maire des Blaches, qui se trouvait sur place devant la boulangerie en la presence du boulanger M Trouillard. Ne recevant pas une reponse satisfaisante, j'ai telephone a la gendarmerie de Joyau, ou l'on m'a demande de rappeler. Quand j'ai rappele, vers 18h30, Sarah rentrait a la maison, ayant achete un sachet de chips vraisemblablement. Je repete, pendant un quart d'heure environ ma fille Rose etait toute seule a la maison ou en la companie de personnes etrangeres a sa famille, ceci pendant que Mme Uccellatore prive le pere de Rose du droit de visite et d'hebergement. Mme Uccellatore est revenue a la maison vers 18h45.

Maitre Rebours, je vous supplie instamment de saisir les autorites competentes, si elles existent. J'ai peur pour ma fille.

Merci de votre cooperation.

Meilleures salutations.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 29 July 2007

Subject: Rose Alone

There is simply nothing I can do. If Rose is left at home alone again, unless my friend Pelardon happens to be sitting there, there is nothing I can do. No one will help me or say anything. If I go get Rose, I am initiating a situation that might very well end in violence. Even if I just go in the house and lock Catherine out, I will make her so mad that she (or one of her boyfriends) will break a window, and then I'm in the house without a witness with some crazy and violent people. I can only do what I've done, call the police, although they are very unhappy to hear from me, write everything down, including the names of the unwilling witnesses, and send mail to my lawyer, hoping that she will file criminal charges against someone, which might accelerate resolution. I will wait to tell Catherine that I love her until I talk to my lawyer. Catherine is still making plans for our reunion, so it would be cruel, and not kind, to deceive her. Besides, she might want to meet with me and discuss our old new love, which I definitely do not want to do. Once Rose's situation is resolved, I will do whatever I can to help Catherine. Until then, the lawyers and police must deal with her misbehavior. I cannot help her, and she won't let me help Rose. All I can do is wait.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: (This message has not been sent.)

Subject: Lettre manuscrite retranscrite

Chère Catherine,

Je t'aime. Tu es la mère de Rose. Ce sentiment et cet état ne changeront jamais, quoi qu'il arrive.

Bien à toi, et bisoux à Rose.

Gabriel

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 30 July 2007

Subject: Inhumain

Maitre Rebours,

C'est inhumain, le comportement de Mme Uccellatore a l'egard de Rose et moi.

Hier soir Mme Uccellatore m'a dit qu'elle souhaitait me parler de Rose. A l'issue d'une longue discussion, fort penible pour moi, et au cours duquel j'ai fait les declarations d'amour requises dans ses mails, tout en lui precisant qu'elle ne devait en aucun cas caresser l'espoir d'une reconciliation dont je ne veux pas, elle m'indiquait qu'elle me laisserait voir Rose le lendemain apres-midi sur la terrasse du cafe du Commerce.

Aujourd'hui vers 12h30 elle arrive seule pour me dire qu'elle a change d'avis, et que je ne pouvais voir Rose. Elle a pretexte des scenari impossibles d'enlevement aux Etats-Unis. Selon Mme Uccellatore Maitre Vessie prete son autorite de batonnier a ces fantasmes. Apparammant il "travaille avec le juge" (c'est-a-dire il exerce sur lui une influence prejudiciable contre moi) afin de trouver une solution de visites. J'ai dit que je n'etais pas venu pour discuter avec elle, et je suis parti.

D'autre part Mme Uccellatore pretend que Maitre Vessie considere notre gain de cause "impossible", qu'elle n'envisage pas se presenter au jugement, et qu'elle a soumis a Maitre Vessie des documents tires du roman publie sur mon site (http://www.sagreiss.org) et notamment au sujet d'un licenciement en 1999 a Seattle pour harcellement sexuel, lequel harcellement consistait uniquement en une suite de mails. Je n'en vois pas la pertinance, mais je vous en previens quand meme.

Enfin, Mme Uccellatore pretend avoir trouve une solution de babysitting, peut-etre ayant eu des ecchos de l'incident de samedi soir. J'ai demande qui c'etait, et elle m'a repondu que cela ne me regardait pas, ce qui me parait bien curieux lorsqu'il s'agit de ma fille. Elle pretend aussi qu'elle ne mettra pas Rose a la creche comme elle avait prevu de le faire pendant mes heures de travail.

Maitre Rebours, je sais que je vous embete beaucoup, pour une aide juridictionnelle en plus, alors que Mme Uccellatore pretend avoir paye Maitre Vessie quatre cents euros, mais Mme Uccellatore tient ma fille en hotage depuis le 14 juillet. Si vous pouvez faire quelque chose, je vous en prie, aidez-nous.

Merci de votre cooperation.

Meilleures salutations.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 30 Jul 2007

Subject: (no subject)

Merci, Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss, d'avoir encore réussi à faire pleurer Rose. Je te félicite, et je suis dégoûtée par ton petit sourire au bar.

Finalement, tu es écœurant.

Je vous prie de croire, très cher Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss, en mes sincères salutations.

Tu es malade, il est peut-être temps de te faire soigner.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 31 July 2007

Subject: Dernier Cri

Maitre Rebours,

Je crains que Mme Uccellatore ne soit au bord d'une crise de violence. Je ne sais sur qui ca risque de retomber, sur moi, sur une des filles de Mme Uccellatore, ou sur Christophe, le croque-mort des Blaches qui apparamment lui tient companie, et je ne sais pas comment ce dernier reagirait en ce cas. Hier soir j'ai revu le regard et les gestes qui precedaient les attaques de Mme Uccellatore contre moi, mais comme on etait en public elle a su se maitriser.

Vers 16h30 Mme Uccellatore etait au cafe du Commerce avec Christophe, celui qu'on appelle Le Normand, Guy, et un autre homme dont je ne connais pas le prenom. Vers 20h30 je suis repasse pour voir si elle y etait toujours, et j'ai vu Rose sur la terasse interieure avec sa mere et Christophe. Je me suis approche d'elle en lui parlant. Mme Uccellatore s'est mise entre nous deux et a fait quelques gestes pour m'empecher de voir ma fille. Une crise a peut-etre ete evitee quand Christophe a dit: "Laisse-le la voir." J'ai parle a ma fille, l'a embrassee, l'a caressee, lui a chante une chanson. Pendant ce temps Mme Uccellatore s'enrageait. Apres peut-etre un quart d'heure, Mme Uccellatore a decide de partir, en emenant Rose evidemment, en invitant Christophe a la maison, et en me disant qu'elle m'empecherait de voir Rose en ne plus la faisant sortir de la maison jusq'au 3 septembre.

Maitre Rebours, je pense que le cas est grave. Je ne pense pas que cela puisse attendre le 3 septembre. Si vous pouvez faire quelque chose pour oter ma fille a son inquietante mere, je vous prie de le faire immediatement.

Merci de votre cooperation.

Meilleures salutations.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 31 July 2007

Subject: Style Points

If I have lost, I will go down fighting, with words, as usual, winning style points, but nothing else. My lawyer, who made a catastrophic mistake in writing that mean assignation, delivered by marshalls to C the G on her birthday, but she wins style points as well. Otherwise I think we're doomed, with the following possible outcomes:

1. C the G gets unmothered (0%). I will not even ask for this.

2. I get custody (5%). Every time C the G shakes her ass in the bar, all of the drunks wag their tails and sign witness declarations.

3. We settle for shared custody (15%). C the G says she paid her lawyer four hundred euros. She will want value for money, not what she had already proposed before she read my lawyer's assignation. On the other hand, she doesn't really want sole custody of Rose.

4. C the G gets custody (75%). She is the mother of three daughters, even though she's getting rid of two of them through boarding school, thus has the house, etc.

5. I get unfathered (5%). This might be tough to obtain, and it would deprive her of the pleasure of cashing my child support checks, but I won't have any obvious source of income on 3 September, the day we see the judge.

It probably doesn't matter that we overplayed an apparently weak hand. An agreement with C the G is worthless anyway, and it made no sense for her to offer joint custody while refusing to allow me anything more than one eight-hour visit per week. The lawyers will have to work out a real shared custody agreement, which is the best possible outcome for everyone, but I doubt C the G will go for it anymore. Besides, I was far too mad about not seeing Rose and having been tricked into giving her back by the pigs, and it was far too important to me to let her know that I was not happy ever since she began beating me on 15 September. It was far too important to me to fight back with words, since for ten months I could not fight back with my fists. One day I will send those letters to C the G, if her lawyer or the judge doesn't show them to her, or to Rose, or maybe I'll just post them to my site without telling anyone, but it matters to me that four times I woke up, hungover and my head still ringing from the blows of her hands, and write, if not masterpieces, at least beautiful letters. I was able to write under the worst imaginable circumstances, and that means something to me.

I reread the above, which I wrote on the back of a paper menu in black ink before switching to blue, and it doesn't make sense. I hadn't even ever reread those four letters before I gave them to my lawyer. I wrote them like I've written all of my best e-mail, almost in real time, although the letter entitled 15 September 2006 I wrote ten days later, after the shock had worn off. My lawyer read them consecutively, most likely in one sitting, which is why she strung them together to creat a coherent narrative. So what do I do now? I get out of town as fast as I can, and stop worrying that Rose may grow up walking to the bar to find her mother, that she may not hear my voice often enough to learn English, that she may call the drunken village undertaker "papa", and that she may come to believe the things her mother tells her about me, because there is probably nothing I can do about any of that. I will confirm to my lawyer that I want to settle for shared custody, and ask her to arrange for visits. I will not write to C the G unless she writes to me, and even then only to reiterate that I love her, that she is the mother of my daughter, and that I never want to see her again, if there is some delicate way to put that last point. If the thirty-five square meter furnished apartment I visited is still available, I can move as soon as the day after tomorrow. I will cancel my appointment with our family doctor. He cannot help me. The blisters on my feet will heal in time, as will the other wounds.

 

From: Moshe Reiss

Date: 1 August 2007

Subject: Re: Style Points

Scott:

I am utterly crushed by your pain.

I can barely stop crying.

If there is anything I can do tell me.

Love

Dad

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 1 August 2007

Subject: Crazier than thou

I paid for, shat in, fell down the stairs of my new one-bedroom flat. I will sleep there tonight. Someone has agreed to pick up my things tonight and bring them tomorrow. But this morning, hungover and having said too much to the bartender last night after the undertaker left the bar for my house, I had a crazy, brilliant, terrible, dangerous idea, the nuclear weapon. What is the problem here? I am never the craziest, most drunken, most violent person in the room. With the undertaker taking my place, I'm not even sure of being the second craziest, most drunken, most violent person in the room. But I can change that state of affaires. My mother should not come here. C the G will just ignore her as she ignored my father. My mother is not very crazy, drunken, or violent. Not my mother, her mother. C the G's family is the nuclear weapon. I do not believe what I see. There are two Uccellatores in Belgium. Their given names are Rosario and Rosaria. Someone please check this and tell me I have not lost my fucking mind. I chose Rose's name. What do I know about her family? The only name I have ever heard is Lorenzo, the brother (or maybe half-brother, and I'm not sure about sisters) who was aquitted of "raping", actually something more commonly called molesting, C the G's elder daughter. I was shown small portions of the judge's five-hundred-page decision in PDF format. What I saw was a scathing indictment of the victim's mother, or at least that's how I interpreted it. It doesn't matter. I will never know what happened, and I don't really care. I care for Rose. What if I could get witness statements from C the G's family? What if I walked into the garden with her mother and said: "I'd like to introduce Rose to her grandmother." At that point I would not even be the third craziest, most drunken, most violent person in the room. But I might have one of the crazy drunks on my side. I have no idea how to deploy the nuclear option. There are lots of ways it could go horribly wrong, but at this point I don't think I have much to lose. I have a few days to think about it, until C the G calms down and my lawyer can get an answer to the settlement offer. But I have to move fast. It will take time to reach these people and convince them I'm not crazy: "Please don't hang up the phone. I am the father of your youngest grand-daughter, Rose."

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 1 August 2007

Subject: Re: Crazier than thou

My lawyer has given me only bad advise, and I don't really think she wants to hear from me anymore. I am not at all sure she believes anything I say, although that may not matter.

The verdict in a sexual assault on a minor case is a very inaccessible document.

C the G told me that the social worker had proposed one eight-hour visit every two weeks. No one believes anything I say, and everyone believes C the G. The only people she can't con are her family members.

Someone had a good idea, sober up for a week at the end of August and get a blood test. That way I have an answer when she shows the judge ten witness statements by the village drunks saying I'm a drunk. In three weeks I will be feeling good enough not to drink. I feel a lot better knowing that I won't sleep in Les Blaches tonight.

The question is if, when, and how to approach C the G's mother. Contacting her means telling her where we live, which means she will show up, demanding to see Rose, as well as her sisters. My guess is that she will not shy away, as I tend to do, and her daughter cannot ignore her. This is an irrevocable step that will make C the G crazy and mad forever. Something bad happened between her and her family. I don't know if it was rape, but it was enough to make her go on the lam. Threats don't usually work with C the G, so I don't think it would be a good idea to mention this to her, but I guess that's also a possibility.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 1 August 2007

Subject: Visite & Transaction

Maitre Rebours,

J'ai loue un appartement meuble aux Gorges. Je vais chercher mes affaires et quitter Les Blaches ce soir.

Est-ce possible d'essayer d'avoir une reponse avant que vous ne partiez pour des visites regulieres a l'exterieur de la maison?

Vous pouvez proposer une transaction de residence alternee, si ce n'est deja fait, du moment ou les quinzaines, semaines, jours, dates, et heures sont fixes, et non pas le sujet d'interminables negociations ulterieures et changements d'avis.

Je suis desole d'insister et de vous embeter, mais j'ai besoin de voir ma fille.

Priere de me tenir au courant.

Merci de votre cooperation.

Meilleures salutations.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 1 August 2007

Subject: Re: Crazier than thou

The adverb "desperately" is a nice addition, I find.

Thank you.

It's nice to hear from you. I cannot believe what a mess I have made, but I am so happy to be out of that house of madness. There were some things I never even bothered to unpack, since I knew I wasn't at home there. I wish I could have lasted another year or two. Unfortunately it just didn't turn out to be possible.

--- Athene Reiss wrote:

> I desperately wish I had something helpful to add to

> the discussion.

> love,

> Athene

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 1 August 2007

Subject: Last Indignity of Les Blaches

Catherine went to the bar while I was waiting for the hotel bar to open. I thought that would be the last time I saw her for a while, a welcome reprieve. As I was saying: "Je prends un taxi, et je m'en vais," she walked right by the door and overheard. The bartender asked me for 800 euros, saying he was giving me a break from the normal price of 1000. He must have gone to school in Israel, for the price he had quoted to me was 300. I was in no mood for bullshit, and I am feeling a little stronger since I've moved. I told him it was three hundred or nothing. He charged me three hundred, and then said in front of another guest that he would make a false witness declaration against me. One fewer instance of false testimony is not worth five hundred euros. C the G isn't even paying her lawyer that much. No wonder I drink so much. I am surrounded by drunken madmen and women.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 1 August 2007

Subject: Wordsworth

Why is no one writing to me? Two of you, Murder and Laurent, can write beautiful letters. One of you, Nichelle, can fall out of bed and write a ten-word, meaningless sentence that makes me cry for weeks. Please do so. I need this.

 

From: Murder

Date: 1 August 2007

Subject: RE: Wordsworth

Gabe,

During the last week of this tour I've had very limited internet access. I'm at Narita, surrounded by drunken kamikazes and women, about to board a plane to New York. We arrive a half-hour earlier than we depart. Your cries will not go unheeded.

Murder

 

From: Nichelle

Date: 1 August 2007

Subject: Re: Wordsworth

Gaby, I am getting my stuff together for a week-long visit to Seattle & Spokane. I'm kind of swamped right now with packing my suitcase and all that but I'll be in touch with you when I return. I'm sorry to hear about everything that you're going through. I'll be in touch when I return.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 2 August 2007

Subject: RE: Wordsworth

It rains. Es regnet. "Il pleure dans mon coeur/Comme il pleut sur la ville;" I've set up Rose's empty bed. Murder's letter gave me the first occasion to cry in a few days. Thanks, John. I am never far from tears. Having a child is the best thing that could ever happen to a man, and the worst mistake of his life. My life no longer belongs to me. It belongs to Rose. And to Rose's mother.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 2 August 2007

Subject: There's no such thing as paranoia.

My last message was supposed to be entitled "Rain". My mother and I are deep in a sea of paranoia. I told her some of the many tales of crazy, drunken, sexual violence that C the G has told me from her family history. She said one of her brothers (or half brothers) was kidnapped and buggered at the age of ten. Apparently the perpetrator asked the boy to choose his preferred method of death among hanging, drowning, and a slit throat. He is said to have chosen drowning, and swam away. C the G showed me the bridge in Namur where this is supposed to have taken place many years ago. I ask you, which strains credibility less, that this happened, or that C the G made it up? I do not know the answer to that question. Nichelle told me she was raped four times. How likely is that? Do I believe Nichelle? Yes, and so do you.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 2 August 2007

Subject: Sick Game

I am playing an unhealthy game. I can see the keywords entered into the search engine on my site. I wonder who made these:

Day Time of Query Query

--- -------------------- ---------------

Thu Jul 26 14:59:27 2007 teen porn

Sat Jul 14 07:15:24 2007 harassment sexual

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 2 August 2007

Subject: Endless Indignity

At four o'clock I suddenly realized that I had not only forgotten cancelled passports, paid bills and receipts, expired credit cards, but all of my 'puter periferals. I asked Philippe to drive me back into the Lion's den, and I waited an hour for the bartender to open forty minutes late. His greeting of: "What are you doing back here?" didn't promise a kind welcome. (That's the second time I've written that word in two days. I keep thinking of the name of the restaurant where C the G and I had a drink on 2 July, and she said to the waiter: "Usually I come here with my lovers, but today I've come with my husband.") He ignored my request for my suitcases, and told me I owed him another hundred and fifty euros because my father had shat and showered in the appartment. Actually my father is an old man, and old men seldom shower. I believe he shat a few times. I told the bartender that my bags contained identity papers and credit cards, so I would have to call the gendarmes and file a declaration of loss. The son of a bitch actually made me do it. Soon I will know the number by heart. I suggested to the pigs that a quick phone call might be cheaper to the taxpayer than another prolonged legal struggle, which is the last thing I need. I guess the cops were persuasive, for the bartender told me to come get my things. He actually brought the hulking cook as a witness. I believe Freud used the Latin word "lapsus" or maybe the French phrase "acte manqué" for the unconscious psychopathology of everyday life. I need to leave Les Blaches, but my daughter (die Niemandsrose) stays there. The only good thing that happened today is that I didn't see C the G.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 2 August 2007

Subject: The Law

I called my lawyer, who didn't seem too interested in talking to me, but did so anyway. I was mistaken. She is leaving on 18 August or so, and for two weeks, so we have time. As my mind gets clear, now that I am really out of Les Blaches, I will write to her describing, to the best of my ability, the selected passages I've seen of the verdict in Uccellatore vs Uccellatore, as I remember them. I will see if we could possibly subpoena this highly confidential document concerning the alleged rape of C the G's daughter by her uncle, C the G's brother, if only the judge can read it. I don't need to read it. I know what it says, that C the G is a jealous, dishonest, pergury-suborning, irresponsible mother, who goes out leaving her daughters in the hands of irresponsible drunks. I am just happy that I am no longer the irresponsible drunk of record. If not, I will just tell the judge what I remember, and suggest that he might wish to read this text before rendering his judgement. I agree with my mother that it is far too risky, and irrevocable, to contact C the G's mother. There are enough crazy, drunken, violent people in Les Blaches. We are in this for the long term. Even if I am unfathered, it may not be forever. Rose is forever. C the G is unfortunately also forever.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 2 August 2007

Subject: Hear ye

I finally figured out what had made me cry in Murder's letter. It was the word "unheeded". It is basically meaningless. There is nothing to heed in my cries. There is something to hear. John's phrase pulls the eye and ear in one direction, towards an expected word, and then diverts them in another direction, towards an unexpected word that shares a couple of letters and phonemes with the expected word. I have no idea, and couldn't care less, if Murder did this on purpose or because one of the drunken Japanese Kamikazi (Can someone please spell that word?) was giving him a blowjob in the cybercafe. But I know that John can write, and writing is mostly mind and muscle memory, as is music, and Murder is a musician. In the same way, the most important word in the letter entitled "Rain" is not the title. It is the word "Es", as in "Wo Es war, soll Ich sein." Paul Verlaine's quoted poem calls attention to this same impersonal third person subject by using it in twice in parallel with an habitual verb "pleuvoir" and a similar-looking-sounding inhabitual verb "pleurer". I translated this by using the present tense: "It rains," rather than the present progressive (or continuous for our English readers), which is not standard unless it is followed by some kind of time object, such as "...at night in Ardony." I had written a much better version of this letter, but I lost it because of an AZERTY keyboard, an unknown mail client, and long fingernails.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 3 August 2007

Subject: Uccellatore contre Uccellatore

Maitre Rebours,

Y a-t-il moyen d'introduire ou de faire parvenir au juge la decision du juge belge dans le dossier Uccellatore contre Uccellatore, l'accusation du viol de sa fille faite par Mme Uccellatore contre son frere?

Ce document, dont je n'ai lu que de courts extraits choisis par Mme Uccellatore, ou pourtant elle n'est accusee de rien, n'etant que la mere de la victime presumee, et la soeur de l'accuse, est une condamnation cinglante de la maternite de Mme Uccellatore, qui y est taxee de faux temoin, de commandateur de faux temoignages, et de mere irresponsable (voire indigne) qui abandonne ses enfants pour sortir le soir.

Ce document, ecrit par la justice belge dans une affaire gravissime, est peut-etre plus convaincant que toutes les attestations des villageois des Blaches que Mme Uccellatore est en train d'accumuler grace justement a son charme et a sa presence assidue dans les cafes du village.

J'ai vu ce document chez moi sur papier (plusieurs centaines de pages) et sur l'ordi de Mme Uccellatore en format PDF. Mme Uccellatore le tenait de son avocet a Namur, dont je ne connais malheureusement pas le nom.

Je crois que ce document nous donnera gain de cause, et sauvera ma fille d'un triste avenir, grandir avec une mere qui la prive de son pere et remplace celui-ci a la maison trois semaines apres qu'il a du s'enfuir sous les coups de violence de sa compagne.

Merci de votre cooperation.

Meilleures salutations.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 3 August 2007

Subject: Rhinocéros

The late Eugene Ionesco wrote to me this morning, and he said: "Je ne capitulerai pas." Last night I got drunk and sang karioke, which I had never done before, the karioke part. Some of you may think this is wrong, but you are wrong. I am a man. I am Rose's father. I am not an animal just because Rose's mother chose to treat me that way. After the Walzing Matilda beating I couldn't sing to Rose for months. C the G had crushed my soul. Men make song. Animals do not. She had turned me into an animal. I will sing a song for Rose every fucking day from now until eternity. I will sing in bars, in bed, in the shower, but not in a psychiatric ward and not in jail. I will not kill myself. I may lose Rose for a month, a year, a decade, or more, but one day I will sit down in a bar with her, order a Ricard, and say: "My love, I could not sing to you when you were eleven months old, but I will sing to you here now and wherever and whenever you wish." If I have to say it in French, I can do that too. I began thinking more about C the G's late husband, whose death certificate does not list a cause of death, but who C the G says killed himself, and whose body she says she found. His mother is also said to have killed herself, and his father is dead too. How convenient for everyone to die so there is no one left to tell me who this woman is, the mother of Rose. So maybe the brothers are alive, the ones who supposedly stole the heritage of their dead brother's daughters. They are my natural allies. Unfortunately they have a very common name, but I might be able to sniff out a trace. I will try. I wrote to my lawyer describing physically and textually the verdict in Uccellatore vs Uccellatore. I think my father is right about this. If the judge sees that document, I will not lose Rose. If the judge understands that document, C the G may be unmothered.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 3 August 2007

Subject: Table 4 2

C the G got me taken off of her social security insurance. I guess it was more fun to have me be uninsured than to have me pay for medical products and services while she collected the reimbursement checks, more in Rose's best interest, shall we say. The landlord came to make a couple of repairs, and saw Rose's place set at the kitchen table. (That reminds me, I forgot to buy a high chair. I think I'll do that today.) He asked me if I had children. Tears welled in my eyes as I said: "Yes, I'm waiting for my daughter." He offered to help me put the barrier on the door to her room. I got insurance for the apartment in order to keep him happy. I am working my way down the list of administrative things I need to do. The state house people told me I could come change my residence on 3 September, our next court date, and that if the police ask I can just say the state house is on vacation, so I couldn't do it in the mandated eight days.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 4 August 2007

Subject: Rhyming Prose

I have dug my fingernails into my sanity, and I will cling to it. I remember September 1996 when one of Tesla's friends, maybe Burgundy, said she "needed" to speak with Nichelle. Sean, or Inverness, or whatever you wish to call him, had told someone his side of the story. Tales may be told twice, as Mr Poe once said, but not every story has two sides. To remember, even to misremember, is an act of courage. To forget is to give in to death. To write is to live forever. To speak is to waste your breath. There is only one person on Earth I ever wish to speak to again. The goal of my life is to teach Rose English.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 4 August 2007

Subject: Devil's Dam

"Dromio of Syracuse: Nay, she is worse, she is the devil's dam; and here she comes in the habit of a light wench: and thereof comes that the wenches say 'God damn me;' that's as much to say 'God make me a light wench.' It is written, they appear to men like angels of light: light is an effect of fire, and fire will burn; ergo, light wenches will burn. Come not near her."

The Comedy of Errors, IV.iii.

It was only on the second or third reading that I noticed the rhyme of "death" and "breath". (The rhyme of "remember" and "September" was more conventionally intentional, as if that mattered at all.) I then changed the title from "No Two Sides" to "Rhyming Prose", an epistolary genre traditionally written in Latin. It was only after a couple more readings that I noticed the rhyme of "Prose" and "Rose". I cannot fathom how I could have written anything so beautiful as:

To remember, even to misremember, is an act of courage.

To forget is to give in to death.

To write is to live forever.

To speak is to waste your breath.

I guess the forbidden poetry of my soul welled up inside me for two years, and has finally burst the dam. Whoever wrote that I was "obviously doing well" has a severe reading comprehension handicap. I am obviously doing about as wretchedly as could be imagined, as badly as C the G could hope for. I am obviously writing well.

 

From: Syvie

Date: 4 August 2007

Subject: votre site

Bonjour, je suis passée sur votre site. Je comprends un peu l'anglais, j'aimerais mieux le comprendre... J'écris moi aussi, peut-être pourrions-nous avoir un contact et en parler, si cela vous intéresse, peut-être.

Sylvie

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 4 August 2007

Subject: Hatred

I remember someone to whom my mother forwarded "Room 126" answered, saying that he was sorry the birth of my daughter had been such a "negative experience". Don't they teach reading in American schools? The greatest day of my life was, in this poor fool's mind, a "negative experience"? Murder answered appropriately making a pun on "Dr Scheisskopf". The only negative part of that experience was that C the G went mad about my sending the images to Nichelle. I never took another picture of Rose. I never set up my webcam so that Rose's grandparents could watch her online. I never wrote about her, a couple of bad letters painfully devoid of the slightest poetry. C the G hated everything I wrote, hated cantillation marks, hated even the text I wrote for her in French "Art analogue & représentation numérique", hated above all things on Earth Nichelle.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 4 August 2007

Subject: Fwd: votre site

Please indulge me a moment of utter paranoia. I received the message hereunder today. I never get mail from my site. I think it's happened once in five years. And French mail? There's no longer almost anything in French, ever since C the G tormented me into trashing the poems I wrote to Miss Marseille. I am somewhat embarassed to say that I don't know C the G's style, except enough to know that she's an, um, aspiring writer, as well as being a painter of unknown merit, since that is not my field. That is why she hates Nichelle, who is a great writer. I keep looking at the words to find a clue. She uses suspension points, as do all aspiring writers and Celine. The address includes 63, which is odd. C the G thinks I've got the youth cult, and like young thangs, except that the woman she accused me of fucking while she was pregnant is about our age. I guess this is why she is fucking the drunken undertaker, who is about thirty. The phrase "peut-être" might be her style, and a parody of mine, since I always say: "peut-être", "presque", and "Je ne sais pas," which drives her fucking crazy. There are no nominal sentences, which she loves, and I hate. The somewhat precious inversion of "pourrions-nous" would also be more appropriate to my style than to hers. There's also nothing really so odd about someone misspelling her own name in the "From" header. All told I have no idea, but I'm not answering. If it's an ugly coincidence, I wish the gods would be so kind as to spare me coincidences for the next month.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 4 August 2007

Subject: Fwd: Rhinocéros

Maitre Rebours,

Si je ne puis rien faire, et que vous ne puissiez rien faire non plus, je tiens a avertir la justice francaise devant laquelle vous me representez, du dechirement et de la desolation que Mme Uccellatore m'a infliges et continue a m'infliger, et de la negligeance et de la maltraitance auxquelles est exposee ma fille, ainsi que ses soeurs.

Ma famille recoit deux, trois, quatre lettres par jour comme celle que je vous transmets ci-dessous. Quant a ma fille et ses soeurs, je vous raconte cette anecdote survenue le 31 juillet en fin d'apres-midi. Stella est sortie de la maison pendant que je telephonais a ma mere de la cabine d'en face. Elle a crie a travers la rue au bar de l'hotel Saturne: "Christophe, maman dit que tu peux venir a la maison maintenant." C'est dans cet environement que ma fille va grandir? Pauvre Rose, pauvre Stella, pauvre Catherine, mere indigne.

Mme Uccellatore a coupe le contact avec toute sa famille, ainsi qu'avec celle de son feu mari. Je ne sais rien d'elle, a part le peu qu'elle m'a raconte, et que j'ai de bonnes raisons de mettre en doute, notamment a cause de l'acquittement de son frere, le seul membre de la famille dont je connais le prenom, ainsi que celui de son feu mari. Je ne sais pas si elle a des soeurs, ni le nombre de ses freres et demi-freres. Mme Uccellatore et ses filles habitent un univers clos, ou sa parole est divine. Ceux qui la contestent doivent disparaître. Mme Uccellatore cherche a me faire disparaître de la vie de Rose. Celle-ci n'a pas encore un an, et elle est deja coupee de son pere ainsi que de ses quatre grands-parents.

Priere de m'aider avant le 18 aout. Sinon on n'aura meme pas le temps de se voir avant le jugement.

Merci de votre cooperation.

Meilleures salutations.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 5 August 2007

Subject: A qui de droit

Madame, Monsieur Uccellatore,

Je suis le père de:

Rose Reiss, née le 27 août 2006 à Aubagne, France

Sa mère est:

Catherine Patricia Uccellatore, née le 16 juillet 1968 à Namur

Ses sœurs sont:

Sarah Chevalier, née le 3 décembre 1993 à Namur

Stella Chevalier, née le 3 juillet 1995 à Namur

Leur adresse est:

Le Gougeon, 96000 Les Blaches, France

Ainsi soit-il.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 5 August 2007

Subject: Living Will

I have finally figured out what we are fighting over. We are not fighting over Rose. We are fighting over competing narratives, and C the G will stop at nothing in order to impose her narrative. She must be believed, and no competing narrative must survive, so she will have to ask for my unfathering. That is why she cuts everyone off, her family, her late husband's family, so that they can't talk, or even bear witness by their silent presence. She will not let me see Rose, nor speak to her. If I can speak to Rose, under normal conditions, I can contest her narrative of our life together. Rose will not believe her, and the girls will be exposed to a competing narrative through their sister's mouth. Sterner measures are thus needed, as the Marquis de Sade once said. I have written the letter entitled "A qui de droit" ("To whom it may concern") to be printed and sent to the Uccellatore addresses in case something untoward happens to me, an accident, a convenient suicide, etc. I will try to get an appointment to make a will giving a symbolic five percent of my part of the house to Ben. That would get you a seat at the table, if I am no longer around. I think my mother was right about this, but it doesn't have to be done until September, as C the G's confidence will remain unshakable until the decision comes down, mid- to end-September. Athene, can you please gather some documentation for Ben? US passports are already translated into French, so that would be most convenient. I'll let you know what else I need, as soon as I can get an appointment with the notary public. I have written to my lawyer again, trying not to sound too paranoid. I have asked her to do something before she leaves on 18 August. I think C the G will just stall until then, and then I am on my own. I will not even know what documents they are submitting, nor whether, as I suspect, they are asking for my unfathering. I will have to reconsider threatening her with exposure to her mother. I can even do that in writing, as there is nothing illegal about it, and I do not want to talk to her on the phone. Her brother was acquitted, therefore he is innocent. Her mother was vindicated. She skipped town.

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 5 August 2007

Subject: Rose

Bonjour Gavriel,

Je pense que tu as quitté Les Blaches.

As-tu trouvé un appartement?

Es-tu bien installé?

Merci de me donner quelques informations pour le futur.

Bonne journée,

Catherine,

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 5 August 2007

Subject: Fw: Rose

Maitre Rebours, je vous en prie. J'ai pas envie de repondre. J'ai pas envie de communiquer avec cette maratre. Je veux juste voir ma fille. Je ne sais pas a quoi elle joue, mais c'est indecent. Ne pouvez-vous rien pour moi?

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 5 August 2007

Subject: Re: Rose

Catherine,

J'ai quitte Les Blaches. J'ai trouve un appartement. Je suis bien installe.

Ca fait un mois que Rose n'a pratiquement pas pu voir son pere.

Est-ce que Rose et moi nous pouvons nous voir a la terasse interieure du cafe du Commerce un jour a 10h ou a 14h, ou comme tu veux?

Merci.

Gabriel

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 5 August 2007

Subject: Recherche d'un decede

Madame, Monsieur,

Etant dans une situation tres penible, avec le sort de mon enfant en jeu, j'ecrit pour vous demander de me rendre un grand service, mais qui n'est peut-etre pas difficile pour vous.

J'ai besoin de renseignements sur la mort d'un Belge denomme Patrick Chevalier en septembre 1996. Est-ce que vous pouvez utilisez de vos ressources pour me trouver quelques articles dans la presse de cette epoque?

Merci infiniement.

Meilleures salutations.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 5 August 2007

Subject: Playing the Odds

My paranoia has migrated into the idee fixe or idee noire obsessive compulsive phase, as C the G torments me with e-mail pleasantries, asking if I have found an apartment and requesting information "for the future". The only reason she might not ask for me to be unfathered is to enjoy the thrill of manipulating my life through Rose. Meanwhile I have become convinced, based on no evidence whatsoever, that she offed her husband. I have written to a few Belgian newspapers asking for help. The date was September 1996. All I need is a little information, a few articles, some odd detail that escaped the bored pigs at the time, and the name of one of the survivors. I'm sure they would be very happy to open an inquiry into their brother's death. What is the statute of limitations on murder? Does anyone have access to LexisNexis? I have written to them too. Their Belgian page (which is oddly in either English or Dutch) seems to offer only due diligence business information. I need the faits divers, the odd paragraph about the broken-hearted man who couldn't see his daughters, and killed himself with gasoline. "At the time one of the neighbors said that it seemed odd, since he drove a diesel car, but the police turned a deaf ear. It was ruled a suicide." I can almost hear this man talking to me from the other world, like the ghost of Agamemnon. Stella is said to look like him in gesture and physique. Murder will out, you besotted slut. Elizabeth Bathory is said to have bathed in blood, and C the G has very soft skin. I hope the bitch rots in a Belgian jail. She likes it rough anyway.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 5 August 2007

Subject: Chez Papi

"Ou est le cafe Bolz, s'il vous plait?" "Chez Papi." Grandpa is almost eighty years old. His bar is the spiritual center of my new neighborhood. The bartender of the Bar des Gorges, in which I write my mail, lives in Papi's building, formerly an hotel. The waitress lives down the street. Luis, whose left hand is missing a few fingers, and his daughter Eugenie run this place. I don't know what the neighborhood is called, but the street that runs through it is the Rue du Temple, although I can hear church bells from my tiny flat. Rose loves the sound of church bells. I live in a little cobblestone alley next to Nichole, a waitress at my landlord's former restaurant, which is now called Le Leprechaun, right next to Chez Papi. There is also Le Brin d'Herbe, which has a light feminist touch. I haven't found a bar I like, but I haven't found a bar I like anywhere since Sweet Lou's Place in Syracuse. Nichelle and I were the house white folks, as you know. Since 1997 I've been disbarred. No wonder I wept when I said good-bye to Lou, Mister Betsy, and the regulars. I'll have to wait until the tourists clear out before I can figure out how this town works. There are only two places that look like bars, The American Lobster, which seems to be some demented Frenchman's idea of an Irish pub, and I forget the name of the other place, but their beautiful interior terasse is forbidden to drinkers, restaurant only. I assume they would serve me, if I had Rose. If I had Rose, it wouldn't matter.

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Subject: Re: Rose

Date: 6 August 2007

Bonsoir,

Si tu es bien installé, si je peux avoir un document de ton avocate qui certifie que tu me rendras Rose, si tu me laisses tes passeports. Ma hantise est que tu enlèves Rose à sa mère, ce serait criminel pour Rose. Si tu écoutes mes conseils pour que Rose se porte bien. Alors, je serai prêtre à partager les vacances afin que Rose qui t'oublie déjà sache qu'elle a un père.

J'ai reçu ta note d'ambulance, que je dois bien entendu payer.

J'ai des problèmes avec mon site, pourrais-tu en échange, payer mon site, le temps que je trouve la solution sur mon nouveau domaine.

Je ne te demande pas de pension alimentaire, comme tu l'as fait.

Je te demande de penser à Rose. Ne la déchire pas plus, je te le demande à genoux. J'aime Rose, elle a besoin de sa mère, bien plus que ce que tu peux penser.

Au revoir,

Catherine,

 

From: Murder

Date: 6 August 2007

Subject: The Ghost of Agamemnon

Her e-mail arrived in my inbox at 4:02. I'm beyond caring whether that's Tokyo or New York time, since I've lost the ability to tell time anyway. The two names side by side struck a lance through me. Vanessa. Graham. The last time we talked was September 1996, after which I made a silent oath never to speak with her again. She had taken the last name of the man with whom she had cheated on me. Having a child with her would have been the worst mistake of my life, so I stopped sleeping with her for fear she would sabotage the condoms. Just like her sister had done. Nichelle, who was there when the porch collapsed at the wedding, knows the whole story. I am risking the wrath of Vanessa's crazy, drunken, violent husband by meeting with her and her three children this week. I've done the math; they are not mine. Since she is obviously doing well, I do not understand her declarations of love to me. Nothing is forever. Not C the G. Not tonic and dominant. And certainly not reality.

Murder

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 6 August 2007

Subject: Rose

J'aimerais également que l'assistante sociale passe chez toi en ma présence pour constater que Rose pourrait y rester le week-end avec son père dans de bonnes conditions.

Pourrais-tu me communiquer l' adresse où tu vis et un contact téléphonique.

Catherine,

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 6 August 2007

Subject: Re: The Ghost of Agamemnon

Murder, I do not understand much of this message, but you are the man. September 1996 is a date familiar to all of us. It was a weird and brutal month. Is every family so crazy and drunken and violent? So far as I know, no one killed his spouse in my family, no one got drunk, no one raped any children. Why does this happen to us? Be careful, my friend, and do do the math. As Laurent knows better than I, counting is very important, and they results are often quite surprising.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 6 August 2007

Subject: The World Without

Finally, to the depths of my agony, two of you were able to write a beautiful letter. That's all I ask from life, to see my daughter, and to know that someone is still alive who can read and write, who can look through his tears at the keyboard and create a work of art. It doesn't have to be a masterpiece. I gave up on masterpieces at the same advanced age as I gave up adolescence. Masterpieces no longer fit our world. I answered one of the letters semi-privately, and the other author asked me not to answer, so I won't, but thanks to both of you. To write, you need only stop thinking, and use what John "Keep your scarf on." Keats called negative capability. Hervey Allen wrote the same thing somewhat more elaborately in his twelve-hundred-page monsterpiece, Anthony Adverse, which is so great that it's not even available used, but is published by the Australian Gutenberg:

"And what had Anthony been doing? Exactly what has been related. He had learned to give himself up to being nothing but muscles to paddle with and eyes to search the river ahead; to use every faculty to slay and to keep from being slain by animals; to sharpen his five wits so keenly that the world without became the world within--and he had discovered how to master the world without and how to cope with it."

When you lose yourself so completely that the world without becomes the world within, then you can create symbolic representations in words, music, and numbers. The difference between "Room 126" and "Rhyming Prose" is that in the former the writer felt good and wrote badly because of the presence of both Rose and her mother. In the latter, the opposite obtains, the writer felt bad and wrote well because of the absence of both Rose and her mother. If C the G has any merit as an artist, which remains an open question, although Murder liked her blue, and I respect his opinion in all things, future biographers will look at these months as a case study of too much poetry in the pot. Too much art is not a good thing. In an epistolary novel I wrote and lost many moons ago, my coauthor wrote: "Ce n'est pas une histoire d'amour. C'est une histoire de désamour." Benedicte Ackermann, whose name forms two lovely anapests, was a better writer than C the G, and she was also a painter of unknown merit. Anyway the bride of Frankenstein has set her conditions for a week-end visit. I guess she's tired of taking care of her daughter and wants to go to the bar and get cluster-fucked on the billiards table. Among the more laughable, she wants my passports and for me to pay her domain name renewal. Um, if she has my passport, she can get one for Rose. Um, if I pay her domain name renewal, she can access my credit card and buy plane tickets to Tahiti for the whole family. I may be mad with woe, but no one is that crazy.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 6 August 2007

Subject: Housekeeping

I made a quick cleaning of the upstairs, Rose's room, and laid down one of the magic carpets my father brought from Israel. I'll do the bathroom tomorrow, and the downstairs on Thursday, after clearing the beer out of the fridge and asking the workmen not to eat and shit at my place anymore. The social worker may come Friday. Rose, my love, my angel, may arrive Saturday, or even Friday evening. I have to try to get the gate on her door before then, and fix the fucking futon to show I sleep downstairs, which I don't. I've already stuck anti-skid tape to the steps. The boiler won't get fixed by then, but I'll shower Thursday night so there will be no smell of burnt gas on Friday. C the G tacked on the social worker's visit to her already difficult list of conditions. I will reject the bit about C the G visiting, unless it's a dealbreaker. If I have to suffer yet another indignity of this kind, then I will. I must see Rose.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 6 August 2007

Subject: Re: Rose

Attached: doteasy.jpg

Catherine,

Sachant que legalement et moralement nous avons des droits egaux sur notre enfant, priere de trouver ma reponse a tes conditions ci-dessous en LETTRES MAJUSCULES.

Merci.

Meilleures salutations.

Gabriel

--- catherine uccellatore wrote:

> J'aimerais également que l'assistante sociale passe

> chez toi en ma présence

> pour constater que Rose pourrait y rester le

> week-end avec son père dans de

> bonnes conditions.

SI L'ASSISTANTE SOCIALE ACCEPTE DE SE DEPLACER ET VENIR CHEZ MOI, ELLE EST LA BIENVENUE. EN REVANCHE, TU NE L'ES PAS. PRIERE DE LUI DEMANDER DE ME CONTACTER AU NUMERO CI-DESSOUS POUR FIXER UN RENDEZ-VOUS, SI ELLE LE VEUT BIEN.

> Pourrais-tu me communiquer l' adresse où tu vis et

> un contact téléphonique.

TU PEUX ME JOINDRE, EN CAS DE NECESSITE, AU 06.##.##.##.##. JE PREFERE NE PAS TE DONNER MON ADRESSE.

> Catherine,

--- catherine uccellatore wrote:

> Bonsoir,

> Si tu es bien installé, si je peux avoir un document

> de ton avocate qui

> certifie que tu me rendras Rose, si tu me laisses

> tes passeports.

MES PASSEPORTS, AINSI QUE MES CLEFS DE LA MAISON, SONT CHEZ LE MAIRE DES BLACHES DEPUIS LE 6 JUILLET. SI TU LE SOUHAITES, JE VEUX BIEN LES DEPLACER CHEZ MON AVOCAT, QUI COMMUNIQUERA A TON AVOCAT QU'ELLE LES DETIENT.

Ma hantise

> est que tu enlèves Rose à sa mère, ce serait

> criminel pour Rose. Si tu

> écoutes mes conseils pour que Rose se porte bien.

ECRIS-MOI TES CONSEILS.

> Alors, je serai prêtre à

> partager les vacances afin que Rose qui t'oublie

> déjà sache qu'elle a un

> père.

> J'ai reçu ta note d'ambulance, que je dois bien

> entendu payer.

IL SUFFIT DE M'ENVOYER LA FACTURE. J'AI FAIT SUIVRE MON COURIER.

> J'ai des problèmes avec mon site, pourrais-tu en

> échange, payer mon site, le

> temps que je trouve la solution sur mon nouveau

> domaine.

J'AI DEJA DEMANDE A TON HEBERGEUR DE BIEN VOULOIR T'AIDER, OU TE PROPOSER LE VIREMENT BANCAIRE COMME MOYEN DE PAIEMENT LE CAS ECHEANT. (VOIR LA CAPTURE D'ECRAN CI-JOINTE.) JE M'EN OCCUPE.

> Je ne te demande pas de pension alimentaire, comme

> tu l'as fait.

> Je te demande de penser à Rose. Ne la déchire pas

> plus, je te le demande à

> genoux. J'aime Rose, elle a besoin de sa mère, bien

> plus que ce que tu peux

> penser.

> Au revoir,

> Catherine,

uccellatore.net

From: SAGReiss

Date: 7 August 2007

Subject: The Killer B

Barry Bonds is an uppity nigger. He is a drug-crazed steroids addict who abuses fans, teamates, and journalists alike, who are all too willing to return the favor. He has also hit 755 home runs against equally drug-crazed pitchers who do not like to be abused. I recall watching him terrorize opposing teams in the fall of 2002 and the spring of 2003, not just beat them, but scare them into intentionally walking him to force in meaningful runs in games played for money. He is the greatest athelete I have ever seen, beyond the realm of Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods, sportsmen of similarly intimidating presence. His swing surges up from the hips, his arms spin down from the shoulders, and all the strength of his juiced body is transferred to his black, maple bat as it meets the ball head on. The outcome seems inevitable, like nature, like luck, for beating another man is nothing. The only game worth playing is a game of chance, which is no doubt why C the G and the undertaker play chess. The only worthy opponent is death, happenstance.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 7 August 2007

Subject: Men at Work

My sister found that last letter offensive. If anyone else thinks he can tell me how to write, I can delete his address as I've just done to hers. My e-mail was censored for two years. It will never be again. Philippe sports a huge head of salt-n-pepa dreadlocks, a handlebar moustache, and a perpetual one-week growth of beard stubble. He and his son Pablo, whom he lost and eventually found, eat at my place with a coworker named John, but let's call him Ishmael to avoid confusion, since that's his son's name, and because, well you know. Ishmael may be the last happily married father in Ardony. I try to civilize them with plates and napkins because this civilizes me, and the service reminds me of what I still need to buy. After they leave, of course, no one but me and Rose will ever eat in my home. Rose has only begun to learn the joys, and horrors, of civilization. Philippe was saying he should retrain as a marriage counselor, but his advice is always the same: "Prends-lui la rondelle." I of course did this to C the G on many occasions, but I don't think it did much good. I used to dream of her death while we were fucking.

 

From: Cortex-Archives DH

Date: 7 August 2007

Subject: RE: Recherche d'un decede

Bonjour,

Pourriez-vous être plus précis dans la demande? De quoi s'agit-il réellement? Quel fait divers dois-je trouver?

Un nom ne suffira pas...

Bien à vous...

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 7 August 2007

Subject: RE: Recherche d'un decede

Madame, Monsieur,

Merci de votre mail.

Il s'agit de la mort, presume par suicide, du Belge Patrick Chevalier en Belgique en septembre 1996.

La question est de savoir s'il s'agit vraiment d'un suicide. La famille du defunt semble n'y avoir pas cru.

Meilleures salutations.

Scott Reiss

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 7 August 2007

Subject: Etat Civile

Madame, Monsieur,

Je m'appelle Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss. Je suis le pere de Rose Reiss, citoyenne italienne, nee le 27 aout 2006 a Aubagne (Ardon).

Comme je me trouve en conflit avec la mere de l'enfant, Catherine Patricia Uccellatore, citoyenne italienne, nee le 16 juillet 1968 a Namur (Belgique), je tiens a vous informer que dans aucun cas je ne suis d'accord pour que ma fille Rose obtienne un passeport, ni qu'elle figure sur le passeport de sa mere.

Merci de me confirmer par retour.

Meilleures salutations.

Scott Reiss

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 7 August 2007

Subject: Re: Rose

Catherine,

Suite a notre conversation telephonique, mon avocet propose le compromis suivant: je te confie mes passeports, et tu me confies le tien, et ceci jusqu'au jugement.

Quant a mon adresse, je l'ecrirai sur le recu que je prepare en echange de ton passeport, et je te le donne au moment ou tu me donnes Rose.

Je te remercie de bien vouloir me preparer un recu aussi en echange de mes deux passeports.

Meilleures salutations.

Gabriel

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 7 August 2007

Subject: Re: Rose

Scott,

Je ne peux te confier mon passeport, comme tu le sais je ne vais partir avec Rose. Mon passeport ne peut que te servir à enlever Rose.

Comme tu viens de me le faire comprendre,tu as via mon site, mon numéro de carte bancaire.

J'en ai marre de cet esprit malsain dans lequel nous vivons.

Tu m'as coupé l'accès internet à deux reprises, déjà. Cela est punissable, comme ton travail avec un faux diplome.

Je t'ai fait confiance, idiotement, je le concède... Aujourd'hui j'ai peur, comme toute mère qui aime sa fille aurait peur.

J'aimerais que Rose puisse avoir un contact avec son père et sa mère, mais tu fais tout pour ne plus rencontrer Rose.

Catherine Uccellatore,

Catherine
              uccellatore mp3

From: SAGReiss

Date: 7 August 2007

Subject: Re: Rose

Catherine,

J'ai accede a toutes tes demandes, et tu rencheris toujours.

Tu veux mes passeports, j'en ai propose un echange, selon le sage conseil de Maitre Rebours.

Tu m'as demande de t'aider avec le nom de domaine que j'ai achete pour toi, j'ai essaye de t'aider en leur ecrivant de ta part.

Le compte internet de la maison etait a moi, comme le modem que tu utilises l'est toujours. J'en ai la facture, ainsi que pour le reste de mes affaires qui demeurent a la maison. Suite a ta demande, j'ai fait basculer le compte a ton nom.

Mon diplome est homologue par le "board of education" de l'etat de Connecticut.

Nous avons des droits egaux sur Rose. Tu m'en prives depuis le 14 juillet contre l'interet de Rose, contre la loi, contre la morale, et contre nature.

Priere de ne plus me telephoner. Je t'ai donne ce numero pensant, a tort apparamment, que cela facilitera une visite avec Rose.

Meilleures salutations.

Gabriel

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 7 August 2007

Subject: Re: Rose

Scott,

TUfais comme tu veux, tu as toujours fait comme tu veux.

Je ne peux mettre en danger ma fille. Le fait que tu sois son père m'obligera peut-être à la mettre en danger. En attendant, continue dans le mensonge et l'arnaque, tu es très fort pour ça.

Il est facile de prouver que tu n'as jamais existé dans l'université où tu as acheté ton diplôme.

Il est facile de prouver que tu as été renvoyé pour harcèlement sexuel avant de devoir quitter les Etats-Unis pour squatter chez ton père en Israël.

J'ai essayé que tu rencontres ta fille, le 14 juillet, tu es venu pour la dernière fois, alors que tu écris des courriers disant que je t'empèche de voir ta fille. J'ai voulu continuer pour que Rose ne perde pas le contact avec son père, mais tu refuses de la voir....

TOUT EST CONTRADICTION. JE SUIS DANS LA VERITE. CONTINUE DE MENTIR ET ETRE DANS LA CONTRADICTION.

Si je demande tes passeports, c'est pour ne pas que tu m'enlèves Rose. Tu ne veux plus la rencontrer chez moi. Tu veux la prendre à l'extérieur, sans que je sache où elle est, ni dans quelles conditions elle vit.

Pour quelles raisons veux-tu mon passeport? Ca n'a pas de sens...

Pour le reste, tu sais ce que tu as fait...

Je pense finalement que tu n'as pas envie de voir Rose. J'aurais aimé pour elle le meilleur, une vie de famille que tu n'es pas capable d'assumer. J'assume seule.

J'ai essayé que tu rencontres ta fille mais tu me demandes de te la donner sans savoir où elle est, sans savoir quand je la récupère, sans pouvoir avoir de ses nouvelles... Tu ne veux pas la voir chez moi... Tu essaies de faire croire que je t'empêche de voir Rose, alors que je m'inquiète de l'abondon qu'elle vit et que j'ai toujours essayé qu'elle puisse te voir.

Je ne peux rien faire de plus.

Je suis tristepour Rose, mais je ne peux rien faire pour le moment.

Je payais tout à la maison, eau, électricité, taxes, voiture, assurances, nourriture,(tu as un peu participé) mobilier m'appartient pour la presque totalité, il provient de Belgique... Tu payais internet pour avoir une facture pour la Préfecture afin d'avoir ton permis de séjour en France. C'est moi qui payais le téléphone, j'ai même des communications ave Israël et tous tes coups de téléphone pour avoir tes papiers. Tu étais sur ma sécurité sociale. J'ai encore dernièrement reçu une facture, quand j'ai appelé l'ambulance pour toi, alors que je pensais que tu avais un problème au coeur.

Je n'en peux plus de tes mensonges et de tes manipulations.

Si tu ne veux pas voir Rose chez moi, si tu ne veux pas la voir à l'extérieur en me disant où elle est et en me délivrant tes passeports, et des dates précises, je ne peux plus rien faire.

Catherine Uccellatore,

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 7 August 2007

Subject: Re: Rose

Catherine,

Ton mail est inquietant, pour ne pas dire plus.

J'ai deja accede a toutes tes demandes. Les dates et les heures de la visite et du retour seront precisees. Je te donnerai mon adresse au moment de l'echange des passeports (les miens contre le tien, sans quoi mon avocat n'est pas d'accord, ce qu'elle peut confirmer a Maitre Vessie). Tu as deja mon numero de telephone.

Je ne vais pas repondre a tes accusations. J'ai toutes mes factures et toutes les notes de carte de credit. Les tickets de caisse que tu as brules, toute cette information m'est disponible en ligne.

Prends soin de toi.

Gabriel

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 7 August 2007

Subject: Re: Rose

Scott,

Pourrais-tu t'arranger pour que ton avocate écrive à mon avocat et trouve un accord de visite jusqu'à ce qu'un Juge en décide.

Je n'ai pas confiance en toi.

Je prends soin de mes trois filles,

Catherine Uccellatore,

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 7 August 2007

Subject: Re: Rose

Catherine,

Je pense qu'elle l'a fait le 20 juillet, et nous attendons toujours la reponse.

Maitre Rebours, priere d'ecrire a Maitre Vessie pour resoudre la question du droit de visite et d'hebergement.

Maitre Vessie, priere de repondre a Maitre Rebours.

Merci a tous.

Dieu sauve Rose.

Gabriel

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 7 August 2007

Subject: Halloween

C the G is going crazy again. After I acceded to her nutty list of demands, she kept rejecting the solutions, such as my lawyer's suggestion of an exchange of passports, instead of my just giving her mine. Perhaps she doesn't like the shadow of doubt that she is casting upon me to fall on her as well. Now she is writing ever longer and crazier letters and Ccing both of our lawyers. I do not think I will see Rose before the decision, sometime in mid- to end-September, which means, unless I get custody, I won't see her for a full week until 27 October to 8 November, Halloween vacation. In October it will be every other week-end, Friday to Sunday evening, which is a whole lot better than what I've got now, which is nothing. Her demands are insatiable and protean. In a way, Philippe may be right. I buggered her pretty well, painfully once, but what if I had struck back? What if on 15 September I had smacked her right back? What if I had wacked her pre-emptively? It's not my style, and it might have landed me in jail, but I wonder if it might not have worked. She rules based on fear and intimidation. I wonder how she would like a fist in the face.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 8 August 2007

Subject: Ruthlessly Efficient

Whatever else one may say about the Italians, and C the G's mother was born in Galicia and her father in Sicily, an explosive combustion, they run a ruthlessly efficient burocracy. I got in touch with the Minister of Passports at the consulate in Lyon, and he simply asked me to print, sign, and fax him my e-mail along with a signed copy of my identity papers. I was actually able to do all of this at the Bar des Gorges, which is a full-service establishment. I called him back twenty minutes later. C the G has thus far made no request for a passport, nor that Rose figure on her own passport. If she uses my passport to try and do this, she will be making a big mistake. Even the Gendarmes must frown on passport fraud. If she somehow finds out I have contacted the consulate, she will go crazy again, but that will happen as inevitably as the fall rains.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 8 August 2007

Subject: Truth & Beauty

I need not explain to my regular readers, who know how to read and write, how to create beauty and truth in two short words: "as inevitably as the fall rains." The last two words, ordinary, meaningless, make the reader's mind think of other phrases: "rainfall", "the rain falls", "the rains fall", and the letter that should have been entitled "Rain", and my quotation of Verlaine and misquotation of Freud. "That is all/Ye know on earth, [motherfuckers,] and all ye need to know." I do not have time to teach everyone English. I will teach Rose English.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 8 August 2007

Subject: Presto Pizza

Ishmael told us over lunch of a scene he had witnessed between David and Linda, the couple who sold us the haunted house. Linda is Sicilian, like C the G, but apparently not quite so good at controlling her emotions in public. Ishmael said he was in their Presto pizza parlor when David made some innocuous remark. Innocuous is the operative word here, a very masculine word, even if it's an adjective. Linda, apparently not considering the remark quite so innocuous, grabbed the pizza shovel and slung a 270 degree Celsius pizza at her husband's head. He ducked, so the second pizza splattered all over his chest, badly burning his skin. Ishmael and Philippe also smoked a joint in my kitchen, which I gently suggested might not be such a good idea, as I'm just as likely to find the cops at my home as the social worker. They told me the name of a better, and more beautiful, social worker, and agreed to go next door for drugs. I am sorry if my family is unable to understand that they are witnessing a privilaged moment in time. A consumate literary artist, at the height of his powers and at the bottom of his life, is creating lasting works of poetry in two languages. I even take the time to tell you how to read them. If you can't read French, that's not my fault. If you don't recognize some of the most beautiful words in English literature, I can only tell you that John "Keep your scarf on." Keats wrote the Ode on a Grecian Urn. I can't make you read it.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 8 August 2007

Subject: Next Step Next Door

I have already told the landlord that I would like to move into the unfurnished three-room flat that Philippe and Ishmael are fixing up next door. He told me it should be ready in the winter, which in the south of France probably means manana, maybe next spring. If one of the two best outcomes comes to pass, shared custody or sole custody for me, I will need a nursery or babysitter. One possible solution, Mother, is for you to retire and move into the one-bedroom flat, while Rose and I live next door. With a social security pension and insurance, in addition to family ties, you would have no trouble getting a visa and residence card, and you could live here without speaking French. If this idea appeals to you, please see the following page:

http://www.consulfrance-newyork.org/article.php3?id_article=374

Since some things move slow, while others move faster, it might be a good idea to get started on this sooner rather than later.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 9 August 2007

Subject: Papa's Got a Brand New Bag

The late James Brown, who had many ugly legal struggles over his children and drug habits, said in the year I was born, on the occasion of his recording of the song Papa's Got a Brand New Bag: "I was hearing everything like it was a drum, even the guitar." I feel the same way, an overwhelming heightened sensibility, as Wordsworth said, to the morphology, particularly the grammatical inflections, of ordinary words. Their echo rings in my mind, knocking about between my ears and creating new and surprising juxtapositions. In the last sentence of the letter entitled "Next Step Next Door" the four (Count them.) comparative endings in -er speak to me, overdetermined by a purely syntactic meaning and booming phonology. Every word has lost its semantic meaning, so much dross that the bard blithely ignores, but its silent sound is three times louder in my mind's ear. As the Godfather of Soul said: "I guess my strength is in the rhythm."

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 9 August 2007

Subject: Ode to Rose

My vision of poetry is actually far more graphic (or graphological) than the letter entitled "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" suggests. Linguists have a bad habit of favoring spoken language over written, partly as a backlash to traditional (prescriptive) grammar's partiality to written, preferably Latin, language. Hence I speak of phonemes rattling around in my head, where I might as well have written that visions of graphemes (instead of sugar plums) danced in my head. On the other hand, I don't make the mistake of Gertrude Stein and the James Joyce of Finnegans Wake, abandoning semantics altogether as a linguistic category. Semantics operate in two ways in a text: the pedestrian, "Marcel devient écrivain," summary of the fifteen hundred pages of Remembrance of Things Past, and semantic fields. Yesterday I wrote a letter ostensibly about a song and its relation to my writing style, but if you look at the keywords ("Papa", "children", "born", "echo rings" [Spenser's Epithamaion], "Godfather") you'll see that the letter is but another Ode to Rose. (Please listen to those two diphthonged Os, and look at those two silent Es.)

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 10 August 2007

Subject: Nouvelles

Maitre Rebours, je vous en supplie, ne partez pas en week-end sans m'ecrire un petit mot indiquant ou l'on en est, genre: "j'ai ecrit".

Merci, et excusez-moi de vous deranger encore.

Meilleures salutations.

Gabriel

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 10 August 2007

Subject: (no subject)

Que fais-tu, encore, angelotblanc96. Si tu continues, je porte plainte.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 10 August 2007

Subject: Re: (no subject)

Catherine,

Je n'ai pas la moindre idee de quoi tu parles aujourd'hui (ci-dessous), donc porte plainte, et passons aux choses serieuses.

Suite a ta demande du 7 aout (ci-dessous), Maitre Rebours confirme qu'elle a bien ecrit une lettre officielle a Maitre Vessie vers le 20 juillet au sujet du droit de visite et d'hebergement de Rose et moi, lettre restee morte jusqu'a present. Puisque Maitre Vessie a vraisemblablement pris du retard sur son courrier, Maitre Rebours devait relancer l'appel aujourd'hui meme. Priere de proposer a Maitre Vessie qu'il veuille bien repondre a Maitre Rebours.

De toute facon, pour ne plus priver Rose et moi de notre droit legal et naturel le plus elementaire, a savoir le droit d'un pere et de sa fille de se voir, tu n'as besoin ni de Maitre Vessie ni de Maitre Rebours. Il suffit de m'ecrire: "Viens chercher ta fille tel jour a telle heure pour la ramener tel jour a telle heure." Je prends mon siege auto, je saute dans un taxi, et j'arrive.

Merci de ta cooperation.

Meilleures salutations.

Gabriel

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 10 August 2007

Subject: Rose's Song

John Denver, Annie's Song

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 10 August 2007

Subject: Re: (no subject)

Tu m'as coupé internet déjà deux fois, via thompson, tu m'avais dit, tu comprendras pourquoi je t'ai laissé le modem.

OK.

J'ai essayé à maintes reprises que tu rencontres Rose. En vain.

Depuis que tu es parti, j'assume mes responsabilités de mère.

Le fait de vivre avec toi m'a privée de mes droits financiers pour subvevir aux besoins de mes filles.

Aujourd'hui encore, on me retire 150 euros de trop perçu, chaque mois, seulement parceque tu vivais avec moi.

Mes droits financiers rapport à mes filles me seront versés à partir du mois de septembre.

Ca fait deux mois que j'assume tout, financièrement, affectivement... et toutes les tâches d'une maison, d'un jardin, de trois enfants... Je le fais avec amour, parce que j'aime mes filles.

J'ai voulu vivre la séparation à l'amiliable, tu m'as craché dans le dos.

Je paie en plus de tout, un avocat, parceque tu n'as pas voulu une amitié entre nous.

Aujourd'hui si ça traine, ce n'est pas de ma faute. Tes alitérations en B comme bébé ne sont pas très efficaces.

Si tu as envie de prier tout le monde de faire tes caprices comme ta mère, je t'emprie. Ne me demande plus rien. Tu m'as demandé de ne plus te téléphoner alors que je t'ai téléphoné deux fois pour que nous puissions trouver un accord afin que Rose puissse voir son père même si c'est toi.

Je te demande à mon tour de ne plus m'écrire, tu as une avocate, j'ai un avocat, tu ne dois plus passer par moi.

Tu as abandonné ta fille

Tu as craché sur sa mère

Prière de ne plus m'écrire.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 10 August 2007

Subject: Fwd: Re: (no subject)

Maitre Rebours,

N'y a-t-il vraiment rien a faire jusqu'au 3 septembre?

Est-ce que le juge va croire a ces incoherences bizarres (voir message de Mme Uccellatore ci-dessous)?

Est-ce qu'on peut se voir la semaine prochaine afin de preparer pour le 3 septembre?

Merci de votre aide.

Meilleures salutations.

Gabriel

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 11 August 2007

Subject: Re: (no subject)

Catherine,

Ton avocat ne repond pas depuis le 20 juillet. Si tu lui dis de repondre, il repondra. Donc si cela traine, c'est bel et bien de ton ressort. Mon avocat part le 18 aout, mais il y aura le CIF derriere. Je ne capitulerai pas, comme disait mon ami Eugene Ionesco.

Je ne t'ecris pas pour raconter ma vie, ni pour dialoguer avec toi, ni pour convaincre, ni pour accuser, ni pour repondre a tes accusations. J'ecris pour voir Rose. Si tu veux que j'arrete de t'ecrire, il te suffit d'ecrire une phrase: "Viens chercher ta fille tel jour a telle heure pour la ramener tel jour a telle heure."

Une fois que tu cesses de violer le droit de visite et d'hebergement de Rose et moi, je ne t'ecrirai plus jamais, tu ne m'entendras plus jamais, on ne se verra plus jamais, nous n'aurons meme plus jamais l'occasion de penser l'un a l'autre. Tu n'existeras plus pour moi, comme je n'existerai plus pour toi. Tu n'es qu'un obstacle provisoire a ma paternite, sans quoi tu n'existes deja plus.

Meilleures salutations.

Gabriel

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 11 August 2007

Subject: Déjà plus

I feel powerful. I've just written a withering letter to C the G, whose most magnificent paragraph follows:

"Une fois que tu cesses de violer le droit de visite et d'hébergement de Rose et moi, je ne t'écrirai plus jamais, tu ne m'entendras plus jamais, on ne se verra plus jamais, nous n'aurons même plus jamais l'occasion de penser l'un à l'autre. Tu n'existeras plus pour moi, comme je n'existerai plus pour toi. Tu n'es qu'un obstacle provisoire à ma paternité, sans quoi tu n'existes déjà plus."

Look at that conjugation of verbs of perception in the first, second, third, and fourth persons, the brutal alliteration in p-, and the chilling: "you already no longer exist." I can't write much better than that. (I've added accents to make BabelFish happy.) I shan't see Rose before the decision, but I can live with that. The only thing missing right now is a letter from the Mistress of Mail. Murder, can you please send me that breathtaking phrase that Nichelle wrote in the spring of 2006 about the rain falling on the parking lot? Those several words will comfort my heartbreak.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 11 August 2007

Subject: Pere Prive du Droit de Visite

Madame, Monsieur,

Separe de ma concubine depuis le 1 juillet, je n'ai pas pu voir ma fille de onze mois depuis le 14.

Nous sommes passes devant le juge le 19, mais c'a ete renvoye au 3 septembre. mon ex-concubine refuse de me laisser voir ma fille.

Mon avocat part le 18 aout, donc je vais me retrouver tout seul devant une justice absente.

Priere de m'aider.

S'il faut que je vienne en stop a Aubagne, je le ferai.

Merci de me contacter a cette adresse.

Meilleures salutations.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 11 August 2007

Subject: Blackout

Communication has completely short-cercuited. My lawyer forgot to write to me yesterday, so I don't know if she wrote to C the G's lawyer, who won't answer her redundant mail anyway. I don't know how to answer my cell phone, or rather to make it ring instead of directly accessing voice mail, which I can sometimes listen to, but must learn how to record to a permanent support medium. (I have three days left to export Tuesday's incriminating messages, and I don't know if that's legal.) C the G has asked me no longer to write, but I don't care what she wants. I will ask to see my daughter every day, or as the inspiration alights. Let the judge decide who is responsible for this violation of my paternal rights. I still have two serious options, and one crazy one. I will get an appointment with another social worker, not the beautiful one, but an Arab, who might also be beautiful for all I know. I have written to the CIF, which is either Centre d'Information des Femmes et des Familles or Centre d'Information sur les droits des Femmes. Too bad about the "Femmes" stuff, at least they open the week after my lawyer's departure, and offer free legal services. I may not be "alone [as I wrote them] to face an absent system of justice." The last option doesn't make much sense. I could hire a marshall (for an even more outrageous fee than I paid to have one deliver the assignation) to come to the house with me, but nothing would stop C the G from saying that they had made other plans for the day, and could we please come back tomorrow. I guess maybe we could make an appointment, but then she'd just go to the undertaker's house. I can wait. I have no other choice. By 3 September, I should have medical insurance, a last will and testament disinheriting Rose for her own good, and maybe one or two other things. Mother, if you are considering moving here, we would only need the house next door. There are two extra floors I hadn't seen. It's as many as 150 square meters. I would probably need you there to justify it as social housing. The rent will be the same as (or less than) the one-bedroom flat.

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 11 August 2007

Subject: Re: (no subject)

Je ne viole aucun droit. Tu violes tes obligations.

Mon avocat fait son travail, à chacun le sien.

Je t'ai proposé différentes manières de rencontrer Rose, tu n'as pas accepté.

Ta vie ne m'intéresse pas.

Je n'ai jamais existé pour toi, mes yeux sont ouverts depuis longtemps. Si j'ai espéré bêtement, c'était pour que Rose puisse connaitre une vie de famille.

Tu n'existes plus pour moi. Rose apprend à marcher, je lui tends ma main et mon Amour l'aide, il porte sa main abandonnée.

Tu es son géniteur, cela ne suffit pas. Mon Amour est présent.

Je me porte bien, mes filles aussi.

Prière de ne plus m'écrire.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 11 August 2007

Subject: Re: (no subject)

Catherine,

Rose apprend a marcher, sans moi helas, puisque tu nous prives tous les deux de cette joie. Elle apprendra egalement a lire, ecrire, compter, et chanter en anglais, la ou je doute fort de tes competences. Elle ne grandira pas dans l'isolation ou tu la plonges pour l'instant, privee de son pere, de ses quatre grand'parents, de ses oncles, de se tantes, et de ses cousins, avec ses soeurs a l'internat, consignee par sa mere (qui n'a aucune activite a l'exterieur de la maison, sauf le cafe du Commerce et le bar de l'hotel Saturne) a une creche ou a un babysitter. Ce n'est pas l'avenir que je propose pour ma fille.

Meilleures salutations.

Gabriel

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 11 August 2007

Subject: Re: (no subject)

Depuis que tu es parti, Il existe une vie chez moi.

De la musique, des chansons... des amis... Mon ami... Il n'y a plus de violence contre mes enfants et contre moi, physique et verbale.

Tu es le seul isolé, tu l'as toujours été, et je ne pense pas que Rose apprendra beaucoup en regardant son père se branler devant son ordinateur ou vivre avec le cliqueti des touches.

Prière de ne plus m'écrire,

Nous nous retrouverons devant le Juge,

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 11 August 2007

Subject: Re: (no subject)

Catherine,

Quel bon environnement pour un enfant brutalement prive de son pere, se retrouver soudain, au bout de quatre semaines, avec un etranger (Christophe, le croque-mort ivre, et/ou un autre) a la place de celui qui l'a aimee, nourrie, et elevee, celui qu'elle regardait toujours quand elle avait faim, pendant les dix premiers mois de sa vie, tandis que sa mere trainait au bistro tous les soirs avec le meme Christophe, ne pouvant se lever avant midi. Je ne suis pas isole, car Rose est avec moi. Je lui chante une chanson tous les jours. Rose est en moi, et je suis en Rose. Elle se souvient de moi dans ses os, dans ses nerfs, et dans son psyche. Juillet et aout n'auront ete qu'un exile ephemere, atroce et impardonnable, mais passager. Malgre toi, Rose sera bilingue, car son pere lui apprendra l'anglais. Si l'un ou l'autre de ses beaux-peres sait lui apprendre a creuser des tombes, tant mieux. Je lui apprendrai la musique et la poesie.

Meilleures salutations.

Gabriel

 

From: Nichelle

Date: 11 August 2007

Subject: Re: Blackout

I don't know what to say. "You poor bastard" comes to mind. I'm thinking that I read Harry Mathews' book "The Jornalist" after we split. You should read it if you haven't done so. I think you'll find it relevant in certain ways, particularly the aspect of how writing about life starts to take the place of living it. There's a weird balance there, and I admit that I have sort of a perverse interest in all of it, so I don't want to discourage you too strongly. Still, the fact that something that happened to me (or did not, depending on who you ask, evidently) in 1996 is still something you wish to write about makes me wonder about how often you get out of the house.

It's amazing to me that C the G is jealous of me. Maybe when you told her about me, you left out the parts where you told me that you found my body horrifying and disgusting. If there wasn't a child in the mix I'd tell you to run away and don't look back. I guess you get to do the War of the Roses thing. (Sorry, I'm not as good at the obscure reference thing as I used to be.)

Have I updated you on my life at all? I'm living in Phoenix and selling books on Amazon.com, Half.com, Alibris, Barnes & Noble, and a bunch of other places. I work for and live with Billy O, whose role in my life is too complicated to explain, and who runs a pedicab business in Phoenix. I help run the business and take care of the daily operating stuff for the pedicabs, reports, money, dispatch, etc. I have a pink bicycle that you'd probably find horrifying, and I absolutely love it. It's the bike a person would get for not quite selling enough Mary Kay to get the car. And it has a leather tank bag and tassles on the handlebars. Badass.

I went to Seattle & Spokane last week. The apartment on Bellevue looks the same. Same gross orange color. M. Velly's is still there, as is Charlie's. Most of Broadway looks the same. Pike Place Market will probably never change. It is the same as it was when I was a child. I miss eating in nice restauarants. It's something I don't do all that often, and I look back on doing that with you with a feeling of great fondness.

More soon. I'd say something charming in French to try to impress you, but the only thing I've picked up is "oh oui encule moi j'en ai tellement envie."

-N

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 11 August 2007

Subject: The Mistress will see you now

Harsh words. I was expecting as much. I woke up in the wee hours of the morning and began an answer to your as yet unwritten (or at least unread) message, but the answer assumed that you had read C the G's last letter to me, in which she admits (for my lawyer's benefit, I hope) that she has filled the house with her lover (presumably the drunken undertaker) and friends. I guess they play chess and watch TV, the normal family stuff that I just can't seem to do. I can't even remember who has read what in which language, so obviously it is too much to ask of me that I distinguish between life and art. Graham Green said that a writer lived the first third of his life, read the second third, and wrote the third third. Or maybe that was me. I can't be sure, as Mersault said. Philippe said, quoting some suitably obscure vulgar French artist, that having a child had left a hole in his soul. (The rhyme only works in English.) Rose is my life. Le reste, c'est de la littérature. But I'm sure (well, not sure) you also remember how the world shone, glowed with a special kind of light, "le monde magique" as Benedicte Ackermann once wrote, how object and motion were replaced by shape and word, how shopping lists and lovemaking (however seldom) were infused with poetry, how painstakingly we broke down the damned distinction between life and art, how we lived our words and wrote our lives. I remember how and why you left that magic mountain, how I wept to Laurent the day you did. I have not wept for C the G. I wept while we were together. I weep for Rose.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 12 August 2007

Subject: 20000 Swings

Only an artist, an athlete, or a mathematician can understand what these letters take out of me, the extreme effort of inspiration and concentration, the cold knowledge of success or failure. I remember a Yankees batting coach explaining that he watched Reggie Jackson swing the bat twenty thousand times a season, but that the dozen or so perfect swings per year made the whole thing worthwhile. I've just noticed that Nichelle types two spaces between sentences. I wonder if she's always done that, and I never noticed. I am not, of course, writing about what may or may not have happened to Nichelle ten years ago. I am writing about her writing about it. That is the difference between Phedre and the Cyd. Phedre is a tragedy of words; the Cyd is a tragicomedy of action. C the G knew very well about your body, and revelled in that knowledge. She is a beautiful woman and a good fuck, but her insecurities lie elsewhere than in bed, in the fact that you can write, while she cannot. I was tired when I wrote her last night, and worried that I might have slipped, but my letter is picture perfect, and we now have the explicit insinuation in her mail that I masturbated at the keyboard in front of Rose. I wonder what the judge will make of that.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 12 August 2007

Subject: Humanize Thyself

Papi told me that his wife of thirty-two years had left him sixteen years ago on 14 July, the last time I saw Rose, except for twice by accident in the bar, when I had to force the issue. He said that Les Blaches is eleven kilometers from here: "and a world away," I answered. Funny how an old man who can't see, can't hear, can't walk, suddenly becomes more human when he speaks eloquently of his sorrow. I tried to listen to a little of the concert last night, African music, but I just wasn't feeling it. Today I went shopping and will try to make tomato sauce, for I'm feeling a powerful spaghetti lust. I am trying to humanize myself.

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 12 August 2007

Subject: Re: (no subject)

Je ne sais quel profil tu essaies de m'inventer. Je vis dans la réalité, je pense que tu deviens fou à force de vivre dans ton monde virtuel.

Je t'ai laissé voir Rose jusqu'au 14 juillet, après cela tu n'as plus voulu venir la voir chez moi.

Tu veux la prendre je ne sais où, avec le risque que tu l'enlèves en Israël ou au Etats-Unis afin que ta mère ou ton père ou autre membre de ta famille s'en occupe à ta place.

Tu es incapable de t'assumer toi même, tu n'as jamais rien construit de toute ta vie et encore à 44 ans, c'est ta mère qui doit s'occuper de toi. Comment veux-tu t'occuper d'un bébé... Tu ne l'as jamais fait. J'élève mes trois filles. J'assume mes responsabilités. Si tu es incapable de mener tes engagements dans la durée... comment feras-tu avec Rose... Tu n'es jamais resté plus de deux ans au même endroit et tu n'as jamais travaillé que quelques mois ici et là et surtout squater.

Tu peux mentir au monde entier, tu ne peux te mentir à toi même, tu dois savoir que tu es un incapable. Même si tu dis que tu es le plus grand écrivain du monde. Ah! Ah! Ah!

Je m'occupe de Rose depuis sa naissance et de Sarah et de Stella pendant que tu vis dans ton univers virtuel, dans tes sites malsains, dans la perversion la plus totale. En buvant des doses massive de Ricard, de vin,...

J'aurais aimé que Rose puisse continuer de voir son père, je pense que tu es fou et dangereux.

Je t'ai demandé tes passeports et de savoir où tu es et de me rendre compte dans quel endroit Rose pourrait passer un peu de temps avec son père. Tu as refusé, si tu avais vraiment eu envie de prendre Rose dans de bonnes conditions, ce serait fait depuis longtemps. J'imagine que tu essaies de faire croire que je t'empêche de voir ta fille afin d'en obtenir la garde au mois de septembre afin d'avoir de l'argent, la mettre à la crèche ou l'enlever, j'ai peur de ta folie... Tu ne peux t'en occuper plus de deux heures. La dernière fois que je te l'ai laissée pour deux heures, au bout de une heure et demi, tu en avais déjà marre.

Rose va avoir un an, elle rigole, écoute de la musique, elle danse, elle joue, à l'intérieur et dans le jardin, nous faisons des excursions, je lui raconte des histoires avant qu'elle ne s'endorme.... Tu ne connais pas mes amis et mes amies, tu n'as jamais voulu les connaitre.

J'ai lu toute l'oeuvre de Ionesco, et bien que tu sortes une tirade pour faire bien comme c'est ton genre "comme dit mon ami Ionesco, comme dit mon ami Sade, comme dit mon ami..." Je suis persuadée que tu n'as jamais lu Eugène et n'as même jamais vu une représentation au théâtre. Tu es cloîtré devant ton ordinateur. Jamais de cinéma, ni de film, ni de concert, ni de spectacle, ni de théâtre... En un an, j'ai dû faire des activités seule ou avec mes filles, tu n'as jamais voulu bougé de ton écran d'ordinateur si ce n'est pour agresser les membres de la famille.

Alors, arrête tes conneries, mode impératif.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 12 August 2007

Subject: Fwd: Re:

Maitre Rebours,

Je ne vais pas repondre a la lettre ci-dessous. Je suis trop fatigue et accable. Je pense que le juge va deja s'apercevoir des incoherences inquietantes dans les propos de Mme Uccellatore.

Ses mails indiquent clairement qu'elle me defendait de venir a la maison (ou je ne peux pas aller sans temoin de toute facon, et personne n'est assez fou pour m'y accompagner), et qu'elle refusait de me laisser voir Rose, sous quelque condition que ce soit, et malgre toutes les conditions absurdes qu'on a remplies. J'ai un calendrier ou j'ai note toutes les visites de mon pere et de moi.

Est-ce que cette phrase de la derniere lettre d'hier, que j'hesite meme a copier/coller, ne temoigne pas assez de l'etat psychologique profondement perturbe de Mme Uccellatore?

"je ne pense pas que Rose apprendra beaucoup en regardant son père se branler devant son ordinateur"

Cela confirme bien la lettre du 25 septembre 2006 intitulee "15 September 2006", ou l'imagination malsaine de Mme Uccellatore lui parle d'inceste.

Je vous appelle lundi pour fixer un rendez-vous. J'aimerais savoir ce que je dois faire avec le CIF, que m'a fortement conseille une nouvelle assistante sociale. Je ne veux pas me retrouver seul pendant deux semaines face a une justice absente.

Comment peut-on preparer, si Maitre Vessie ne vous envoie les documents qu'apres votre depart le 18 aout? Nous n'allons pas devoir demander un renvoi, pitie?

Priere de me tenir au courant.

Excusez-moi de l'avalanche de mails. Je vais essayer de couper la communication entre Mme Uccellatore et moi. Elle n'ecrira rien d'encore plus fou que ce qu'elle a deja ecrit.

Merci de votre comprehension.

Meilleures salutations.

Gabriel

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 12 August 2007

Subject: Menu Touristique

Today I will finally have managed to eat three meals at home, organic peanut butter and bread for breakfast, sardines in lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil, mixed salad, balsamic vinaigrette, potato chips, goat cheese and bread for lunch, capocollo, bread and butter, spaghetti al dente, mushroom and hot pepper tomato sauce, parmesan cheese, and chocolate for supper. That is one problem, I've dealt with. I will also make eggs and potato salad, buy shalots. I've got frozen hamburger in the ice box to make bolognaise sauce. Two Israeli avocados ripen on the window sill. I can hunker down and wait for three weeks. It won't be easy. I wrote to my lawyer, apologizing for the avalanche of mail, and promising not to answer C the G's last. She may have realized that admitting to introducing a new bf and accusing me of pedophelia may be deemed overkill, since her letter seems to backtrack into more normal (for the author) accusations and self-justification. I hope we can keep communication down to a minimum or nothing from here to the end. It just takes too much out of me, and she can hardly go further over the edge, unless there is a real crisis of violent madness at the house, which is always possible. That leaves the painful problem of what to do for the next twenty-one days. I'll get a clean blood test, see a social worker, maybe see someone from the legal aid for battered wives organization, try to deal with the phone, water, and electricity, work with the landlord on home repairs, read the paper news and Une Vieille Maitresse by Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly. Philippe and Ishmael may continue to keep me company for lunch, unless they go on holiday. Since I aren't receiving much mail, I have nothing else to do. I think I've found the hardcore bar in town, the offtrack betting place, but I can't go there yet, maybe not until the judgement. I haven't got a 'puter, so I can't work on cantillation marks or for Shlomo, my Israeli patron. Well, maybe one of you will find the time and inspiration to write to me in my misery. We're not in college anymore.

 

From: Nichelle

Date: 12 August 2007

Subject: Re: 20000 Swings

You were, of course, writing about it. My life is not a work of fiction to be analyzed and debated on your list. The fact that I was not believed, especially by the man I loved, was devastating to me and it prolonged my suffering.

>I am not, of course, writing about what

>may or may not have happened to Nichelle ten years

>ago. I am writing about her writing about it.

Go back and read it. You were writing about you remembering it.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 12 August 2007

Subject: Re: 20000 Swings

Nichelle,

How could you ever think, or ever have thought, that I didn't believe you?

I believed you implicitly, and also upon reflection, never entertaining the slightest doubt, and I still do.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 12 August 2007

Subject: 56 Hits

Stephen Gould, or a few of his Harvard graduate scum, made a statistical study of every event in the history of baseball and found that one event, Joe DiMaggio's 1939 streak of hitting safely in 56 straight games, was impossible, or as Igor used to say: "A probability of zero," rolling his Russian Rs deliciously. Not surprisingly the study did not conclude that the streak had never happened. Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. Some texts work as both fiction and non-fiction. Even documentaries, or at least conventional ones, make use of the "effet du réel". We live in a world of mockumentaries and informercials, the world of Michael Moore. I hope this may help to clear up an eleven-year-old misunderstanding, but I cannot undo the damage done. Nichelle, I have never doubted you. There are things I have seen with my own eyes that I believe less strongly than what you wrote in 4x4.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 13 August 2007

Subject: Merci

Pelardon,

Comme tu dois le savoir, j'ai quitte Les Blaches. Rien ne se debloque, et j'ai toujours pas vu ma fille depuis le 14 juillet.

Je te remercie de toute l'aide que tu m'as donnee, ainsi que de l'amitie que Paul et toi m'ont offerte.

J'espere qu'on se reverra avec Rose dans de temps meilleurs.

Bien a toi et a toute la famille.

Gabriel

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 13 August 2007

Subject: Rose Reiss

Docteur Telseau,

Comme Mme Uccellatore m'empeche de voir Rose depuis le 14 juillet, je vous prie de me tenir au courant de l'etat de sante physique et morale de ma fille, lors de la visite obligatoire de douze mois, vers son anniversaire le 27 aout.

Je vous prie egalement de veiller sur sa mere, qui arrose copieusement les antidepresseurs que vous lui prescrivez.

Un premier jugement du 19 juillet a ete renvoye au 3 septembre.

J'ai peur pour ma famille.

Merci de votre cooperation.

Meilleures salutations.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 14 August 2007

Subject: Infant Citizen in Distress

Sir or Madam,

An Israeli and American citizen, I write to seek help in an extremely difficult situation.

Separated from my concubine since 1 July, I have been hindered by her since 14 July from seeing our daughter, Rose Reiss, born 27 August 2006 in Aubagne (Ardony, France), an Italian and potential Israeli and American citizen. A first court date on 19 July was adjourned until 3 September.

My daughter's mother takes antidepressants liberally mixed with alcohol, and writes incoherent and disturbing e-mail. In addition, I believe that she is a significant flight risk. I am afraid for the safety of my family.

Please contact me or my lawyer:

Maitre Isabelle Rebours

RN 104

96000 Rosiere

Thank you for your cooperation.

Best Regards.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 14 August 2007

Subject: Quiet Desperation

I have written letters of quiet desperation, as Big Dave Thoreau once said, to our family doctor, asking him to update me on Rose and look after C the G, who may be overdoing the chasers for her antidepressants, and to the Israeli and American consulates. I don't expect much, but the consulates, if they ever read their mail, could exert political pressure on the judicial process, while Dr Telseau could find himself hippocratically obligated to do something to protect Rose. Either is a long shot, but I can't do nothing. The new social worker, before I have even met her, let me know that only a lawyer can help me, and my lawyer says that only the judge can help me, and we may have to ask for another adjournment, if C the G's lawyer, as I suspect, doesn't send his documents to my lawyer until the last minute. Someone with perceived or effective power has got to help me. With the accusation of pedophilia, we are edging closer to a criminal court case, which is to my benefit, but would be an awful mess. If the cops grab me based on some trumped-up charges C the G makes, it would take my lawyer a couple of days to get me out, if she isn't on holiday. After 18 August, I can rot in jail until 3 September.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 14 August 2007

Subject: The Waiting Game

Every time I see a baby carriage my nervous system flips. My nerves are raw. I'm getting edgy about the gas leak. Phillippe and Ishmael won't be back until September. Lunch with them has been the fulcrum of my day. Now that's gone. The waiting is going to get to me. This week the high point will be Thursday, meeting the social worker in the morning and my lawyer in the afternoon, with a bus ride and three-hour wait in between, but neither of them can help me. At least not yet. C the G could melt down at any time, but I'm not seeing that. Anyway, either she is utterly unpredictable, or else I am a very bad prognosticator. No one answers my e-mail. I understand that people have other things to do, but I don't. It will be quite a relief to go back to work, but even then, I won't be able to work properly without a 'puter. I need to prepare my lessons, and in doing so write a new English grammar, which I could sell or give away, but I need Word to work with. The Bar des Gorges, while cheap and convenient as well as being the only house in town, supports Linux only. I have no tools to create anything more complex than e-mail.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 14 August 2007

Subject: Calligraphie

I am no longer worried about the stack of witness statements that C the G is going to bring into the courtroom. Giving them the lie will be as easy as an explication de texte:

"'Le style est l'homme même', répète-t-on sans y voir de malice, ni s'inquiéter de ce que l'homme ne soit plus référence si certaine. Au reste l'image du linge parant Buffon en train d'écrire, est là pour soutenir l'inattention. "Une réédition du Voyage à Montbar, (publié an IX chez Solvet, posthume) de la plume d'Hérault de Séchelles, titre qui reprend une Visite à Monsieur de Buffon de 1785, serait propice à plus de réflexion. Non pas seulement de ce qu'on y goûte un autre style qui préfigure le meilleur de nos reportages bouffonnants, mais de rendre le propos lui-même à un contexte d'impertinence où l'hôte ne le cède en rien à son visiteur.

"Car l'homme agité en l'adage déjà classique à cette date d'être extrait d'un discours à l'Académie, s'avère en ce crayon être un fantasme du grand homme, qui l'ordonne en scénario pour y prendre sa maison entière. Rien ici qui relève du naturel, Voltaire là-dessus, on s'en souvient, généralise méchamment.

"Le style c'est l'homme, en rallierons-nous la formule, à seulement la rallonger: l'homme à qui l'on s'adresse?"

Jacques Lacan, Écrits

In this case, the style is the woman that dictates the text. C the G will make the same mistake she made in putting the word "rape" (in its jurisprudential acceptation) in her daughter's mouth in that bullshit incestuous rape trial. She is a serial perjuror, although that word is so much more beautiful in French: "parjure" in two damning syllables (The poet counts three in the verse below.):

Aux portes de Trézène et parmi ces tombeaux,

Des princes de ma race, antiques sépultures,

Est un temple sacré formidable aux parjures.

Jean Racine, Phèdre

We need only compare the style of penmanship (unfortunately the best French translation I know for that word is the title of this letter, which is Greek anyway), the unsteady hand of the drunken workman, to the linguistic style, the confident diction of the man (or woman) of letters. C the G does not write well, but she writes considerably better than her friends at the cafe du Commerce, unless of course they have migrated back to the bar of the hotel Saturne, or throw their Saturnalia in my home. The décalage between the two styles will tell the judge all he needs to know (that phrase again) about the distinct physical and moral authors of those witness statements.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 15 August 2007

Subject: 2 Natures

Two more distinct natures than Nichelle and C the G could hardly be invented, let alone found. Nichelle represents truth & beauty, sweetness & light. C the G represents ugly perjury & bitter darkness. C the G was most jealous of Nichelle, because of her unique standing atop the pantheon of my gfs, but she was also jealous of Miss Marseille, Benedicte Ackermann, Calamity Kate, Cantillizer, a woman with whom she only imagined I had an affaire, legions of cyberbabes who didn't exist, and anything else I turned my mind to, or she turned her imagination to. Yet both of these women, and everyone else in between, have recently reproached me for writing too much. I kindly submit that they are wrong. I read in today's paper news: "Karl Marx once observed that 'Milton produced Paradise Lost for the same reason that a silk worm produces silk. It was an activity of his nature.'" I cannot say that Al Gore invented the internet for me, but it may be that I was born to write e-mail.

 

From: Pelardon

Date: 15 August 2007

Subject: Re: Merci

Salut Gabriel,

j'ai su que tu avais quitté Les Blaches en effet.

Tu es ou maintenant ?

Bon courage pour la suite.

Pelardon.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 15 August 2007

Subject: Re: Merci

Pelardon,

Je suis aux Gorges, mais je prefere que Christophe ne le sache pas, car je crois qu'il habite plus ou moins chez moi maintenant.

J'espere qu'il reste calme dans une situation de violence et de folie, car ma femme est tres volatile.

J'attends la suite, comme tu dis. J'attends ma Rose.

Meilleures salutations.

Gabriel

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 15 August 2007

Subject: Pearl

I hesitated twice in writing "2 Natures", once on the adjective "distinct" in the first sentence, once on the verb "invented" in the last sentence, which I substituted for "created", while transforming the passive to the active voice, and inserting Al Gore. It was only several readings later (Yes, I have a lot of time on my hands. Personally I'd rather spend it in bars.) that I noticed why my instincts told me to keep the adjective and change the verb. The word "distinct" links that letter to its predecessor "Calligraphie", as the link-words tie the stanzas of the Middle English poem "Pearl" together. The word "invented" links the last sentence to the first. It's not a gift, though every Romantic poet will lie to you that it is. Art is created by means of carefully honed skills, practiced for decades until they become second nature, as the disciplined homerun swing of Barry Bonds. Read vertically, my friends.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 16 August 2007

Subject: Waltzing Matilda

John Williamson, Waltzing Matilda

 

From: Nichelle

Date: 16 August 2007

Subject: Re: Pearl

>Personally I'd rather spend it in

>bars.

Speaking of time spent in bars. I'm reading Neil Gaiman's American Gods on the recommendation of my brother. There's a character named Mr. Nancy, and it reminded me of Mister Betsy over at Lou's.

It was wrong of me to accuse you of writing too much. It would have been the same as accusing you of breathing too much. It is your nature. I thought it was really lovely when you said:

"how painstakingly we broke down the damned distinction between life and art, how we lived our words and wrote our lives"

Thank you for saying that, for reminding me of that. I'm not sure of the bit about rain that you were trying to recall. Was it "drizzing rain on bare arms and face... God giving me the tears I knew should come but did not."? I always liked that one, but thought it sounded kind of contrived.

I wish you lived somewhere that it would be practical for me to send you books. I have boxes of stuff you'd enjoy in all sorts of languages.

More soon.

N

 

From: Nichelle

Date: 16 August 2007

Subject: Re: Waltzing Matilda

If you're on, find me on Lambda.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 16 August 2007

Subject: Tears in Hell

Be careful, my friends. One of these days Nichelle will begin a letter with the magical words: "I remember..." Then all bets are off. I did not teach Nichelle how to write. She came to me gift-wrapped in a bewildering array of styles and genres, a full-fledged master of the missive. Murder told me she wrote paper & pen letters that made him cry in highschool. What we did was to create a structure in which our skills could flower and feed off each other. She may be out of practice, but I'm sure she hasn't lost her touch, or as Faulkner once rather unkindly said of Sherwood Anderson that he had "shot his bolt". My case is different. I haven't been out of touch, or in a prolonged slump. I was unhinged from my means of production, to keep with the Karl Marx theme, for two years. My long pent-up fury overflows. Every word seems to have a hundred meanings and belong to all seven parts of speech. If the judge is a poet, Rose will sleep in my arms on 3 September. If not, I'm going to get drunk that night.

 

From: Nichelle

Date: 16 August 2007

Subject: Re: Tears in Hell

Who else are you sending these letters to anyway?

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 16 August 2007

Subject: Bars & Walls

I like to lean out the locked iron bars of my home, leaving the door open to let the cigarette smoke and leaking gas escape, and look at the stone walls around me. If you don't know what poem I am referring to, Althea, you need to google "iron bars" and "stone walls". (Nichelle, I write to you, Murder, Laurent, and my parents, which explains the BCCs and pedagogical asides.) Reading Nichelle's words makes me stronger. The social worker nearly took the life out of me, yet another malingerer on the tax payroll telling me to wait patiently while my daughter grows up without me. Maybe my lawyer will give me strength this afternoon, after the long wait, after I tell her that my legal aid was rejected because I own the home I can't live in, but after today, I'll be on my own. I can't telnet to Lambda from the cybercafe. Eighteen days. C the G may make a counter-attack knowing my weakness, either this week-end or when she sees Dr Telseau, if she does before 3 September, as scheduled. She might also happen into my path. It's happened before. I wonder if battered wives are told that they must give their new address to their old butcher.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 16 August 2007

Subject: Joy

I took a bus, hitch-hiked, walked, and found a cybercafe while waiting to see my lawyer. This must be a Windows town, and telnet works, so I was able to read Joy's mail. I have added her to this list. Nichelle said: "your list", so I'm not sure this is the resurrection of the World, which was decidedly Nichelle's World as much as anyone's. Anyway, Joy is here. I have an important job for one of you. Can someone please try to summarize or report on the latest from my father's "ungrateful disastour [sic] creating son"? I have saved 179 messages in six weeks, and I'm not forwarding them one by one. Perhaps someone could just send her a Eudora text mailbox to bring her up to date. I think she may be happy, as well as empathetic, that someone could create more of an ugly mess than she has, so far as I know, although she has about ten years to catch me up. To give you a hint, Joy, a child is the blackest nightmare, and the brightest joy, in life.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 16 August 2007

Subject: No Solace for the Weary

My lawyer mostly made fun of me for being too American, worrying about irrelevant matters like drinking problems, drug addiction, incestuous rape charges, a night or two in jail, e-mail, baseball, and batton twirling. (C the G's high-priced lawyer is the former batton twirler of the Ardony Bar Association.) She is a tough bitch. We agreed that there will be no ajournment, that with or without their documents we would present our case, which is, well, I can't really remember. Anyway the judge may grant us a few extra days to rebut their last-minute arguments. I think she told me that if the cops grab me, I have the right to remain silent, but it might not go over too well, like I get the cell with no window and the cellmate who snores, though I probably won't be beaten to a pulp by an overzealous gendarme. She said she'd send me a bill. The judge should render the decision a week or two after 3 September, so more or less enforceable visitation rights would run parallel to any social inquiry. Basically C the G will have stolen two months of my baby's life with utter impunity. My lawyer, whose nickname I haven't made up yet, told me to take a vacation. I didn't dare tell her about the last will and testament. She would have thought it really silly to worry about small matters like C the G having perhaps murdered her first husband. At least my new shoes aren't hurting my blistered feet.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 16 August 2007

Subject: Re: Joy

Just in case anyone is paying attention, the last sentence of this letter should obviously read:

"To give you a hint, Joy, a child is the blackest nightmare in life, and the brightest joy."

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 16 August 2007

Subject: Blues for Rose

Blues for Rose

Roses are red,

Father is blue,

Mother be dead,

May dreams come true.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 17 August 2007

Subject: Howl of the Wolf

Connection down. I don't know what my landlord was high on last night, but he has mentioned that he spent a year on morphine for a broken back, although I suspect that his usage is at least as recreational as therapeutic. Meanwhile the gas continues to leak in my home. I keep thinking about this vid:

Howlin' Wolf, How Many Years

How many years indeed. I wish I had footage of Little Red Rooster or Back Door Man, but this will have to do. Please note how he has to move the mic up about a foot, how much taller he is than the white boy who introduced him. Look at that stereotyped right-handed pointing of his forefinger. I have noticed that same formal gesture in Muddy Waters' Mannish Boy. See how big his hands are, one fist gripped around both the mouth harp and the microphone. Watch him dance, that big heavy body swirling in something of a crouched twist. Listen to that raspy growl, no doubt perfected through years of Mississippi, bourbon, cigarettes, Chicago, whiskey, singing in everything from the boys' choir to a whorehouse on Bourbon Street. Observe how he warms up his mouth muscles in a grotesque grimace before he attacks a verse. I'm not sure Murder could get that harmonica tone out of his flute, but I'd like to watch him try. I wish Nichelle still played the clarinette. I told a street klezmer player that Americans call it the devil's penis. I am comforted by this thought: However hard C the G tries to pry me and Rose apart, so hard, and harder still, will we cling together.

 

From: U.S. Embassy Paris

Date: 17 August 2007

Subject: Your daughter Rose

Dear Mr. Scott:

I refer to your e-mail to our post in Lyon concerning your daughter Rose.

Since you all are residents of France, you are under French jurisdiction and we cannot intervene on your behalf. I am afraid that you must wait until September 3. If you think that your daughter is in physical danger, you can inform the local social services. If you fear that the mother could leave France, ask the police to place an “interdiction de sortie du territoire”.

Both France and Italy are signatories of The Hague convention on child abduction: In case of illegal removal, contact the French Ministry of Justice (Service de l’Entraide judiciaire internationale). You can get more information on this convention on the website of the ministry.

Sincerely,

Judicial Assistant

U.S. Embassy Paris

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 17 August 2007

Subject: Lost & Found

You don't know Stephanie, well, you might. I can't remember if I mentioned her in the feverish spring of 2002. She had a baby called Louise "Loulou" Francesca Rose about six months after we did, but she and I couldn't share anecdotes because, well, you know. Things are different now. I can share anecdotes, but I have none to share. I had to admit that I don't even know what my daughter eats. I only know what she used to eat, two months ago. She liked lemons, like her Aunt Athene did, when she was a few years old. Maybe the namesakes will meet, but maybe not because Roudou is also jealous, but so long as he doesn't beat Steph, it's all good. The latter speaks beautiful English, which I didn't know. Where she lives, we say: "Kennsch nit Elsasisch rede wie andere Lit?" I heard a baby on the phone. So what if it wasn't mine, it's better than nothing. Actually there is a ten-month-old called Pablo whose grandmother lives next door. It seems far more likely that Rose and Pablo will meet, but even that will, I fear, require police intervention. Pablo's mother has a beautiful ass, a black ass on a white woman. I don't know that I'm up for adultery yet, but at least you know that I haven't lost my keen taste for danger and weird sex. I am still a dirty old man.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 18 August 2007

Subject: Re: (no subject)

MSN a fait planter l'ordi grave. En plus, je dois liberer l'ordi, car j'ai un abonnement, et les autres paient comptant. Si tu peux ecrire, ca me ferait un grand plaisir.

Sans doute ca va sans dire, mais je le dis quand meme. J'ai oublie de supprimer l'adresse de C the G. Nous avons une procedure legale en cours. Il ne faut jamais la contacter.

Je t'embrasse.

Gabriel

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 18 August 2007

Subject: Poor Reader

Trying to generate words out of nothing, I could never write in a vacuum. I thought maybe Steph would help, since she's blissfully unemployed. She is a good cook, or rather (since I've never tasted her cooking) a good writer of recipes, replete (I imagine) with a few telegenic eccentricities that could translate into an Alsacian TV version of Julia Child: "Jetzt drinke mir noch eins, un jo coche mir eps echtes." However she seems to prefer instant messenger, which is beyond my technical possibilities for the moment. I'll try again Monday, when her jealous husband is at work. For now, and unless C the G makes some unhappy outburst to break my almost comfortable tedium, I'll try to work with what I find in the week-end Herald Tribune:

"In 'Crossing the Sierra de Gredos,' Handke has demonstrated that the linguistic illusion of narrative truth can be linguistically undone. Well, fine. But attacking the integrity of narrative is an easy job: stories fall apart under a sufficiently analytic gaze; all language does. No one who has followed the lively modernist and postmodernist conversations about reading since the publication of Saussure's 'Course in General Linguistics' almost a century ago has any doubt about that. The more serious contemporary challenge is posed by another postwar German writer, W. G. Sebald, who saw in the practice of fiction the ethical possibility of 'restitution' for history's manifold horrors. Like much of Sebald's writing, Handke's novel is denuded of joy. Unlike Sebald's, it also deprives its readers of hope."

The journalist correctly identifies the theoretical revolution of Saussure, but forgets what Freud had said a few years ealier, that he had not discovered the unconscious, that poets and philosophers (Dichter und Denker) had anticipated him. In our case the honor belongs to Larry Sterne, who successfully took apart his own novel, while depriving it of none of its inherent beauty. Literature has nothing to apologize for, German-language literature not excepted. It owes the reader neither joy nor hope. That stories unravel, that characters need names, is just another reason not to write fiction, which brings us to:

"In 1951, Jack Kerouac feverishly pounded out the first draft of 'On the Road' in three weeks on a single huge roll of paper [...] Writing is not usually thought of as excessively physical, which is why some writers feel the need to compensate by racing bulls or whatever, but feeding that 120-foot, or 37-meter, roll through the typewriter seems like a feat of strength. Most writers merely produce effete works on paper, you might say, but Kerouac went and wrestled with the tree itself.

"Contrary to legend, the scroll was not a roll of teletype paper but a series of large sheets of tracing paper that Kerouac cut to fit and taped together, and it is not unpunctuated - merely unparagraphed, which makes a certain physical demand on the reader, who is deprived of the usual rest stops."

This author seems more sensitive to the physical pain of writing, and even to the number of commas in a given sentence, but he fails to draw the obvious conclusion from the results of his own observation. Unlike Sade, who wrote the massive 120 Days of Sodom in little more time on a much longer scroll concealed in a dildo, Kerouac was not hiding his text from the wardens of the Bastille. He chose to cut & paste that ream of paper together. It was, if I may be so bold as to venture, a literary constraint, a conceit of sorts. He wrote it that way because the means of production suited the kind of text he wished to produce. He simply fit the means to the intended end. So I write in e-mail usually, HTML on occasion, Word for Cantillizer and my new English grammar, whose title I haven't made up yet, which means that I can't work on the latter until I get myself a new Dell laptop monster, which I think I will call Beelzebub in honor of C the G.

 

From: stephanie

Date: 18 August 2007

Subject: a rose is a rose

gabriel dear,

i do not prefer msn. it is just a bit faster, that is all. i reckon classic email is more convenient to you, so this is from now on the way we will communicate. i do not mind really.

today louise has tasted for the first time something else than milk. and she littelaly hated it. i chose the smoothest: banana...and the faces she made made me understand that it will take us a whole lot of patience to have her enjoy the pleasures of diversified food. still, it is rather fun to experiment new things with her.

i told roudou about your call, and your messages, and i must admit that for the first time he is not jealous. and for the first time i have to admit that this lack of jealousy is a relief. i love it when he is jealous, it arouses me. you mentioned the possibility that he could beat me up: he will never do that. no worry. in our couple, no violence at all. except maybe my passionate temper i have to refrain...diva russian drama queen:o)

we both feel sorry for you. your story "reminds" us my father's exs hysterical bitches. all i can advise is patience, even though i know that it the most horrible thing to advise to a man in your position. you are a good man, and if justice is what it should, you and rose will be happy together again soon. some day you will come and see us, and rose and loulou will play together. it is written, so it will happen.

je t'embrasse, mon vieil ami, my dear dirty old man.

stéphanie

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 18 August 2007

Subject: The Sourpuss Face

I once sent the letter entitled "The Death of Humanism" to C the G, but she couldn't understand what it had to do with Rose. It's where she got her name. The death of humanism gave birth to a child. Rose made the sourpuss face whenever she ate, even as she gestured for more guacamole. I think it's the radical shift in richness of flavor, from bland formula to delicious food. I bet Louise loves bananas. Her mother makes food sound so good. She'll like everything. I'm glad Roudou was not upset. What Twang once said: "He couldn't rape a sponge," probably applies to me right now, not really jealousy fodder. I did not mean to imply that he might be violent, only to appreciate that he is not so. Assuming I don't get custody, I should welcome Rose to my home either 14-16 or 28-30 September (3rd or 5th week-end of the month), depending on when the decision comes down. Then I would host her for about a week sometime between 26 October and 7 November. In that case I will probably appeal the decision and ask for every week-end and all of school vacations, except half of the summer. I fear I may have to call the cops to get her, and they won't want to come. Perhaps I can persuade my lawyer to accompany me for the first handover. I told her: "The doctor has a little more heart than you," which is true, although the son of a bitch hasn't written me back either.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 19 August 2007

Subject: Man in a Bottle

I'm going to get my blood tested tomorrow morning, if they're open on Mondays. I don't know how much longer I can hold out. I can't write in a vacuum. I can't just wait in an empty bottle for two weeks. I need to do something, if only to gather grist for my mill. I cannot describe the four white walls of my one-bedroom flat, nor the four puke-green walls of the cybercafe. I don't think anyone is interested in the saga of my laundry. My lawyer is gone. Philippe and Ishmael are gone. C the G is silent. I have no computer to continue Cantillizer or begin the new English grammar. I can't even contact Dell to order Beelzebub, for they don't accept e-mail, nor telephone calls on Sundays. My lawyer, whose nickname is Rebours, laughed when I told her I had quit drinking. She said that no one cared about my gamma Shakespeare, nor the witness statements that I got drunk at the bar of the hotel Saturne in July. She asked if I had any DWI or drunk and disorderly arrests. She offered a sop in the general interest of sobriety, as did my doctor, while avoiding to tell me for how many days I needed to quit in order to come clean. I think two weeks is enough. I need to get my hands on a computer. I am wasting time. I need a 'puter before October, when I've got Rose, and work. I can work now. It will take me two or three days of careful concentration to configure the piece of shit, download and install all of the myriad software I use on a daily basis. I'll call Dell tomorrow. "I can't go on. I must go on." That is another misquote. I checked.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 19 August 2007

Subject: Slow Down the Tempo, Choirmaster

No one could possibly guess this rhythmic and rhetorical reference, so I'll just give it to you: J.D. Salinger's Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters, and of course "Raise the Roof", which (to be fair) one of you might have guessed.

W.A. Mozart, Requiem (I Introit, II Kyrie)

I remember one horrible drunken nightmare when Joy sang the Requiem to me on Lambda, a text-only version. Funny how you are all musicians, except for my parents, Steph, and myself. Steph can cook, of course, but cooking is like writing: "Everyone is an expert." Thus spake the executive chef of the Plaza Hotel in Seattle. Musicians have two great advantages over writers. Music by definition means nothing, and not everyone can play it.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 19 August 2007

Subject: It tolls for thee

"Ils n'entendaient -- et même l'entendaient-ils? -- que le bruit du feu comprimé dans le poêle, et de temps en temps, -- quand le vent les leur apportait, -- les sons douloureux d'une cloche lointaine, qui sonnait pour les morts."

This sentence from Une Vieille Maîtresse is so astonishing that I will even translate it for you. It took me three readings just to begin to understand the syntax, and only the translation showed me how intricately it twice turns itself inside out:

"They heard nothing -- and did they even hear it? -- but the noise of the fire compressed in the stove, and from time to time, -- when the wind carried it to them, -- the sad sound of a faraway bell, which tolled for the dead."

The beauty of this sentence lies, as in music, not in the discrete units of symbolic representation, which are conventional (or arbitrary) and therefore meaningless, but in their order and hierarchical relationships. The first parenthetic phrase is impenetrable, as the verb is negated before the concessive clause, a logical and grammatical conundrum. ("Yes, but..." makes sense; "No, but..." does not.) The conjunction "but" undoes the negation and reduces it to a restriction, allowing the concession to be understood after the fact. The "it" of the interrogative is the "noise" of the complement. The second parenthetic phrase follows the same construction precisely, throwing an anaphor (which I've translated here as the singular pronoun "it" to avoid using "them" for both the direct and indirect objects) at the reader before the antecedent ("sound", singular for the same reason). The inversions postpone or suspend the meaning as the reader struggles with the grammar. Murder's high E (For some reason I cannot find this letter on my site.), as inspired and carefully scrutinized as was its pitch, was in itself as meaningless as ABC or 123. Meaning is created by syntax, the relationship between that high E and all the other notes of the unnamed (?) piece.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 19 August 2007

Subject: Photo Impression

Attached: rose.jpg

Merryl,

L'image attachee, la seule que j'ai en ligne de ma fille, n'est pas d'une bonne resolution, donc je pense que l'agrandir n'est pas une bonne solution.

Qu'est-ce tu peux me proposer pour l'imprimer sur papier et l'encadrer?

Je ne connais rien a l'imprimerie (matte, high gloss, etc.) donc je fais confiance a ton esthetique, quelque chose de tres classique, s'il te plait.

Merci.

Gabriel

Rose & SAGReiss

From: SAGReiss

Date: 20 August 2007

Subject: Re: It tolls for thee

My head reeling from the "à jeun" blood test, obviously I forgot to observe yesterday that the two postponed antecedents in our phrase du jour belong to the same semantic field, "noise" and "sound(s)".

 

From: Murder

Date: 20 August 2007

Subject: Address

Gabe, I had nearly finished a letter to you, when I accidentally hit the wrong button on my computer and lost the entire thing. I'll try to recreate what I can in the morning. Meanwhile, I have a new e-mail address. I had to switch because my shitty hotmail account doesn't support POP3 e-mail forwarding without my having to pay $20 a month. I just bought a BlackBerry to prevent another e-mail hiatus like the recent one, which was due to a lack of internet connection at my parents' house in Spokane. And, of course, without an Enterprise account, a BlackBerry requires a POP3 e-mail address to receive messages on its server. So far I'm happy with the switch. I certainly travel enough to warrant the extra expense.

John

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 20 August 2007

Subject: Bad Writing

I've been in a bad slump since Friday morning when I wrote "Howl of the Wolf". I seldom attack, or even call attention to, bad letter writing, and most of the bad letters on my site are my own work. I am somewhat more vocal in the critique of bad food, which (like music) has a more direct impact on the central nervous system. Literature is more oblique. I will have to do something to jumpstart my inspiration. My neighbor and her daughter offered me a glass of white wine this morning, which I politely refused. Let's wait for the results of the blood test this afternoon and count my gamma Shakespeare. I seem to be impervious to music at the moment, quickly losing patience with YouTube, even before it crashes these bullshit 'puters. Singing moves me more than listening, and Murder will tell you that singers, well, aren't exactly musicians, which is why they call their voices "instruments", for lack of a real one. Totaliterian regimes often proudly display beautiful constitutions, in which all kinds of wonderful rights are guaranteed. I prefer to have far fewer rights, but have their exercise protected with overweening zeal. I can live without property and the pursuit of happiness. I cannot live in a world that gives me the right to see my daughter, but not the means to enjoy that right.

 

From: Merryl

Date: 20 August 2007

Subject: Re: Photo Impression

Je vais essayer, mais il me semble évident, que la photo n'est pas en résolution suffisante:

Soit elle fera(par exemple...) 2cm*4cm et sera bonne, soit plus grande et sera floue.

Enfin, je vais voir.

 

From: Murder

Date: 20 August 2007

Subject: Requiem

Gabe, are you planning to buy a desktop or a notebook 'puter? Comparison shoppers rate the Dell desktops very highly, but the notebooks apparently have some problems. People I know who have them say they notice a performance lag beginning about six months from the time of purchase. The Dell notebooks are not as good as, say, the Sony VAIOs. I've owned two VAIOs; the current one is an S-series model, which has run for two and a half years without the slightest glitch. What kind of software are you planning to use? That could factor into your decision. Everyone is an expert in computers, I suppose, in the same way as they are experts in cooking, writing, and music. These days, everyone capable of spewing musical symbols onto a sheet of manuscript paper fancies themselves composers. By this criterion, anyone who has a working knowledge of an instant messenger program is a writer. Although I write in some capacity every day, I would no more call myself a writer than I would an expert in skydiving, an activity I have never even attempted. Real writing demands an ear for the sheer sound of language, as distinct from its meaning. I have not developed my linguistic ear, which is why I enjoy reading your "analyses" (if I may use that vulgar term) of the passages you select. You notice so many things I miss. In music, there is no "meaning" to impede or distract from the direct experience of sound. I may notice certain performance anomalies in the Mozart Requiem clip, such as the extremely sharp D of the first bassoon in the opening measure, in relation to the pitch level the strings have set on the first beat. Such comparisons are ultimately meaningless, however, when discussing the music itself. Linguistic analysis never does justice to music because it is an attempt to derive meaning out of something essentially meaningless. That is why I have never enjoyed writing about music. The result is always inferior to the "Ding an sich".

Murder

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 20 August 2007

Subject: Re: Requiem

This is why we love you, Murder, for the phrase: "In music, there is no 'meaning' to impede or distract from the direct experience of sound." I would, and will, quibble with the word "sound", for music, at least until it is performed, is made up not of sounds but of notes. I think it still is even in performance, as spoken language is made up of phonemes, and not of sounds, but you might beg to differ. It is extremely interesting to me to hear about the sharp D of the first bassoon with respect to the pitch of the strings on the first beat, even if I have no idea what you are talking about. It means you are listening. I wholeheartedly disagree with your hand-wringing about music translated into words. I will try to think of and find an appropriate citation, but in the meantime, I will recreate from memory, meaning make up, a paragraph in a book my mother once sent me about music, an encyclopedia which described Charles Ives' childhood revelation of his own musical esthetic:

"Ives, the son of a Danbury Connecticut pastor, remembered the sound of parades in which he could simultaneously hear two marching bands playing different tunes in different keys in different rhythms. He recalled hearing the amateur chapel choir of his father straining unsuccessfully to reach notes, and struggling to keep time."

That is why he wrote symphonies for two orchestras and that no one could play until thirty-five years after he had suffered a career-stopping heart attack at the age of forty.

I am having a hard time finding the proper quotation. Proust and Anthony Burgess haven't helped me. Buk and Harry Mathews aren't so available online, and the bar is about to close. You may be right, but I can't believe that men haven't known how to enjoy music in words. I came up short in "Howl of the Wolf", but Burgess and Mathews were trained musicians. It must be possible. Nichelle could do it.

 

From: Joy

Date: 20 August 2007

Subject: Re: Requiem

All that has been written here is meaningless to me, except for the bassoon part. I'm alive today because of that piece of music. I don't try to analyze the sounds, or notes, if you will. I simply let them carry me away, or sink into it. Those words sound trite, I know... but when I focus on the music: my breathing becomes jagged, my eyes roll into the back of my head, my body starts to convulse. I experience the beauty in such a raw form that my body and mind can barely handle it.

Once upon a time, when I would read these lengthy works by Sagreiss that would appear in my inbox, I would feel remarkably stupid. Half the time they were in languages that I didn't understand. Not being proficient in language, and in fact having difficulty graduating from college because of this (in French, no less) I wondered what was wrong with me. Why didn't I appreciate the profanity-laced works? Was there something wrong with me that I didn't find linguistic analysis to be the height of culture or Truth? Was I just a total idiot?

I don't worry about these kinds of things now. But it used to chip away at what little self-esteem I had at the time. I had no clue what most of those discussions were about.

Joy

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 20 August 2007

Subject: Luck

Joy is of course right. This is where it gets tricky, my friends. Murder, who deconstructed his own high E, knew (despite his words seemingly to the contrary) that the only thing that really mattered about it was indeed its inspiration, even if no one else could ever know or feel that inspiration, or else could only know and feel something utterly unrelated to what he knew and felt, which is alas inaccessible to anyone else. If you read Sam "Bam" Coleridge, he sounds like a sixteen-year-old, nineteenth-century blogger: "Dude, I ate so much fucking opium and dreamt of Xanadu. I wrote a wicked poem until that fucking salesman knocked on the door. He brought me right down, and I couldn't finish the trip. Bummer." And this is true. It is also true that he couldn't finish a poem to save his life, and that he ate a lot of opium every night, but didn't always write such a poem as Kubla Khan. Barry Bonds has hit 760 home runs. So what happened in his other 9,036 official at bats? The same steroids swam in his veins. He swung the same compact swing. The difference was luck. Call it inspiration. It don't happen every day.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 21 August 2007

Subject: Opus 61

"It is believed that Beethoven finished the solo part so late that Clement had to sight-read part of his performance. Perhaps to express his annoyance, or to show what he could do when he had time to prepare, Clement interrupted the concerto between the first and second movements with a solo composition of his own, played on one string of the violin held upside down.

"The premiere was not a success, and the concerto was little performed in the following decades."

I simply do not have a musical education, so I can't choose a performance. James Levine looks like he is emoting, so we can safely forget about that. Yehudi Menuhin sounds like he is raping the violin, and I won't bother pointing out that "rape" is "viol" and that that word caught C the G in the Belgian judge's trap, as I knew it might, long before C the G asked me to translate that word for my mother, which I wisely refused to do. The following remarks seem cogent to me, but I have no idea what they mean. I don't feel well enough to finger my dick:

http://beststudentviolins.com/beethoven.html

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 21 August 2007

Subject: High E

Five years ago, which would explain why I can't find the letter on my site, a man played thousands of notes on the flute. We are still talking about one of those notes, long after the sound waves petered out into the night, long after everyone (except Murder) who heard that note has forgotten it, and someone may yet read these words long after Murder and me are dead. That note will live on. Why? Because of what Murder wrote, that the pitch, attack, and dynamic (in short, the technique) were just so? No. We are talking about it because it inspired Murder, and Murder inspired it, so much so that he felt compelled to write to us about it, and his inspiration caught ours, lit fire to it, was so powerful that it (the inspiration, not the note, which none of us heard) caused Joy's eyes to glaze over and her body to shake. Laurent, who has presumably not read the Gettysburg Address, cannot know that when I write "that that" my mind is unwillingly carried back to the words of Lincoln memorized thirty years ago. No amount of analysis, of every letter of every word of every letter, will ever communicate my experience of words to you. You can only, as Murder so rightly wrote, judge the technique. You can also, if you are lucky, catch the inspiration.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 21 August 2007

Subject: Où es-tu?

Stéphanie,

Je t'ai cherchée sur MSN, mais tu n'es pas connectée.

Ecris-moi un peu de temps en temps, je t'en prie. Je suis tellement seul.

Écris en français, si tu préfères. Je ferai suivre, ou pas, les messages que les autres comprendront, ou pas. Ils ont l'habitude. (Je mets des accents exprès, si jamais ils veulent jouer au BabelFish.)

Tout est bon pour nous, menu du jour, anecdotes louisistiques, liste des courses, scènes de ménage. C'est de la littérature de tous les jours qu'on fait.

J'ai besoin de toi.

Gabriel

 

From: stephanie

Date: 21 August 2007

Subject: RE: Où es-tu?

je n'ai rien à écrire qui soit matière à figurer dans ta ml, gabriel.

je ne suis qu'une femme au foyer. simple c'est tout.

j'avais une idée de nouvelle que je trouvais fabuleuse. finalement it's crap like everything that i write.

je lis attentivement tous tes courriels, parfois en me triturant la tête.

je suis avec toi, je pense à toi.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 21 August 2007

Subject: Housewife

I see at least three things in this letter that will interest everyone on this list, well, except my parents, who are guests here. I do not know what "ta ml" means (mail au féminin? mailing list[e]?). La phrase "femme au foyer", une belle alliteration et un bon vieux mot ("hearth", I believe), est (comme dirait Monsieur Collinot) à commenter. Oops, and at the other end of the letter, a pendant, "triturant la tête". I have no idea what that means, although I think I've seen it and heard it before. The last word (head) is a term of folkloric etymologies, studied by my friends Paul Valéry and Guillaume Apollinaire. Please remember what Stéphane Mallarmé answered to Edgar Degas: "Ce n'est pas avec des idées qu'on fait un sonnet, mais avec des mots."

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 21 August 2007

Subject: Bits & Bites

A man at the bar said: "S'ils pleuvent." He seemed to think he had misspoken. I'm not so sure. I'm not even sure of the spelling. Should there be an -s in "ils"? I don't know. It's a silent letter. How can I translate this? "If they rain." There is no standard plural form of: "If it rains." I ran into Hervé at the bar. I told him that I couldn't use his witness statement, but no hard feelings. He did some time for events that followed his divorce, and lost two of his children, one of whom permanently. I can understand why he wrote nothing meaningful. The only surprise is that he wrote anything at all. He gave me Joe's phone number, so I will call him. He is younger, has suffered less at the hands of wives and the police. He also saw C the G in the bar every night, as he ate supper, since his wife was far away. He could write a devastating attestation, but I'm not getting my hopes up. I can barely convince Dell that I don't want an internal DVD burner, but I do want a 64-bit processor.

 

From: stephanie

Date: 21 August 2007

Subject: RE: Housewife

ml=mailing list

triturer la tête= think hard and not always find an answer

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 21 August 2007

Subject: The Death of Ruth

If this song doesn't make you cry, you have less heart than Maître Rebours:

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Will the Circle be Unbroken

I am saddened that two of you, Joy and Steph, have expressed reluctance to write because of some imaginary idea that there are some formal criteria for membership in this club. (I am still shocked to the core that Nichelle thinks I didn't believe her, but that's another story. C the G was also jealous of the implicit belief I had in Nichelle, whereas C the G had, and has, no cred.) I have as few academic credentials as any of you. Only two of us, Murder and Laurent, are academic studs, and I haven't ever heard either of them mention it. I remember fiercely defending Joy's experimental writing, even when it didn't necessarily work. Mine doesn't always work either. I can find what I need in Steph's prose. I can find what I need in a fucking laundry list. If you want to help me, write. However, I will go one step further. My mother once wrote a beautiful letter, the day her mother died. I deleted it in a rage because she killed it in one last horrible sentence, but it would have been wiser simply to delete the last sentence. I'm sure someone in the family had the even temper to save the message.

 

From: Joy

Date: 22 August 2007

Subject: Re: The Death of Ruth

Where is negatron?

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 22 August 2007

Subject: negatron

I have called his home, called his school of employment, written, searched Google to death, but I have not seen a trace of John in five years. He disappeared. I weep for him privately. Fiesty once asked me about him. I had nothing to tell her. John is gone. He was always worried about his health, which may not have been good. The letter entitled "The Chowder" reads well, like three people playing two games of chess, except that I hate chess. If negatron were alive today, Cantillizer would already be up and running. He could fall out of bed and write that program. He had no diplomas, learned computing at the age of eight by mindlessly typing code for his lazy-ass father. If I needed one man to watch my back, one geek to fend off malevolent bits and bites, I would walk down any alley with no fear with John David Lorer.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 22 August 2007

Subject: Flaubert's Mail

Baseball players constantly remind one another: "Stay within yourself." Babe Ruth, who was so well known as an ignorant lug who lucked into 714 home runs that Ty Cobb once accused him of being part nigger, said: "The fans would rather see me hit one homer to right than three doubles to left." It was a charming age, when ballplayers thought more about what the fans wanted than winning games. He knew what he was doing. Luck played an important, but ultimately small role. (Rest assured, George Herman Ruth was also an ignorant lug who spoke quite crudely to women about the necessity of fucking.) Rose will not begin reading with Romeo & Juliet II.ii. She has already begun a love affaire with books, tearing their pages off to chew. She shows a marked preference for my books, rather than her own. She likes the 'puter too. I think she feels the interest that these objects hold for her father, and wants to hold them too. I borrowed a book called "Gribouillis gribouillons" for her from the library this morning. I will be only too happy to watch her tear the pages to shreds. I came to realize about the age of twenty-five, after ten years of writing snail mail and scheming and plotting a novel set in Strasbourg, that I couldn't write like Flaubert, who wouldn't have cared for the immediate imperfection of e-mail, but who also wrote quite crudely about fucking Egyptian whores with shaved cunts in his correspondence. Joy, of Cooking, is a masterpiece because Irma Rombauer, despite the best efforts of several generations of her descendents and other editors, writes within herself. She is not a French chef, a cordon bleu, nor even a New York oyster bar-hopping sophisticate. She is a corn-fed, country bumpkin who loves to cook and read and write about cooking, and she not only makes cooking easy, she makes it fun, and she makes the food sound good, which in a book is far more important than its tasting good, for there is no taste in books, except when Rose eats the pages.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 22 August 2007

Subject: The Madwoman's Club

I saw Clo, gf circa 2000, who berated me for not having a job, and told me what would I do with a one-year-old girl anyway? I cannot understand how anyone could say such a thing, how I could be patient while my daughter grows up without me every day, simply because her mother knows this is the only way she can hurt me, her mother who doesn't give a shit about any of her three daughters. I will wait, but I won't like it. I will not take this sitting down. I will not turn the other cheek. I will hit her back hard, so hard her bones and psyche shake, but I will do so in my own way in my own time. Until then, I will abide. I've gotten into a decent rhythm now. I manage to eat. I've ordered a wooden (hêtre) high chair. The cyber is always open, even if no one writes me. I don't want to get distracted by instant messaging. It's a crutch and a waste of time. E-mail is the perfect compromise between real time and eternity, what Gus Flaubert called the "pas encore" and the "déjà plus". My life will get healthier when I can type at home. Shlomo is not going to buy me a 'puter, or else he would have answered already, but I'll get one. I'm ready to work, calm and sane, as "Big" Bill Bourroughs said.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 22 August 2007

Subject: Death Letter

In case you haven't noticed, I am dying:

Son House, Death Letter

Please write to me.

Thank you.

Best Regards.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

 

From: Murder

Date: 22 August 2007

Subject: Purgatory

If, as you say, e-mail is the perfect compromise between real time and eternity, then I'm sitting in purgatory, without an internet connection of my own until September 7th. That is the earliest date I can get the bastards at Time Warner to hook up my cable/internet connection. In the meantime, I have a blackberry and my own version of a cybercafe from which to work. JouJou's, a little sandwich shop on the corner of 168th and Broadway, has free wifi, shitty coffee, and a gigantic, delicious ginger cookie. Any lengthy e-mail during the next two weeks will be sent from here, shorter e-mail from my blackberry. Nichelle once wrote that she felt like Flaubert's ass, and I can't blame her. Everything I write somehow doesn't measure up to the concept I have in my head beforehand. Everyone seems to have different writing habits. Some can just let the words flow and pour out beautiful letters. For them, writing may truly be mere muscle memory. I have to read and reread what I have written, even in everyday business correspondence, and even then I am never satisfied either by the meaning I've conveyed or by the sounds of the words in my head. With music, it's a different story. I have practiced to the point where I can judge a high E, and then edit it, even before the note is translated into sound. Words are a different story. I can come up with six ways of saying the same thing, none of which are satisfactory. It's a curse I've been aware of since I was a young child. Some can translate music into words. I've lost that ability, if I ever had it at all.

Murder

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 23 August 2007

Subject: How many holes had Murder's flute?

John, I cannot tell you how it warms my heart that you remembered "Flaubert's ass". I was hoping someone would. Remembering means that we are not dead yet. I tried unsuccessfully to find the number of holes in a flute, but I couldn't even figure out what kind of flute we're talking about, some madness about Lord Krishna's ocarina. Nightmares. Like Babe Ruth and Barry Bonds, we think about what we do, play out letters and music in our minds beforehand, brood over our mistakes afterwards, but I can't believe that you consciously control the process of sounding a high E at the exact moment you need to do so in the middle of a flurry of other notes while conductor scouls at you because you're fucking his wife and the second flautist has just accidentally stomped on your left pinkie toe because he wants your job. No, John. I believe you possess many godlike powers, but this is not one of them. No one can do that. Most of the time the little things, the little people, win, or at least cause you to lose, if only by making you lose your concentration, which is why Buk always lost at the horseraces. But sometimes, some days, muscle memory takes over. One night five years ago you put the pain out of your mind, forgot the ugly conductor's wife, lined up every articulation of your mouth and soul, and blew a high E that we will never forget, we who never even heard it.

 

From: stephanie

Date: 23 August 2007

Subject: mercato

voilà gabriel, je reviens du marché.

j'ai acheté des plats chinois, un poulet que je veux farcir, des quetches pour faire une tarte, des petit oignons blancs qui en fait sont rouges, mais ça fera très joli sur la salade de concombre.

j'ai acheté des olives à l'ail hors de prix, et de la féta délicieuse. je veux faire des bricks avec.

des petites courgette blanches, qui seront très bien farcies à la viande et gratinées au four avec juste un peu de chapelure dessus.

comme toujours louise a remporté un franc succès auprès des mamies du marché. si je ne l'habille pas en rose, on me demande comment s'appelle le petit garçon....

il fait chaud, enfin. je vais mettre une robe, pour honorer l'été. aujourd'hui c'est l'anniversaire de mon époux. je vais faire un tiramisu, c'est son déssert favori.

voilà mon coeur pour les nouvelles du moment.

à bientôt

s. et l.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 23 August 2007

Subject: Another Opium Eater

My mother has claimed that I was not writing about Rose. I told her that I will teach Rose to read, so she will understand that every letter of every word of every letter is indeed about Rose. Look at the title "How many holes had Murder's flute?" Style, as Monsieur Collinot assured us, is "écart de la norme". What words stand out in that title? The verb "had" seems odd. Should it be "has", or maybe "does... have", or "has... got"? I had even thought of writing "hath". And the word "Murder" is capitalized, yet the letter goes on to refer to the ostensible addressee by his given name, John. Why? Well, my friends, you put two and two together and you get: "How many children had Lady Macbeth?" a beautiful text by... Oops, I thought it was "Terrible" Tom de Quincy, who instead wrote "On the Knocking at the Gate in Macbeth", which is a beautiful text. I haven't read the other one. I just remember the title, which is beautiful enough. Nevermind.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 23 August 2007

Subject: Fwd: mercato

Steph,

My friends will tell you that I am utterly incapable of irony. This letter is fascinating to me just as the last one, which I barely skimmed and didn't forward, left me cold. BabelFish will make an ugly mess of the culinary terms. We love BabelFish. C the G's specialty des(s)ert is tiramisu. Please pick me up and send the recipe. As Nichelle once said: "Look in your shorts and write."

 

From: stephanie

Date: 23 August 2007

Subject: puzzled

i'm confused here. i did not know there was someone to decide what to forward or not.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 23 August 2007

Subject: Re: puzzled

This is a tricky question, my friend. The politics of this list have been brutally debated since its inception on 22 February 1996. The initial rule, which never changed, was that everyone knew everyone else's address. There was no moderator. In the present circumstances, however, I have been forced to suspend that lofty principle temporarily because my parents (and sister, but she asked not to receive any offensive mail, and I have no idea nor care what she deems offensive) have certain rights to know what's going on with me and Rose, and I loathe to share their addresses. That is the only reason why I am moderating this list, and I could be convinced to abrogate that decision. (For some reason e-mail politics are making me write in Latin, which I seldom do.) Once I made the dicision to moderate the list, I almost inevitably began to manipulate it, by answering one of John's messages semi-privately, and one of Nichelle's privately, and by not sending your message beginning: "Et ce jour est arrivé." I tried gently to explain why in the letter entitled "Flaubert's Mail".

 

From: stephanie

Date: 23 August 2007

Subject: Re: puzzled

tout ceci est un non sens pour moi. and PLEASE copy everyone about it.

je resterai silencieuse à l'avenir.

 

From: ciff 96

Date: 23 August 2007

Subject: TR: Pere Prive du Droit de Visite

Monsieur,

Si vous avez reconnu votre enfant et qu'aucune décision de justice n'a été prise concernant les droits respectifs des parents, vous avez aujourd'hui les mêmes droits et devoirs envers l'enfant que sa mère.

Si cette dernière refuse de vous laisser voir l'enfant elle fait obstruction à vos droits et le juge pourra le cas échéant en tenir compte lors de sa décision. De son côté la mère peut invoque des raisons justifiant cette opposition (père dangereux ou en incapacité d'assurer la sécurité de l'enfant - Crainte de violence envers sa propre personne lors des rencontres

- enlèvement international...).

Pour l'instant je vous invite à continuer votre procédure et à faire constater (amis, huissier...) que la mère vous refuse l'accès à l'enfant.

Vous pouvez aussi, en fonction des raisons du refus avancé par la mère, négocier de rencontrer votre fille dans des circonstances ou lieux qui rassureront la mère (présence de grands-parents, lieux publics, courte durée...).

Pour une réponse plus précisément adaptée à votre situation vous pouvez prendre un RDV en téléphonant au CIFF

Espérant vous avoir apporté un début de réponse.

Cordialement

Marianne Tendille

Responsable du secteur Vie Relationnelle et Familiale

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 23 August 2007

Subject: Pieces of the Puzzle (Perec)

Steph,

J'exécute, mais ne sois pas blessée, je t'en prie. J'aime tes mails, sauf celui que je n'ai pas fait suivre. J'ai essayé de te faire doucement comprendre pourquoi ce message n'intéresse personne. Ils ne te le diront jamais, mais Murder joue de la flûte à Carnegie Hall, Laurent était 22ème de sa promotion à l'agrégation de mathématiques. Ils sont assez gentils, comme toi, de me consacrer un peu de temps lors de ma misère. Je les interromps pour ta recette de tiramisù. Je ne les interromps pas pour tes idées sur l'art, l'amour, la musique, la littérature, ou la philosophie. Je suis désolé. Tu es la meilleure cuisinière de cette liste, où l'on prend la cuisine au sérieux (voir la ginger cookie de Murder). Ne crois pas qu'on sous-estime ton talent.

 

From: stephanie

Date: 23 August 2007

Subject: RE: Pieces of the Puzzle (Perec)

écoute gabriel. j'en ai rien à foutre de n'interesser personne. je n'écris pas pour interesser les gens. je m'en fous. je n'écrirai plus. c'est tout.

surtout ne dérange pas tes amis au QI démesuré pour une conne comme moi.

d'autres, plus modestes, m'apprécient pour ce que je suis: une fille simple et surtout! sans prétention.

maintenant, laisse moi tranquille.

merci.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 23 August 2007

Subject: Re: TR: Pere Prive du Droit de Visite

Madame,

Merci de votre mail.

Je vous reponds parce que je suis touche de la peine que vous avez pris a me repondre, mais je crois que la reponse est la meme que tout le monde (avocats, assistantes sociales, gendarmes, medecins, etc.) m'ont deja donee: il faut attendre pendant que la mere de ma fille prive cruellement tous les jours depuis le 14 juillet Rose et moi de notre droit legal et naturel le plus elementaire, le droit d'un pere et de sa fille de se voir.

Priere de trouver ci-dessous EN MAJUSCULES ma reponse a vos remarques.

Je vous remercie du fond de mon coeur.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

--- ciff 96 wrote:

> Monsieur,

> Si vous avez reconnu votre enfant et qu'aucune

> décision de justice n'a été

> prise concernant les droits respectifs des parents,

> vous avez aujourd'hui

> les mêmes droits et devoirs envers l'enfant que sa

> mère.

J'AI RECONNU MA FILLE, ROSE REISS. J'AI LE DROIT DE LA VOIR. JE N'EN AI PAS LA POSSIBILITE. LA MERE DE ROSE LAISSE LES CLEFS DANS LA SERRURE CHEZ NOUS, DONC JE NE PUIS ENTRER CHEZ MOI QU'EN BRISANT UN VITRE. CE N'EST PAS UNE BONNE IDEE. J'AI DEJA SUBIS LA VIOLENCE DE LA MERE DE MA FILLE, QUI ARROSE COPIEUSEMENT DES ANTI-DEPRESSEURS. IL EST CLAIR QU'ELLE N'A PAS ENCORE EU L'OBLIGEANCE DE ME BATTRE DEVANT UN HUISSIER.

> Si cette dernière refuse de vous laisser voir

> l'enfant elle fait obstruction

> à vos droits et le juge pourra le cas échéant en

> tenir compte lors de sa

> décision. De son côté la mère peut invoque des

> raisons justifiant cette

> opposition (père dangereux ou en incapacité

> d'assurer la sécurité de

> l'enfant - Crainte de violence envers sa propre

> personne lors des rencontres

> - enlèvement international...).

LA MERE A DEJA PRETEXTE PLUS OU MOINS TOUTES CES RAISONS DANS DES MAILS INCOHERENTS ET CONTRADICTOIRES, OU ELLE M'ACCUSE PAR AILLEURS D'EXHIBITIONNISME INCESTUEUX, SANS PORTER PLAINTE. (ELLE A DEJA FAIT UNE ACCUSATION DE VIOL INCESTUEUX CONTRE SON FRERE EN BELGIQUE, QUI A ETE ACQUITTE. LE JUGE, DONT J'AI LU UNE PARTIE DE LA DECISION, A CONCLU QUE LA MERE DE MA FILLE ETAIT UNE MERE IRRESPONSABLE, QUI ABONDONNAIT SES ENFANTS POUR SORTIR LE SOIR, ET QUI A FAIT FAIRE DE FAUX TEMOIGNAGES A SES FILLES AINEES. ELLE RECIDIVE.) AVEC MON AVOCAT (MAITRE REBOUL A ROSIERES, CC CI-DESSUS), PAR EXEMPLE, NOUS AVONS PROPOSE UN ECHANGE DE PASSEPORTS, QUE LA MERE A REFUSE. ELLE ME DIT "FOU ET DANGEREUX", MAIS ELLE M'INVITE A VENIR A LA MAISON, CE QU'ELLE ME DEFEND DE FAIRE DANS D'AUTRES MAILS. J'AI PEUR D'ELLE, DONC JE N'Y VAIS PAS, ET JE NE VEUX PAS QU'ELLE CONNAISSE MA NOUVELLE ADRESSE, MAIS APPARAMMENT JE VAIS ETRE OBLIGE DE LA LUI DONNER. SOIT.

> Pour l'instant je vous invite à continuer votre

> procédure et à faire

> constater (amis, huissier...) que la mère vous

> refuse l'accès à l'enfant.

> Vous pouvez aussi, en fonction des raisons du refus

> avancé par la mère,

> négocier de rencontrer votre fille dans des

> circonstances ou lieux qui

> rassureront la mère (présence de grands-parents,

> lieux publics, courte

> durée...).

MON PERE EST VENU DE L'ETRANGER POUR UNE VISITE PREVUE DEPUIS LONGUE DATE. UNE FOIS QUE LA MERE DE MA FILLE A LU L'ASSIGNATION DE MON AVOCAT, ELLE LUI A EGALEMENT FERME LA PORTE. MA MERE A DU ANNULER UNE VISITE DE L'ETRANGER EGALEMENT PREVUE DEPUIS LONGUE DATE PARCE QUE NOUS SAVONS QU'ELLE AURAIT PEU DE CHANCES DE VOIR ROSE.

> Pour une réponse plus précisément adaptée à votre

> situation vous pouvez

> prendre un RDV en téléphonant au CIFF

JE VEUX BIEN VENIR EN STOP JUSQU'A AUBAGNE, MAIS UNIQUEMENT SI VOUS POUVEZ ME DIRE AUTRE CHOSE QUE D'ATTENDRE. MA FILLE N'ATTEND PAS POUR GRANDIR.

> Espérant vous avoir apporté un début de réponse.

> Cordialement

> Marianne Tendille

> Responsable du secteur Vie Relationnelle et

> Familiale

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 23 August 2007

Subject: Sorry

I am sorry about this, but I haven't got time for people who don't know how to read and write. They just need to shut up. I am fighting with Dell, who can't understand that I want to order a 'puter by mail and not by phone. I've been writing to the battered women's organization, who surprisingly answered their mail, and the cybercafe is fighting the telephone company and ISP, so I've been offline most of the afternoon. I haven't eaten. I still need to find the man to drill ventilation holes in my three-foot stone walls. I can't help everyone.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 23 August 2007

Subject: Re: Photo Impression

Merci, Merryl.

Je sais que ca ne va pas etre tres beau.

Est-ce que tu peux faire quelque chose d'un peu plus grand, mais pas trop flou?

 

From: Merryl

Date: 23 August 2007

Subject: Re: Photo Impression

écoute, je le fais, mais tu viendras voir le résultat.

Comme je te l'ai dit, c'est comme agrandir un timbre jusqu'à du A4...

Mais c'est toi qui vois!

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 23 August 2007

Subject: Re: Photo Impression

Excuse-moi, Merryl. Ce n'est pas qu'une question esthetique. Si l'assistante sociale vient chez moi, j'aimerais qu'elle voie une photo de ma fille. Tu comprends?

Peux-tu faire la moitie d'un A4?

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 23 August 2007

Subject: Harry & Louis

Typing that title, I seem to remember that my grandfather's middle name was Louis, Harry Louis Siegler. Louis Platon is the owner of the Bar des Gorges, and the husband of Eugenie, who is about thirty years his junior. I can hear him screaming his Marseille accent into the headset microphone he wears as he performs a Trivial Pursuits meets Wheel of Fortune game for a terrasse full of foolish guests. The act is awful, but it reminds me of my grandfather's bingo games in the casino of the Monte Valley bungalow colony in Mountaindale, Sullivan county, near Monticel(l)o, where I was born, although my current birth certificate says I was born in a place called Thompson. It's a strange blend of a past of homemade music and poetry, before television and the phonograph destroyed life on Earth, and modern internet technology. My mother wrote longhand letters from England to her mother every day from 1960 to 1962. That kind of literacy disappeared in the seventies and eighties, killed by the telephone, only to be reignited by e-mail in the nineties, but may die again, under the powerful influence of instant messenging and Skype. Technology is never value-neutral. But my grandfather sang. He sang tenor. I can only sing baritone, which is like not being able to sing at all. It is neither tenor nor bass. I have sung some of my grandfather's songs to Rose, those I can remember, "My Pigeon House", "My Grandfather's Clock", "I ain't gonna work no more", "Knick-Knack-Paddy-Wack". I miss my ancestors, even those I never liked.

 

From: Murder

Date: 23 August 2007

Subject: Ancestors

Once upon a time I had friends in Montecello. More accurately, they are friends of my ex-girlfriend Julie, so I knew them only by association. I spent at least two Thanksgivings out there, piss drunk, rowing a boat onto the lake, nearly drowning trying to throw a football from one canoe to another. Could Gabe's Thompson nowadays be called Thompsonville? I remember seeing a sign on my way into town. Our lives intersect in strange and secret ways. My only face-to-face meeting with Gabe happened in Spokane at the Espresso Delizioso, which closed shortly after that (at least that's what Vanessa, my ex-gf, recently told me). Nichelle and I spent many happy evenings serenading there. Apparently now it is a crystal-meth-house-turned-coffee-shop. Maybe I can convince Nichelle to whip out her licorice stick one more time, in honor of our old haunt, to join me in a rousing rendition of Leroy Ostransky's disturbing duets for flute and clarinet. If not, my only comfort will be My Foolish Heart, of which Joy's e-mail reminded me. Though amazingly easy to deconstruct (I have done so myself at the piano), I am at a loss for words to describe its inspiration. Maybe someone else will have the strength and the skill.

Bill Evans, My Foolish Heart

John

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 24 August 2007

Subject: What's in a name?

John, do you keep some kind of alphabetical register of all these gfs? Every time you change Blackberries, I find another couple of women. I'm beginning to wonder if you really have time to play the flute, or if music isn't just some elaborate pick-up line. I can't keep the spelling of my birthplace straight either. My original birth certificate, the one with my little footprints on the back, read "Monticelo", but the Quebecois translator wrote "Monticello", so I was then accused by the French authorities of lying about my birthplace. My new papers say "Thompson". I'm not sure if that's the same as "Thompsonville" or "Montecello" or "Leningrad". I too remember the cross-country madness that brought me face to face with America, negatron, and Murder. Nichelle and I avoided the police, but John almost didn't make it across the Canadian boarder. I am glad you remember the name of the cafe, which I would not have recalled. Can someone really be named Leroy Ostransky?

 

From: ciff 96

Date: 24 August 2007

Subject: RE: Scott Reiss TR: TR: Pere Prive du Droit de Visite

Il m'est difficile d'imaginer quel contenu pourrait avoir notre entretien, peut être simplement faire le tour des pistes à explorer et vérifier leur faisabilité entre votre connaissance de la situation et mon approche juridique, objective et ma connaissance de ce type de situation.

Effectivement votre situation semble plus complexe qu'il n'y paraissait au premier email.

Essayez néanmoins de voir votre fille en vous présentant chez madame - avec témoins et seulement si vous pensez pouvoir rester calme si madame vous agresse. Dans ce type de situation beaucoup de pères finissent par abandonner, et ne voient plus leurs enfant au bout de quelques années, par épuisement. Il faut de la persévérance et on ne peut l'acquérir qu'en arrivant à bien identifier ce qui relève de l'affectif et de l'émotionnel de ce qui est à faire d'un point de vu positionnement, démarches, recherche de preuves...

Cette situation est très douloureuse, je pense qu'il vous faudra apprendre à l'aborder différemment même si aujourd'hui cela vous parait inconcevable et injuste. La décision de justice ne vous apportera probablement pas réponse à tout, même si elle vous donne satisfaction. Resteront des années à parcourir en tant que parents...

Ne perdez pas le fil de vos objectifs en entrant dans un conflit dont vous ne voulez pas, restez dans le juste en réclamant vos droit et en faisant respecter ceux de votre enfant.

N'abandonnez pas la procédure à votre avocat, posez des questions, lisez les écrits de la partie adverse et les conclusions de votre avocat, apportez vos remarques. (Le service juridique du CIFF peut vous accompagner dans cette posture)

Cordialement

Marianne Tendille

Responsable du secteur Juridique et Vie Relationnelle et Familiale

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 24 August 2007

Subject: RE: Scott Reiss TR: TR: Pere Prive du Droit de Visite

Madame,

Merci de votre aide et de votre reconfort.

Priere de trouver ci-dessous EN MAJUSCULES ma reponse a vos remarques.

Meilleures salutations.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

--- ciff 96 wrote:

> Il m'est difficile d'imaginer quel contenu pourrait

> avoir notre entretien,

> peut être simplement faire le tour des pistes à

> explorer et vérifier leur

> faisabilité entre votre connaissance de la situation

> et mon approche

> juridique, objective et ma connaissance de ce type

> de situation.

> Effectivement votre situation semble plus complexe

> qu'il n'y paraissait au

> premier email.

> Essayez néanmoins de voir votre fille en vous

> présentant chez madame - avec

> témoins et seulement si vous pensez pouvoir rester

> calme si madame vous

> agresse.

CHEZ NOUS IL Y A UNE FEMME INSTABLE ET VIOLENTE, DEUX ADOLESCENTES, UN BEBE, ET, SELON LES ECRITS DE MADAME, SON NOUVEL AMI. JE NE SUIS PAS ENCORE ASSEZ FOU POUR Y ALLER, ET JE NE CONNAIS PERSONNE D'ASSEZ FOU POUR M'Y ACCOMPAGNER LE CAS ECHEANT. EST-CE QU'ON CONSEILLE AUX FEMMES BATTUES D'ALLER CHEZ LEUR EX?

Dans ce type de situation beaucoup de pères

> finissent par

> abandonner, et ne voient plus leurs enfant au bout

> de quelques années, par

> épuisement.

JE N'ABANDONNE RIEN DU TOUT. J'ATTENDS MA FILLE AUJOURD'HUI, DEMAIN, LE 27 AOUT, LE 3 SEPTEMBRE, ET TOUS LES JOURS JUSQU'A LA MORT.

Il faut de la persévérance et on ne peut

> l'acquérir qu'en

> arrivant à bien identifier ce qui relève de

> l'affectif et de l'émotionnel de

> ce qui est à faire d'un point de vu positionnement,

> démarches, recherche de

> preuves...

> Cette situation est très douloureuse, je pense qu'il

> vous faudra apprendre à

> l'aborder différemment même si aujourd'hui cela vous

> parait inconcevable et

> injuste. La décision de justice ne vous apportera

> probablement pas réponse à

> tout, même si elle vous donne satisfaction.

JE NE SAIS PAS DE QUELLE DIFFERENTE MANIERE IL FAUDRA QUE J'ABORDE LA SITUATION. TOUT CE QUE JE DEMANDE A LA JUSTICE, C'EST DE ME PERMETTRE DE VOIR MA FILLE. J'AI DEMANDE LA GARDE AUSSI, ET J'AI PROPOSE UN TRAITEMENT DE GARDE ALTERNEE, MAIS AU MOINS QU'ON FASSE VALOIR LE DROIT DE VISITE ET D'HEBERGEMENT DE ROSE ET MOI.

> Resteront des années à parcourir

> en tant que parents...

> Ne perdez pas le fil de vos objectifs en entrant

> dans un conflit dont vous

> ne voulez pas, restez dans le juste en réclamant vos

> droit et en faisant

> respecter ceux de votre enfant.

> N'abandonnez pas la procédure à votre avocat, posez

> des questions, lisez les

> écrits de la partie adverse et les conclusions de

> votre avocat, apportez vos

> remarques. (Le service juridique du CIFF peut vous

> accompagner dans cette

> posture)

MON AVOCAT EST PARTIE EN VACANCES. L'AVOCAT DE MADAME (MAITRE VESSON) N'A PAS REPONDU AU COURRIER OFFICIEL DU 20 JUILLET NI A UN RAPPEL ULTERIEUR. MON AVOCAT ET MOI N'AURONS DONC MEME PAS L'OCCASION DE LIRE LEURS DOCUMENTS AVANT LE 3 SEPTEMBRE. APPARAMMENT NI LA LOI NI LA DEONTOLOGIE N'INTERDISENT CETTE OBFUSCATION. SI JAMAIS VOUS POUVEZ M'AIDER A OBTENIR CES DOCUMENTS, JE VOUS SAURAI ETERNELLEMENT GRE. JE NE PEUX PAS ATTENDRE ENCORE UN RENVOI. MA FILLE AURA UN AN LUNDI.

> Cordialement

> Marianne Tendille

> Responsable du secteur Juridique et Vie

 

From: Nichelle

Date: 24 August 2007

Subject: Re: What's in a name?

Espresso Delizioso became the Mercury, and the Mercury was markedly inferior. Now both are gone. Delizioso had bowls of olives and cheese trays and a license to serve wine and beer. Dawn Rutherford and I sang a rousing chorus of "Czechoslovakian Beer" (Do Me Sol Do Sol Me Do) there. The Mercury had something called "espresso eggs". They cooked the eggs with the steamer on the espresso machine. I don't recommend it.

I guess whether or not playing the flute is a good pick up line depends on the type of women John is looking for. (Or whether or not it's women he seeks. Is that the difference between floo-tist and flouw-tist?) It works for him in a way that playing the bass clarinet never worked for me.

As for our cross-country madness, I remember that you wouldn't stop and let me look at Niagra Falls. All the rest of the memories are nice ones. Trying to teach Mur to walk on a harness and leash. Meeting negatron in Minot, ND. The small town radio programs we listened to through North Dakota and Montana. Even the white-knuckled driving through a Chicago rush hour seems kind of character building and happy in my memories. Funny how, given time, it all gets rewritten.

As for Leroy Ostransky... Well, yes. There is. I'd like to hear you deconstruct that, Gaby.

I find your list format kind of awkward, Gaby. Why not forward the emails to your parents and let everyone else function on the list as we used to?

I apologize for not being up to date on all of this email. I can barely read it all. I'm scrambling to get all of my various jobs done. I have another box of books to list online before going to bed. Tired. Bed.

More later.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 24 August 2007

Subject: Re: What's in a name?

Anything for you, dear. Anything? Yes.

The first and third paragraphs of the letter hereunder are pure magic.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 24 August 2007

Subject: Do me so. Do so me. Do.

Nichelle sometimes writes in code. Fortunately I have studied for many years, and have a sheepskin from Charter Oak College in Farmington Connecticut to show for it. (C the G claims in one of her mails that my diploma is somehow a fake. We know better.) I have spent many hours, well, a few minutes, researching the information necessary for the compleat understanding of that letter, although I have not found anything to enlighten the word Ostransky, except in my memory an ex-legionnaire called Bruno from Saverne who learned Polish from his mother: "Rede un schrieve." Unfortunately I think the name is Czech. Our regular readers know that understanding such prose is irrelevant. You must listen to the rhythm of the sentences in paragraphs one and three. The rest is silence, as Hamlet said, and said no more. I have learned that Niag(a)ra Falls derives from the Iroquois word for "thunder of waters", and of course you all know what Rose and the thunder said: "Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata." Da, da, da.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 24 August 2007

Subject: Marksmanship

Attached: piaf_mon_legionnaire.mp3

Bruno, a small man, was a marksman in the Foreign Legion. He worked in Tchad. I'm trying not to confuse him with Jean-Marie, a long skinny tatooed gypsy, also an ex-legionnaire, who answered my question indignantly: "Je ne parle pas le romani? Et je fais comment pour parler à ma grand'mère?" Everyone spoke French and Alsacien. Bruno methodically described how he climbed a tree in Tchad, took aim, held his breath, and shot a man dead at a thousand meters. No wonder everyone drinks so much. I'm not sure that the attached MP3 file is not corrupted, but I couldn't find it on YouTube. (I can't comment on John's post of Bill Evans, except that I think I once saw him in concert in New York, and that he plays the piano very softly.) Edith Piaf was drunker than I will ever be, but what is important here is how completely under control her voice is, how she undersings. Listen to the Rs she rolls ever so slightly. Listen especially to the following verses:

Il était mince, il était beau,

Il sentait bon le sable chaud,

Mon légionnaire.

[...]

Il était mince, il était beau,

On l'a mis sous le sable chaud,

Mon légionnaire.

Edith Piaf, Mon
              Legionnaire

From: SAGReiss

Date: 25 August 2007

Subject: Lucy Luck

Marianne Tendille sends me long and comforting letters. I guess that's why she's a battered-wife lawyer and Green party candidate for something in 2004, which is what it looks like from a quick search. I don't think she can help me, though, unless she can somehow threaten or browbeat Maitre Vessie into giving up the docs. If he's on vacation, which is all too likely, her efforts will count for nought anyway, for no one will answer until nine o'clock on Monday morning 3 September, at which point I should have driven a rental car to Rosiere and bang on my lawyer's door. Last night an excentric English lady in a therapeutic corset invited me to dinner at the Carmel, a converted convent named after a mountain in the north of Israel and owned by an Englishman. I'm a little tired and hung over and depressed since no one has written. Margaret's daughter (I'm not making this up.) is called Lucy Luck and runs a literary agency: "Her interests tend towards edgy, thoughtful fiction and quirky non-fiction, although she has found there are always exceptions to any rules." Let's all remember to get a haircut. We're going to be famous.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 26 August 2007

Subject: Rose by Another Name

Tomorrow is indeed Rose's first birthday, or second depending on how you count. Although I taught Nichelle neither to write nor to speak French, she taught me something that will get me through tomorrow. It's a secret. It will be a surprise. Your visit here was doomed from the getgo by C the G, the Saturne, drunkenness, sobriety, life, time, money, fortune, mutability, all of which are magazine titles. At least we bought the bed and the car seat, got to a lawyer's, which turned out to be a necessary disastour [sic]. I struggle mightily to get delivery of the high chair I ordered, and don't know how to rent a car to go to court. Getting a haircut, dealing with the gas leak, cleaning the apartment, eating, doing anything but typing and reaching for another drink seems impossible to me. By the time I do get Rose, I will need my mother to help me take care of her. I may be too out of my mind to do it myself. Two months ago seems like forever. I used to wake up every morning and see my baby, give her a bottle, change her, walk to the churchyard and listen to the noontime bells, which ring thirty-six times. I have a manual puree squisher that I like. I've never made baby food before. That's OK. Twelve months ago I had never fed a baby. One thing I never thought of, Juliet IS a rose by another name, for Romeo's first gf, who does not appear in the play, but is named, is named Rosaline. How could I have never have noticed that before? Her name appears ten times in the text, but I never saw it. It will probably be years before Rose gets a passport, but I still like to say: "Next year in Jerusalem."

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 26 August 2007

Subject: The Ballad of Bernard Pivot

I tore the tongue off my package of Gitanes maïs yellow cigarettes and wrote down the fixed-do syllalbes: "Do mi sol do sol mi do." I told the drunken street musician that the song was called "Czechoslovakian Beer", but he insisted it was called "Pivot". He proceded to sing this tune about a visit of the French literary television personality Bernard Pivot to Mostar, a town in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I have no idea whether this song actually exists, or this was some kind of bizarre improvisation.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 26 August 2007

Subject: Da, da, da.

"Quand les Dévas, les hommes et les Asuras, lisons-nous au premier Brâhmana de la cinquième leçon du Bhradâranyaka Upanishad, terminaient leur noviciat avec Prajapâti, ils lui firent cette prière: « Parle-nous ».

"« Da, dit Prajapâti, le dieu du tonnerre. M'avez-vous entendu? ». Et les Devas [sic] répondirent: « Tu nous as dit: Damyata, domptez-vous », – le texte sacré voulant dire que les puissances d'en haut se soumettent à la loi de la parole.

"« Da, dit Prajapâti, le dieu du tonnerre. M'avez-vous entendu? ». Et les hommes répondirent: « Tu nous as dit: Datta, donnez », – le texte sacré voulant dire que les hommes se reconnaissent par le don de la parole.

"« Da, dit Prajapâti, le dieu du tonnerre. M'avez-vous entendu? ». Et les Asuras répondirent: « Tu nous as dit: Dayadhvam, faites grâce », – le texte sacré voulant dire que les puissances d'en bas résonnent à l'invocation de la parole.

"C'est là, reprend le texte, ce que la voix divine fait entendre dans le tonnerre: Soumission, don, grâce. Da da da.

"Car Prajapâti à tous répond: « Vous m'avez entendu »."

I went to the Ram, an Indian salon de thé, asking about the chick pea salad and the translation of "Damyata. Datta. Dayadhvam". The gentleman, who speaks English only a little better than he speaks French, told me that his dialect was fairly close to Sanskrit and Tamil. There are apparently fifty-six words in his language, which I understood as fifty-six letters. In any case he could only translate the last term for me: "Dayadhvam", which he understood as the request for a mercy killing, the coup de grâce. The chick peas were delicious, with yogurt and caraway seeds. He served me a beer appropriately named Kingfisher, an Indian beer brewed under license in the UK with a bird logo and instructions to serve cool. I know that you may think I invest a lot of time, money, and energy in futile pursuits, but I am investing in eternity. Someday Rose may ask me what "Da, da, da." means. I will tell her.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 27 August 2007

Subject: Happy Birthday

My angel Rose,

A year ago was the happiest day of my life. When you were born I wrote a poem to celebrate your birth.

15 July to 15 September 2007 will have been the ugliest months of my life. I have wept for you, sung for you, loved you every minute of every hour of every day.

I have written many poems, heartbreaking trips into the depths of my memory and despair. We must wait for a judge to see each other. Justice runs slow.

Paul Robeson, Go Down Moses

I am thinking of you, waiting for you. Your place is set at my table. Your bed is laid. Your toys await the touch of your hands. My lips long to kiss your forehead. My arms break to hold you.

Your loving father

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 27 August 2007

Subject: Re: Happy Birthday

Maman,

J'ai pas vu papa depuis si longtemps.

Pourquoi?

Rose

 

From: ciff 96

Date: 27 August 2007

Subject: TR: Scott Reiss TR: Happy Birthday

Monsieur,

Nous avons été destinataires de cet email, je pense que c'est une erreur.

Marianne Tendille

Responsable du secteur Vie Relationnelle et Familiale

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 27 August 2007

Subject: Re: TR: Scott Reiss TR: Happy Birthday

Madame,

Helas, non, ce n'est pas une erreur.

Il y a une erreur de justice dans la mesure ou je ne peux pas adresser la parole a ma fille, en ce jour de son premier anniversaire.

Je temoigne a qui je peux, a qui veut bien m'ecouter, de cette injustice.

J'ai aussi repondu au dernier message que vous avez bien voulu m'ecrire.

Pensez-vous qu'il y ait moyen d'obtenir les documents de Maitre Vessie, l'avocat de la mere de Rose?

Merci.

Meilleures salutations.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 27 August 2007

Subject: RE: Happy Birthday

Rose a un an aujourd'hui, elle ne sait ni lire, ni écrire, elle parle un langage que je peux comprendre... Parce que je suis présente dans son quotidien....

Elle n'a pas d'adresse e-mail.

Elle ne comprend pas exactement ce qui s'est passé mais elle a dû sentir ton abandon pendant les 9 mois durant lesquels elle était dans le ventre de sa mère, entendre tes propos: "JE NE SAIS PAS SI C'EST MA FILLE..." ou "JE VERRAI QUAND ELLE SERA NEE SI LA VIE AVEC UN BEBE M'INTERESSE..." Elle a pu sentir à travers le corps de sa mère toute la misère que tu nous as fait vivre. Son père qui se levait a midi parce qu'il n'avait pas de connexion à internet, parce que ses amies, sa sexualité sur internet (SON SUPER CYBERSEX) était un peu reportée, vu les circonstances... Son père saoul du "lever" au "coucher"... Triste d'avoir un bébé, ROSE. Je ne t'ai jamais connu heureux d'avoir un enfant. Nous nous levions seules chaque matin, en espérant que tu ailles mieux, en te donnant de l'Amour même si nous n'en recevions pas en retour. Je lis sur ton site tous les panekakes que tu préparais à Nichelle, les poèmes que tu écrivais à n'importe qui, les Je t'aime que tu donnais à toutes tes CyberFemmes, ou même ado de 14 ans… Rose et moi, nous levions seules, je lui préparais des panekakes, j'allais à la boulangerie lui chercher des pains au chocolat qui passaient par mon corps et que Rose goûtait à travers moi. Où étais-tu, ah, oui, en dépression parce que tu n'avais pas d'accès internet….

Tu l'as une deuxième fois abandonnée quand elle avait à peine 10 mois pour un ordinateur, pour ta vie sur internet, continue d'écrire des poèmes à tes Muses, à baiser avec tes CYBERTEENGIRLS mais en ce qui concerne Rose, garde ce que tu écris pour lui envoyer à elle. Elle se fiche de tes écrivains morts, de te regarder devant ton ordi du matin à la nuit. Elle a d'autres besoins aujourd'hui que je lui donne à chaque moment de ma vie. Nous allons à la rivière, elle découvre la nature, la nourriture, le ciel, les couleurs…. Les livres pour enfants, les histoires pour enfant, les chansons, la musique etc.

Aujourd'hui Rose n'est qu'une présence pour combler ta solitude physique. Elle n'est ni une poupée, ni un objet, ni un jouet mais un être humain qui grandit dans ce monde. Je suis triste que tu veuilles déjà lui faire porter le poids d'être à la fois chrétienne et juive. Elle est innocente et je ne te laisserai pas lui apprendre la HAINE dans laquelle tu vis. Elle a le temps de rire... D'apprendre en rapport à son âge…

Rose sent les choses et elle sait que sa mère ne l'abandonnera jamais, que sa mère s'occupera toujours d'elle, que sa mère sera là à chaque moment de sa vie. Elle apprendra petit à petit qui sont ses parents et pourra penser par elle même sans bourrage de crâne...

Rose a besoin de sa Mère, mère porteuse comme tu l'as considérée. Mais je n'ai pas été une mère porteuse, et ROSE N'EST PAS UNE CARTE VERTE... Même si tu l'as abandonnée le jour où tu as reçu ta carte de séjour en France.

Il y a encore beaucoup de chose à dire. Tu es incapable d'aimer Rose comme tu es incapable d'aimer tout simplement. Tu es dans le profit, tu te fiches de savoir ce que Rose peut ressentir ou non, tu voudrais l'arracher à sa mère sans même penser au mal irréparable que tu causerais à ROSE.

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 27 August 2007

Subject: Re: Happy Birthday

Donc, comme je te l'ai dit, Rose ne sait pas écrire… Tu écris à sa place, ce que je ne me permettrai jamais de faire, tu violes son esprit, ses pensées,... comment oses-tu????

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 27 August 2007

Subject: Letter from my Daughter

Any idiot can write a letter to his father, or son, or lawyer, or dentist. The genius of Nichelle showed us how to write letters from someone, not to someone. That I have addressed the letter from my daughter to her mother is altogether fitting and proper. The battered wife lawyer didn't seem to think so. She replied to the letter to my daughter suggesting that this was a mispage. I answered that it was a miscarriage of justice that I have to write to C the G instead of talking to my daughter. I guess they want me to act polite and observe legal nicities. Fuck them. The legal system has let me down. I don't owe them anything, and I won't play nice. In response to the letter to my daughter C the G gave me another laundry list of my sins and her maternal merits. She didn't understand the letter from my daughter at all. Of course, she hasn't read "Letter from Murtilda", but we have. She used her favorite word in a slightly figurative context, suggesting that I was raping my daughter's mind and subjecting her to brainwashing. I sent both messages to my lawyer without comment or answer.

 

From: ciff 96

Date: 27 August 2007

Subject: RE: TR: Scott Reiss TR: Happy Birthday

Monsieur,

Le service juridique peut répondre à vos demande de droit mais il n'y a pas lieu que nous recevions copie des emails que vous adressez à votre fille.

Concernant les écrits de la partie adverse votre avocat les aura et vous pourrez, le cas échéant, les lui commenter et travailler avec lui votre argumentation.

Cordialement

Marianne Tendille

Responsable du secteur Vie Relationnelle et Familiale

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 27 August 2007

Subject: Home Improvement

Rose finally did get a birthday present, despite her parents little brawl by mail, a wooden high chair, which I put together in addition to two wooden shelves I had bought. The bartender who lives nearby lent me a drill for the thirty-two screws. He has also agreed to help me put up the barrier for which Rose's door is too narrow. And a doorstop for the entrance. Little things, but in a small space a little improvement makes a big difference. I paid for the letter "Da, da, da." through the bowels. Those opium-laced garbonzo beans almost killed me. And I've still got two words to translate. Next time I'll order the hashish brownies, and we can reminisce about the Old Man of the Mountain. It's hot here. Tomorrow I'll make my last will and testament, which is really my first. I don't mind growing old. Like my father, I take comfort in the fact that funeral arrangements are somebody else's problem. I haven't got a plot on the Mount of Olives, but I'm not worried. I remember the Marquis de Sade's will, asking to be buried under the oak trees he had loved as a boy, so his body could feed the acorns and live forever. Like everything else in his life, it never happened.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 27 August 2007

Subject: Cantillizer - Mon Travail sur l'Ordi

Maitre Rebours,

Au fait, si le juge veut savoir ce que je faisais vraiment sur mon ordi avant que Mme Uccellatore ne le casse, priere de voir ce document:

http://www.sagreiss.org/Cantillizer.pdf

Une partie de ma correspondence avec mes collegues se trouve ici:

http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/musicofthebiblerevealed/

A noter le nombre de messages par mois:

Jan - 1

Fev - 0

Mar - 33

Avr - 85

Mai - 36

Jun - 31

Jul - 7

Je me doute que le juge se moque des signes de cantillation dans la Bible hebraique, mais les accusations de Mme Uccellatore sont calomnieuses.

Merci de votre comprehension.

Meilleures salutations.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 27 August 2007

Subject: (no subject)

for gods sake please someone write

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 28 August 2007

Subject: Je pere-severe.

"How do you want it?" "I want to look less like an incestuous child molester and more like a doting father." The barber tormented me, explaining that judges didn't look at hairdos, that... "Look I want to look as well-groomed leaving here as the last guy looked coming in." I am however getting things done, as much pain as it causes me. I fought with the dumb bitch at the printing store, wildly overpaying for a few scans and a printout of the image of Rose on my site. I managed to get it cut and framed. It now adorns my wall. It will have taken me only a month or so to get a phone. My cell phone has mysteriously begun ringing. It tells me who's calling, so if C the G calls, with an unlisted number, I know not to answer. Let the bitch leave a message. I suffered the indignity of having to type her last intervention, as her claims about the tenor of the call were wildly off base. She didn't like "Go Down Moses" either, berating me for burdening Rose with Judeo-Christian hatred. Anyone who doesn't like Paul Robeson singing that beautiful tune has the musical sensibility of, well, C the G. The idea that she will bring up my daughter galls me no end. The bitch can't carry a tune. She can't even read silently, nor can either of her elder daughters. The sins of the father... Um, Rose's father is a Jewish American who might as well be a communist, so why shouldn't Rose learn her own culture? Her mother, among her more subtly anti-semitic remarks, denied that she was a Christian. Sometimes she wasn't so subtle, such as when she compared my intellecutal elitism to Hitler, who so far as I know was never accused of intellectual elitism, or when she suggested that the Germans hadn't bothered the Florentines much. When I countered that Jewish Florentines might beg to differ, she claimed that there probably weren't very many of them. I sent her this text:

"Nearly 3,000 Jews lived in Florence in 1931. The Nazis occupied Florence in the autumn of 1943. Most Jewish families in Florence lost a family member due to the Fascists or the Nazis. The first deportation took place on November 6, 1943, and a second one occurred five days later. Rabbi Nathan Cassuto, physician and spiritual leader of the Florentine Jewish community, was sent with the second group. In a third deportation, on June 6, 1944, sixteen elderly Jews were taken from the old age home to Germany.

"The temple was damaged by the Germans in August 1944, when they detonated several mines in the interior. Some of the synagogue's treasures, which were confiscated by the Nazis, were recovered. A total of 243 Jews were deported from Florence, only 13 returned. After the war, Florence's Jewish population numbered 1,600."

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 28 August 2007

Subject: One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer

John Lee Hooker, One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer

"I've made my testament. I can die now. Give me a beer, please." It seemed more lighthearted yesterday. Today it was sordid, hurried, ugly. The notary public didn't want to look at my printout of Rose, whom I was disinheriting the day after her first birthday. He didn't care about my explanation that this was an "astuce" in the separation. The whole thing took less than half an hour. I just wrote a letter to eternity. Shiiit, I do that every day. I didn't want to tell him that this is my life insurance policy. I'll send it to C the G on 3 or 4 September, depending on how I feel, and how I feel the trial went. I don't think I can find out what happened to her first husband. No one in Belgium is helping me, and I don't know if anyone can. A suicide who doesn't take anyone with him doesn't make the papers. You can die and be forgotten. Your widow collects the pension, and nobody gives a shit. I have failed you, Patrick, as I have failed you, Rose.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 28 August 2007

Subject: Please send me your snail mail address.

Nichelle,

Can you please send me your snail mail address? I need to send you a few letters to be mailed in case of my untimely demise.

Humour me.

Gaby

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 28 August 2007

Subject: No Thanks

I've just turned down a job offer. It wasn't much, a full-time position teaching 1st and 2nd grades, whatever that means here, from 5 to 21 September. Since it's far away, they proposed to house me in the dorms. I said: "Fine, bro, but you've got to understand that when the judge's decision comes down, I'm not giving you one hour's notice. I am leaving to take my daughter, if that's what he says I can do." He thanked me for my frankness, and told me to get lost. You may think this is a mistake, but you are wrong. I am not going to lie and cheat and steal, even if you wish to call these acts relationships and negotiations. I want no relationships and no negotiations. I want to see my daughter. I don't want anything else.

Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have

Immortal longings in me: now no more

The juice of Egypt's grape shall moist this lip:

CLEOPATRA DRESSES TO DIE. SHE FEELS A THIRST SO POWERFUL THAT NOT EVEN THE HARVEST OF THE NILE CAN QUENCH IT.

Yare, yare, good Iras; quick. Methinks I hear

Antony call; I see him rouse himself

To praise my noble act; I hear him mock

The luck of Caesar, which the gods give men

To excuse their after wrath: husband, I come:

ANTONY MOCKS THE GODS AND THEIR CURSED LUCK.

Now to that name my courage prove my title!

I am fire and air; my other elements

I give to baser life. So; have you done?

DISINCARNATE, CLEOPATRA RESERVES ONLY LOVE AND IRE.

Come then, and take the last warmth of my lips.

Farewell, kind Charmian; Iras, long farewell.

Have I the aspic in my lips? Dost fall?

If thou and nature can so gently part,

SELF AND NATURE ARE DISTINCT.

The stroke of death is as a lover's pinch,

Which hurts, and is desired. Dost thou lie still?

DEATH IS HER LOVER.

If thus thou vanishest, thou tell'st the world

It is not worth leave-taking.

CLEOPATRA SCORNS LIFE ITSELF.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 29 August 2007

Subject: Rule Britania

I've got to stay away from these alcoholic Englishwomen. She drove me to a restaurant with a tobacco shop and library in the dining room, while we sat on the terasse. Today it's raining and I have a bad-red-wine hangover. I can usually handle my own drining problems, but it's hard when one has to drink with other people. I've begun to think that there are only drunks, jihadists, and teetotalers in the world, and there are no teetotalers and few jihadists in Ardony. Nothing very bad can happen until next Monday, unless C the G takes exception to whatever the doctor may tell her, if she goes to the doctor's, and if he tells her anything. Margaret informs me that this week-end is the festival of Les Blaches. She suggested I might go there and see my daughter. On the one hand she tells me that lawyers are a bad idea because they scare women in divorce, on the other hand she tells me to walk into the fire and confront a raving mad mother and her drunken undertaker boyfriend with my baby sitting in the middle of the three of us. Thanks for the advice, sis.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 29 August 2007

Subject: Echo & Narcissus

The mind of the poet is a misunderstanding echo chamber of words.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 29 August 2007

Subject: Social Security

The social security lady wrote to me denying my request for insurance because I am theoretically insured in Belgium under C the G's policy. She also cheerfully confirmed by telephone that I am in practice no longer insured in France. I guess she wants me to get sick in Namur. She suggests I talk to M. Gomez next week. This is exactly what my lawyer tells me, that legally I have the unimpinged right to see my daughter, even if in practice I might well end up in jail if I tried to exercise that right. (Well, I think she only grudgingly admitted that this was likely in the case of a reconciliation fuck.) The cops are only moved by sperm or bloodshed. This reminds me that I need to call the unemployment office. I may lose my benefits (0 euros per month), since I refused a job. Since I was refused welfare (for a simple and comprehensible visa problem, which can always be addressed if I get sole or shared custody of Rose), my otherwise worthless unemployment benefits represent the only social existence I have. Even my social security number doesn't work. It's an empty number, attached to no account.

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 29 August 2007

Subject: Rose

Rose est tellement heureuse, j'aimerais tellement que tu ne la détruises pas...

Nous avons un rythme, une vie merveilleuse, une stabilité…

Je peux racheter la part que ta mère a investi dans la maison, si c'est une question d'argent.

Tu voulais des papiers en France, tu les as.

Tu veux retourner en Alsace, c'est bien.

Tu pourras revoir Rose de temps en temps, sans qu'elle soit en danger.

Tu rencontreras peut-être une femme que tu aimes, que tu épouseras et tu pourras peut-être avoir un enfant dont tu as envie sans en être contraint pour avoir des papiers… En ce qui concerne ton problème d'alcoolémie, ça marchera peut-être mais n'oblige pas Rose a vivre ça.

Si tu pouvais penser au bien être de ROSE, s'il te plait.

La MAMAN DE ROSE.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 29 August 2007

Subject: Mémoire séléctive

Something is up. C the G wrote me, below. She's getting nervous. It's foolish nonsense, of course. She offers to buy my share of the house, but conveniently forgets to mention that this would leave me on the hook for the seventy-seven-thousand-euro loan I co-signed, while she could sell the house and walk away. Oops, well, as she is fond of saying: "J'ai une mémoire séléctive." I don't think she understands that that means, at least to most people, a self-serving memory. I will not answer this tripe. She's just forwarded me Nichelle's letter entitled "name your poison". I'm glad she's reading and trying to educate herself. It's never too late. Nichelle can fall out of bed and write better than C the G's favorite author, some Belgian eyewasher called Amélie Northomb. I'll see you in court, cunt. My father told me to take down my site. I get such good advice. That's like saying the Jews should burn the Torah because Arabs might quote it in the service of anti-semitic aims.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 29 August 2007

Subject: SAGReiss pere

She must be worried. She's just sent me the letter above. Or else this is her idea of a war of attrition. Keep it up, bitch, I've been waiting for my daughter for two months. I can wait all night, and every day until 3 September, and then 15 September for the decision. I will not break. She makes me stronger by sending me those words from the past. Nichelle and I have nothing to be ashamed of. Two bold and skillful authors wrote those letters. They are beautiful. If they reflect the ugly ambiguities of our life together, so be it. Life is ugly and ambiguous.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 29 August 2007

Subject: dnatsunder

It is inconceivable to me how alone I am. My mother blocked my address for a week and didn't notice that suddenly she was no longer receiving four letters a day from her son. What a beautiful metaphor for my life. I write my heart out, and no one can read. I understand, Nichelle, Joy, John, and Laurent, that you have no time, that your child has not been kidnapped by her mother, who taunts me with e-mail inviting me to die. I cannot afford to make bungling mistakes. If I forget to close the gas bottle after I take a shower, the apartment fills with gas and my next cigarette may be my last. I have always hated people who talk in jest about how "crazy" they and their friends are. Madness is not a joke. I know that Joy understands this. That's why she writes "dnatsunder". It is a reminder to herself and to all of us that that limit on our freedom is out there, that we are all just a little bit too much poetry away from the madness of illiteracy, Hoelderlin as the carpenter's apprentice, Jules Laforgue after his final Dernier Cri. When Joy writes "dnatsunder", she is not laughing about how zany her life is. She is not laughing at all. She is saying: "There but for the grace of God go I."

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 30 August 2007

Subject: Name Calling

My right jaw muscles are paralyzed. OK. C the G, or Cathy as her friends at the bar call her, had her little fun yesterday, with a predictably disastourous [sic] aftermath for me. As you know, I seldom use names in the vocative, and use nicknames or titles in the third person, which (as you know) doesn't exist. In the second person I use pronouns or terms of endearment. I don't even call myself by my given name(s), although I answer to all of them. C the G has been experimenting with names to call me in our spatting correspondence, Gabriel, Gavriel, Scott. She even wrote "vous" to me once. I call her Catherine now, as I always did in the third person. I also call her "cunt", "bitch", "whore", "slut", and "mother of Rose". All of these names are altogether fitting and proper. I've begun stalking Murder and Nichelle, since the latter hasn't sent me her snail mail address, and I need to send her something. I am amazed at what one can find, if one pays, for I see a list of their addresses which crisscross the country in predictable ways according to what I know of their travels. I haven't paid for Nichelle's address yet, but I might tomorrow.

 

From: Nichelle

Date: 30 August 2007

Subject: Re: Name Calling

What do you need to send to me?

I have been too busy to read my e-mail, so I have no idea what is in the previous several messages that you have sent, so if I have missed something, forgive me.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 30 August 2007

Subject: Old Times' Sake

I spoke to the landlord again, and paid my rent. I want to have my mind clear and my heart at ease when I step into the courtroom, well, the judge's office, on Monday. This week-end will be the worst. I don't know if I've heard the last of C the G. She may yet try to unnerve me or force me into a mistake. I won't reply to any of her mail or phone messages, no matter what she says. If she wanted to let me see Rose, she had two months to do so. It's too late now. My greatest fear is that she come to Les Gorges, if she knows I'm here, which she easily might. I do not want to deal with seeing her and Rose in a bar, with or without the drunken undertaker. If that happens, I will only talk to Rose, and avoid eye contact (as Svetlana used to say at the Rainier Club) with C the G. It would help me if some of you were a little available to me this week-end, maybe write a letter for old times' sake.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 30 August 2007

Subject: Re: Name Calling

I just want to send you a couple of letters to be sent in case of my untimely demise. It will set my heart at ease, even if it's just a meaningless gesture.

Please.

 

From: Joy

Date: 30 August 2007

Subject: Re: Old Times' Sake

Yesterday, I went for a little 3 hour adventure with my cat. Mimosa is perhaps not the brightest feline I have ever known, but even for her she was being a bit oblivious. With one hand I was scratching under her chin, while with the other I was constructing her travel cage. Her vision, which has never been very good, appears to be in a state of decline. I've always attributed her poor depth perception to the fact that she's slightly cross-eyed.

Mimosa is a goofball of a cat. She's not very "catlike" - there's no sense of mystery or grace. Her idea of a good time is to binge on cat food, and then to go crash out in another nap. At times she'll climb into my lap. Being part Siamese, she's adorably vocal, although this trait isn't quite so appealing when we're stuck in Atlanta traffic and my car has no AC.

She is, at times, noisy and gregarious - charming my few visitors with wild charisma. Yet she also displays great anxiety and will cower in fear from these same visitors the very next week. I haven't yet been able to chart a logical pattern to explain her neurotic tendencies.

At 3 am the night before I noticed that one of her giant canines was in trouble again. She's already had two removed. I accidentally bumped the edge and it moved, as she lay curled in my lap. Horrified, I knew that it was time for another journey to the vet.

There was a blessedly light rain as we crawled through traffic. The weather eased what would've been unbearable - an asthmatic and an elderly cat both slowly dying in the August heat. I counted my blessings as the clock ticked by. Mimosa didn't mind the slow speeds and seemed to enjoy all the new smells. A strictly indoor cat, her exposure to smell is fairly limited, although my neighbors do their part...

The traffic is still achingly slow, and the office has almost closed by the time we arrive. The vet has some kind of speech impediment, but seems competent enough. They suggest that we go ahead and pull out her fang, to which I agree (it is now proudly displayed in my apartment in a little bottle). Mimosa was shaking she was so scared when she was returned to my arms. I opened up the carrier and she fled to safety, as the vet and I calmly talked of medications and care for aged cats.

Eventually we climbed back into my old slightly-beloved Honda. Although I had hoped that the traffic would be kinder to us, once again we were stuck crawling at the bumpers. Mimosa was relieved and relaxed, thankful to be returning home.

I don't try to pretend that Mimosa is my child. "Babytalk" isn't my forte, and I don't think that anthropomorphizing pets is appropriate. I do find, however, that a quiet and fierce instinct surrounds my love for her. The idea of someone or something hurting her instantly transforms me from someone quiet and docile to a seething bloodthirsty glob out for revenge. This may be as close as I ever get to expressing a maternal instinct.

I can't - and won't - pretend that I can relate my experiences as a custodian of cats to those of Gabe's traumatic parenthood. But there are similarities in the experience of love, or attachment for, a being that you feel a fierce duty to protect. It's not something you can argue with, or explain away. You lay awake at night with a head full of worry. You gladly shell out every penny you have to house, feed, and care. You may even find yourself buying stupid things, hoping she might like them.

Mimosa only has a few more years left on this planet, a thought that probably plagues me more than is healthy. Her unconditional love is renewing, fantastic, and steadies my patience when I'm cleaning up her vomit off the carpet. There are no expectations that she will develop and grow and live beyond my years, nor do we have to watch our love be tested by the interference of other people or the courts.

So, best of luck to you Gabe. Mimosa and I will be rooting for you.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 30 August 2007

Subject: Re: Mimosa

Joy, Freude, I am weeping speachlessly. What a magnificent letter. It is so quiet, so understated. The rhythm lilts gently. I linger over each perfectly-chosen word. I have nothing to say. You've said it all, so I'll just keep fighting with Nichelle. Do you remember in the spring of 2006 when you wrote to ask for my snail mail address because you wanted to send me something? At the time I was living with a pregnant, jealous madwoman. I feared you might send some kind of gag that would not translate well. I did not ask you what you wanted to send. I didn't ask you anything. I sent you the address. As predicted, when I later admitted I had done so, C the G went crazy, raging and screaming for hours, although for some reason she never hit me until after Rose was born. So far as I know, you never even sent whatever it is you had in mind. I'm going to the post office tomorrow to send those letters. If you would rather not get involved, I will send them to someone else.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 30 August 2007

Subject: So long as men can breathe and eyes can see,

I picture Joy as an Oriental woman huddled in a corner staring down madness personified and hissing through clenched teeth: "No, I will not be thine." I know it mustn't always be like that, nor even often, I hope, but I feel sure this has happened. The precision of detail, the canine of a feline, we will remember this forever. Thank you, Joy. That letter was a great act of courage, and a welcome gift to a man in need. So long lives this, Mimosa, and this gives life to thee.

 

From: Nichelle

Date: 30 August 2007

Subject: Re: Mimosa

I wanted to send you a cookbook that had menus and dishes from literary classics. I thought you'd like it.

I decided not to send it because of your reaction.

You can send your letters to this address:

[…]

Do not, for any reason, give out my address to anyone, especially the list. You do not have my permission to do so, and if you share this information, I will tear up your letters and block all future emails.

You have some boundary issues with sharing information, so I am making it as clear as I can to you.

I'm swamped. I'm going. I will catch up in a day or two.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 30 August 2007

Subject: Patrick

I don't know how he died, nor how he lived, nor why she left him when Stella was one month old, if that's what happened, but I can piece together the last year of his life, if not the last day. My situation is unusual. I do not work. I am living off of my mother or bad debts or both. I have time to fight for my daughter. I can turn down a job because I need to be available for her. My mother can come here and babysit. Even the neighbors are a stroke of luck. Pablo is two months younger than Rose, and he is next door every day. We can share puree, or even his mother, grandmother, or aunt. Oops, strike that. Anyway, Patrick benefitted from none of those advantages. He may have fought for his daughters for a while, but he had to work. He may not have had deep intellectual resources. His parents were dead, according to C the G. She separated him from his children, as she is trying to do to me and Rose. She destroyed him, and he gave up. It's almost irrelevant whether she physically shot him in the head, which I can readily believe, or if he did it himself. She bought the contract. Who cares who executed it?

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 30 August 2007

Subject: Wild Bill & Terrible Tom

"Wild" Bill Shakespeare:

Soft you! A word or two before you go.

I have done the state some service, and they know't

No more of that. I pray you, in your letters,

When you shall these unlucky deeds relate,

Speak of me as I am. Nothing extenuate,

Nor set down aught in malice. Then must you speak

Of one that loved not wisely, but too well;

Of one not easily jealous, but, being wrought,

Perplexed in the extreme; of one whose hand

(Like the base Indian) threw a pearl away

Richer than all his tribe; of one whose subdued eyes,

Albeit unused to the melting mood,

Drop tears as fast as the Arabian trees

Their med'cinable gum. Set you down this;

And say besides that in Aleppo once,

Where a malignant and a turbaned Turk

Beat a Venetian and traduced the state,

I took by the throat the circumcised dog

And smote him--thus.

"Terrible" Tom Eliot:

What Othello seems to me to be doing in making this speech is cheering himself up. He is endeavouring to escape reality, he has ceased to think about Desdemona, and is thinking about himself. Humility is the most difficult of all virtues to achieve; nothing dies harder than the desire to think well of oneself. Othello succeeds in turning himself into a pathetic figure, by adopting an aesthetic rather than a moral attitude, dramatizing himself against his environment. He takes in the spectator, but the human motive is primarily to take in himself. I do not believe that any writer has ever exposed this bovarysme, the human will to see things as they are not, more clearly than Shakespeare.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 30 August 2007

Subject: Style

The text below only makes sense if one understands Nichelle's genius. There was no reaction. She asked for my snail mail address, and I gave it to her, but Nichelle knows how to read. She understood that if I replied by a bureaucratic, anonymous message, I was telling her not to send her shit. When C the G beat me over the head so many times that I finally agreed to ask my family if they wanted me to give her their addresses, I wrote a far more bureaucratic, anonymous message to them asking them if they authorized me to do so. Anyone with a brain or a heart would have said no. My family members said yes.

 

From: Moshe Reiss

Date: 30 August 2007

Subject: Re: Style

So you have proved, at least to your satisfaction that no member of your family have a brain or a heart.

What does that make you!!!

DAD

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 31 August 2007

Subject: Pat's Guitar

C the G wanted to throw it away. I said: "Je ne peux pas la remplacer." So I saved Patrick's guitar for Stella. I would say for his daughters, but Sarah couldn't care less: "We got the money, right, so who needs the stiff's old guitar?" Stella, who doesn't hate me so much as her sister, was the only member of our drunken household sane enough to try and keep the peace. Sarah liked it when her mother beat me because it kept her away from her daughters. When I was punished, they were not. When I arrived in Helva Sarah made one beautiful diplomatic effort to curry my favor. She threatened to tell me about her mother's ex-bfs. I said: "Ça n'intéresse personne." Her mother thanked me, but I will never know what Sarah wanted to tell me that day. In C the G's various accounts nothing, names, dates, and places, matches up. I suddenly remember another evening when both Sarah and Stella tried to talk to me alone in the kitchen. They closed the door, which opened the wrath of their mother. Again, I will never know what they wanted to tell me that day, although they had other opportunities. Somehow it just never worked out. When Rose was born I began writing a text called "Family Politics". It is forgettable enough, except for one thing. A family is a political institution consisting of at least three people. Like a rhyming stanza, three elements are necessary to create a structure. A couplet is not a stanza, and a couple is not a family. One of the three can be dead, of course, like Patrick, or merely absent, like me. Typically it is a father, mother, and child, but not necessarily. Making allies is an important skill, one I will never learn.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 31 August 2007

Subject: The Victum's Story

Nichelle DID take my letter at face value. She simply understands that the style of a letter IS its face value, just as the Belgian judge understood that the style of the girls' purjury WAS the meaning. If she had disregarded the style, the choice of the word "rape" where a synonym would have seemed more age appropriate, she might have sent an innocent man to jail. Nichelle knew NOTHING of what was going on in my home. Yet she read half a dozen meaningless words and understood that something was awfully wrong. You had been in that house. Catherine kicked you out at three in the morning. And the conclusion you drew from this empirical experience was that "things were good between [us]"? I am sorry if I have offended you. As I wrote to my father: "You are my father. That relationship cannot change. I express strong emotions with strong words. That is the only thing I know how to do better than other men." This list is not meant for my family. I simply have neither the time nor energy right now to write letters to everyone. You say: "he continues to use and spred the victum story rather than what actually happened". I use whatever falls into my hands, my memory of Patrick's guitar, your unconventional spelling, or anything else I can find, to write a story. Stories are never "what actually happened". Stories are words. You are free to interpret this story as a victum story, or a revenge tragedy, or whatever you like. I was wrong to hold you to the lofty standard of Nichelle. No one runs with Nichelle.

 

From: Moshe Reiss

Date: 31 August 2007

Subject: Re: The Victum's Story

Scott:

I am also entitled to 'strong words'.

Why the FUCK do you think your mother and NEED your desperate and tripe language

Dad

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 31 August 2007

Subject: Misunderstanding

A man at the bar told his son Sacha, which is usually a Jewish name in Western Europe, to order a diabolo menthe (a foul concoction of green mint syrup and lemon soda) and a perroquet (an unsightly mix of green mint syrup and Ricard, or a parakeet, after a few minutes spent finding that spelling, which might or might not be conventional). I said: "Vous etes dans le vert." He answered: "Non, on est en Ardon." He had understood the geopolitical word "Var". After a few words of explanation, he offered that there is also such a thing as blue mint, which is I think called "peppermint" in English. I countered that there is also blue anisette. I keep coming back to Joy's letter, which I may never reread and will never forget. I wrote: "The rhythm lilts gently." I could have gone on: "like an old cat with a sore hip." Nichelle doesn't really write in code, Mother, although I wouldn't put it past her. I wouldn't put anything past her. I was joking. Nichelle wrote a few syllables of movable-do solfege (or solmization, to use a word with slightly different phonetic connotations): "Do Me Sol Do Sol Me Do" which I simply rewrote, or translated, or transformed into something quite different, the inarticulate sighs of a woman in desire: "Do me so. Do so me. Do." (There is also a reference in those words to a malevolent woman called Tesla who once wrote: "Do me.") I then translated them again into fixed-do solfege and into French: "Do mi sol do sol mi do." And the drunken street musician translated that back into song, which I translated into the words of "The Ballad of Bernard Pivot". In a way, this is what the musicians of the rabbinical court in Tiberas did back in the nineth century when they wrote the cantillation signs. They took the words of the Bible, sporting freshly-minted vowels and diacritical marks written a generation or two earlier in the same rabbinical court, and translated them into some kind of musical notation, a Jewish solmization, or maybe solomonization.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 31 August 2007

Subject: False Positive

A misunderstanding is an understanding. If someone speaks to you in Chinese, you do not misunderstand. You do not understand, which is quite different. Instead of saying: "Non, on est en Ardon," you say: "ani lo mevin ivrit," because you can't even tell which language it is that you don't understand. Do Nichelle, Joy, John, and Laurent understand what I write? Yes. I would be very surprised if any of them had forgotten the words: "Do me," written in September 1996. Their minds are pitched in a different octave. Joy wrote about the sad sunset of Mimosa. I believe that Joy loves Mimosa, but I don't really know. I love cats, all cats, so I remember that Joy had another cat called Ginkgo. This morning, as I smoked a cigarette out the window while waiting for the telephone company workers to come install my landline, a homeless French cat called out to me. I answered in English, but I don't think he or she knows the difference between human languages. We understood. I probably love Joy's cats more than John Milton ever loved the man whose name everyone has forgotten, but whom he immortalized in the poem Lycidas. My father, I respect your increasingly inarticulate outbursts of rage and grief. They move me. Can we please stop bickering and remember that on Monday I will plead before a judge for my daughter, your grand-daughter, Rose, so that we can see her? It might help if I got a little sleep and some peace of mind. Thank you for your e-mail.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 1 September 2007

Subject: Fwd: Rose Reiss

Docteur Telseau,

Lundi je vais chez le juge. Je suppose qu'il va faire valoir le droit de visite et d'hebergement de Rose et moi. L'avez-vous vue?

Pourriez-vous me donner des renseignements sur son etat actuel pour que ma paternite, enfin retablie, se passe dans les meilleures conditions?

Merci.

Meilleures salutations.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 1 September 2007

Subject: Popo

Les Gorges is a police town. On one end of the rue du Temple is the gendarmerie. On the other end is the hôtel de ville, home to the municipal police. I live in the middle of what Hannah Arendt referred to as the forces of violence, yet their proximity soothes me. I am scared. I have been out of that house for two months today, and I am still scared. I am scared for myself and for Rose. In my pocket I have the telephone number of both of the forces of order, as patriotic Frenchmen call them. I will buy a telephone card to use with my cell phone, in case I need to call for help from home. Otherwise I prefer to use the phone booth. There is no telling what C the G might do if she loses custody of Rose. She might even go crazy if I am simply granted my thus-far violated visitation rights. I have a hard time believing she will let me take Rose on a week-end visit without police intervention, and they will be loathe to intervene. This is going to be a long, hard struggle.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 1 September 2007

Subject: Calm before the Storm

My whole body is terribly nervous. (Terribly nervous means trembling, but you already knew that because of the T and R and B and L.) My landlord removed and replaced the jumpy washing machine. Well, I moved it because of his broken back. The physical activity was good for me. No wonder intellectuals acquire bad nerves. If only he could fix the gas leak and the broken bed and the leaking shower and a few other things. No matter. If one of those bastards in Belgium can dig up the dirt on C the G's murder of her husband, everything will be fine. I won't be able to calm down until at least Monday morning. I think I'll take a taxi to the rental car. My mind needs to be serene, not worrying about bus schedules. I hope the resurgence of hostilities will help me relax, combat calm. I think I'll send the letter about the will on Monday morning, a parting shot and then log off. If she hasn't tormented me any more by then, she won't be able to. I wonder if she'll show up. She said she wouldn't, but I don't think she can resist the theater. If she is absent, I'll feel more calm, and it might look bad for her. If she is present, the room will be far too small. I don't want to sit next to her. On the other hand, there is always the chance that she might go crazy in front of the judge. The worst I can do is appear nervous or sullen. I won't get angry. If she's there I'll talk more, for she hates to let me talk, and loves to interrupt. I don't think the judge will go for that.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 1 September 2007

Subject: Thinking of Catherine

I'm trying to remember, to reconstruct, to rewrite, as Nichelle recently wrote, my thoughts about C the G. The last time we fucked, on the morning of 2 July, she asked me to name her best quality. You will tell me that my answer was awful: "You are a good fuck." I thought she was beautiful, of indifferent intelligence, drunk and mean-spirited, unstable and forgetful, a decent cook when she felt like it, which was seldom, a good driver most of the time, though she preferred to make me drive, despite the fact that I am not a good driver, an artist of undetermined worth, a bad writer. I could have lived with all of that, even the midnight madness, but not the physical violence. That was too much. Yet even as I write this, I realize that for two years I was paralyzed and censored by her insane jealousy, even before the violence began after the birth of Rose, so I could never have lived with her for a long time. Without the violence, I could have waited for Rose's third bithday or so, then bailed out. When she attacked me on 1 July, killed my 'puter, then threatened the next day to press charges against me for attacking her, which never happened, I had to go.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 1 September 2007

Subject: Speaking in Tongues

Words are disintegrating in my mind. Thinking becomes thing-king. Catherine is Dr Jekyll, and Cathy is Mrs Hyde. C the G claims to have read all of the classics, and I don't really doubt that, but she doesn't remember them, so what difference does it make? Forgetfulness is death. Memory is life. Her Spanish, which is technically excellent, sounds nothing like Spanish. Spanish is a relaxed language. The muscles of the lips and tongue do not tense up, as the mouth does in French. C the G speaks Spanish more royally than the king. She lisps TH sounds where they do not belong, even in Mexican, as when I told her the beautiful name of the Los Angeles Dodgers' pitcher Fernando Valenzuela. No one, except C the G, says GonTHalez. Phonetics are important to all of us, even those of us who don't understand and don't care. The phoneme, and not the atom or the unconscious or the microchip, was the most important discovery of the twentieth century, which surely no one regrets. I remember reading the Provençal Dave "the RaDaK" Kimchi's thirteenth-century Hebrew grammar, translated into English by Noam's father "Big" Bill Chomsky. There is a beautiful classification, and not too wrong, of the vowels and consontants by point of articulation and other criteria. This was a man who had thought long and deeply about the sounds of his language.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 1 September 2007

Subject: Viag(a)ra

Some of you will not read this message because of an overzealous spam filter. I was masturbating in the shower at half past six when I found the strength to put something into words that has been haunting the dark reaches of my psyche for seven years. C the G gave me two precious things, Rose, and she gave me back my manhood. God or I smote me with impotence for five years after I lacked the desire for Nichelle. An hour before the train arrived in Acume, I took a Viag(a)ra. I stopped taking them in November, and Rose was conceived, naturally, in December.

Catherine Uccellatore, Le Roman de la Rose

From: SAGReiss

Date: 1 September 2007

Subject: Reading Carlos

On page 216 of the French translation of "Los años con Laura Díaz" by Carlos Fuentes I read:

-- Ma mère m'a obligée à coucher avec ses clients dès l'âge de onze ans...

Laura n'éprouva ni horreur ni pitié lorsque sa tante lui avoua la chose:

Page 178 of the English translation:

"My mother made me sleep with her customers beginning when I was eleven."

Laura had felt neither horror nor compassion when Auntie confessed this;

I remember page 39, where I read:

Personne, excepté [sic] María de la O, alors âgée de huit ans, n'entendit ce que Cósima Reiter déclara à sa vraie mère [...]

-- Ça, tu n'y crois pas toi-même --, répliqua la nouvelle madame Kelsen en passant aussitôt au tutoiement (elle avait vite saisi les mœurs du pays), et ce n'est que bien plus tard, déjà âgée, qu'elle rappela la scène à son mari sans savoir que Laurita les écoutait derrière un pot de fougères.

Page 28 of the English translation:

No one except María de la O herself heard what Cosima Reiter said to her real mother [...]

"Not even you believe that," said the brand-new Frau Kelsen, speaking to her familiarly, having quickly learned local customs and habits. One day, when she'd become an old lady, she reminded her husband of that event, not knowing that little Laura was listening from behind a potted fern.

Not only the reader, but the protagonist, whose presence in the latter scene nothing else justifies, witnesses this anachronism. The English translator seems to have simply suppressed it. I cannot get Amazon Search Inside to work on the Spanish edition with this badly-configured Mandrake Linux distribution. Maybe one of you can look it up, if you are interested. I am.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 2 September 2007

Subject: Hurt

Johnny Cash, Hurt

 

From: laurent

Date: 2 September 2007

Subject: Re: Hurt

Serge & Charlotte Gainsbourg, Lemon Inceste

 

From: laurent

Date: 2 September 2007

Subject: Re: Hurt

and also

Entretien avec Serge Gainsbourg & Catherine Ringer

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 2 September 2007

Subject: Serge Gainsbourg

Merci, Laurent. Tu es toujours la, mon ami, au moment le plus inattendu. Je pleure.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 2 September 2007

Subject: Bukowski Sublime

Charles Bukowski chez Bernard Pivot sur Apostrophes

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 3 September 2007

Subject: Scandal

Maitre Rebours,

Je suis sidere. J'ai pris un taxi et une voiture de location, pour finir en stop, afin d'entendre que Maitre Vessie, qui vous traite par ailleurs sans la moindre politesse, a egare les documents, que je dois attendre encore deux semaines pour voir ma fille, plus une semaine pour la decision, puis une semaine pour que ce soit le cinquieme week-end du mois bissextile?

Et pour combler le tout, sans me demander mon avis, on donne mon adresse a mon ex instable et violente, dont la premiere separation s'est soldee par la mort de son mari, le pere de ses filles ainees, et dont le nouveau copain s'avere le croque mort ivre du village? Et bien, je vous le donne quand meme. Non, je ne suis pas d'accord. J'ai peur. Je n'ai jamais dit que j'acceptais cela. J'ai ecrit:

> Date: 6 August 2007

> From: SAGReiss

> Subject: Re: Rose

> SI L'ASSISTANTE SOCIALE ACCEPTE DE SE DEPLACER ET

> VENIR CHEZ MOI, ELLE EST LA BIENVENUE. EN REVANCHE,

> TU

> NE L'ES PAS.

Si Mme Uccellatore vient chez moi, je prends une photo a travers le grillage, mais je n'ouvre pas la porte, meme si Rose est la. Si elle me harcele, je telephone a la gendarmerie et a la police municipale. Je devrais faire quoi exactement, chanter une chanson a ma fille a travers le grillage de ma prison?

Je ne saurais vous communiquer ma profonde detresse.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 3 September 2007

Subject: C'est scandaleux!

My lawyer, to whom I've just written a blistering rebuke, probably stayed scandalized for at least a couple of minutes after I left in a daze to grab a beer, drive, then hitchhike home. C the G's fat, slovenly, batton-twirling Maitre Vessie, who treats my lawyer like shit, said he couldn't find the documents my lawyer sent to him, and asked for a two-week ajournement, which the judge granted, sternly warning that this would be the last. The only other thing he asked for, except that I should continue to be deprived of my paternity rights, to which the judge silently acquiesced, was my lease, and I was foolish enough to give it to him, on my lawyer's equally foolish advice. So now the cunt can come here and harass me at will, trying to provoke an incident. Or I guess she could just send one of her new bfs, or someone from the mafia, whom she has also invoked to threaten me. I will wait to see what she does. If she writes, I'll tell her to get lost. If she shows up, I won't open the door. As I told my lawyer, I'll take pictures and sing to Rose through the iron bars of my fucking prison. And if I get any fucking more scared than I already am, I'll send her the letter about my last will and testament. When it's time for someone else to save my guitar for Rose, it'll be too fucking late.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 3 September 2007

Subject: Bob Klinger

Marguerite,

Here's what the record says about Bob Klinger, an average pitcher (bowler). That assessment is slightly misleading, in the sense that anyone who played more than six seasons at the highest level of sporting competition against the best opposition that white America could provide, was an excellent professional athelete.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/k/klingbo01.shtml

I am too shocked and dismayed about the adjournement to talk about it. This is bullshit.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 3 September 2007

Subject: Re: C'est scandaleux!

You still think I should play nice? No one else is playing nice, in case you hadn't noticed. And it hasn't gotten me anywhere yet, except two months of exile from my daughter's life. The police don't give a fuck if Catherine is standing in a public alley talking to herself, or maybe just telling her baby that her father abandonned her, and he won't even open the door to see her. Thanks for the computer. That way I can stay cooped up in my prison twenty-four fucking hours a day.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 3 September 2007

Subject: Kidnapping

Maitre Rebours,

Madame Uccellatore a peur que je kidnappe notre fille? Madame Uccellatore a deja kidnappe notre fille, et la seule chose qui l'empeche de la kidnapper en Italie ou en Republique Dominicaine, c'est qu'elle a aussi vole notre maison.

Non, je ne suis pas d'accord.

Je suis decu. J'en ai marre.

Je veux voir Rose.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 3 September 2007

Subject: Shiiit

"I'm going to eat seafood, drink wine, get a good hangover, and fuck this shit. No justice, no peace, even if it's just my own peace I'm disturbing."

Since none of you bastards will write to me, I'd like to take this time to consider the difference between high and low art. In literature this is easy for me to do. Buk's Ham on Rye is as good as, or better than, Proust's madeleine fetish, but the scope of his vision is far narrower. I can't compare an exercise of Chopin with a symphony of Mendelsohn. But Hank "the Hammer" Miller is another story. In the two Tropics and Black Spring in between, he created a world just as real as Proust's Magic Mountain. But I'm not sure what to think about Howling Wolf. His voice is one of a kind. His piano is nothing special. The mouth harp is an instument of tone, not of the complication of the chromatic harmonica. His guitar playing seems very skillful to me. Without knowing anything about the man, I'm pretty sure he worked his whole life to refine his skills. But he works within a very simplistic, or constrained, esthetic environment. One could say the same thing of Racine. Can someone help me out here?

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 4 September 2007

Subject: Love

I have long insisted that Shakes was a poet, not a lover. I was wrong. Poet and lover are one. Shakes knew this and told me so on 1 May: "If this be error and upon me proved,/I never writ, nor no man ever loved." A lover is not a father who fucks. Animals fuck. A lover is not a mother who nurses her young. Animals nurse their young. So do women, except C the G and Lady Macbeth. ("Come to my woman's breasts,/And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers,/Wherever in your sightless substances/You wait on nature's mischief!") C the G was such a good mother to Sarah that she nursed her for a month, not noticing anything wrong until the doctor gave the baby a bottle, exclaiming: "This child is hungry." Suddenly relieved of the burden of motherhood, C the G promptly left the newborn baby with her own mother for two weeks, and went on holiday. The difference between human and animal love is verbal, linguistic. Love was born on the day the first bard wrote the first love poem. Love is the Song of Songs, a triangular love knot that no one can seem to unravel. Love is Shakes' sonnets, written for two women and a man, the output of the indifferent, telecommuting husband of Anne Hathaway, who nursed his children, if they were indeed his. ("We are all bastards;/And that most venerable man which I/Did call my father, was I know not where/When I was stamp'd;") Love is Petrarch writing sonnets for Laure de Sade, a woman whom he only saw once, on the day of her wedding to Hugues. The descendent of this marriage was of course another kind of love poet, who created a whole new language of desire. I hope Rose writes poems and sings songs. I do not want Rose to be an animal that nurses its young, although I hope she does that too. I hope Rose grows up to be a woman. I spell it W-O-M-A-N.

Muddy Waters, Mannish Boy

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 4 September 2007

Subject: Proving my Existence

My goal for the next two weeks, given the accusations of C the G parroted by Maitre Vessie, is to prove that I indeed exist. My lawyer has asked me for this stunning list of documents:

Rent receipts

Water bill

Telephone bill

Electricity bill

Tenant insurance bill

Residence certificate from town hall

Witness declaration fom neighbor that I indeed live in my new home

I got a little creative with the latter. As the neighbor is also the librarian, I made photocopies of me and Rose's library cards, and asked her to read the barcode and note the date (22 August) in her statement, lest it be suggested that I bought the library cards in order to show them to the judge. I had to work hard to get the electricity bill, as the letter I wrote a month ago asking for a new account went unanswered. I screamed at the first woman when she repeated that they couldn't set up the account by telephone unless I paid by automatic bank transfer, so she hung up on me. The next time I called, the man said: "Screw the rules. I'll just set it up for you." "Thanks, bro." I need this bill anyway for the popo in Brives, since they wouldn't accept my lease yesterday as proof of residence. I was told that it was illegal for me to be using the landlord's electricity account. I guess the legal solution is to shut off the power. I don't think I can get the water bill because the landlord has to convince the water company that they read the wrong meter, house number 5 instead of 3. The mayor's secretary told me that residence certificates hadn't existed since the year 2000. Surely this will be enough, if not overkill. And this fucking bullshit will cost me another two weeks of Rose's life. No justice, no peace, motherfuckers.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 5 September 2007

Subject: Pat, thanks, bro

I reached out to a dead man, and he has held out his h(a)nd. According to the Belgian functionary, I am still insured through Rose through C the G by Patrick Chevalier ("the Knight"). He said he would inform French social security and advise them to give me a carte vitale under my own name and number, so I can be reimbursed, instead of C the G. He-he-he. I think I'll never get a job, just for the pleasure of reminding C the G that the husband she may have murdered is looking after the father she hasn't murdered yet.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 5 September 2007

Subject: Blue like an Orange

Papi used an odd expression: "bourré comme un coing," to describe the curate at his wedding forty-eight years ago. The commonplace simile is "rond comme un coing," comparing the roundness (intoxication) of the drinker to that of a plum. He also said the curate, who played the nuptial hymn of A Midsummer Night's Dream (which Papi claims is Verdi, but I'm not sure) on the church organ, was red like a... and searched for a vehicle, which turned out to be a vehicle in the concrete sense, a car whose tail light he pointed out. As Papi rambled on, I thought of what we call imagery (Bilder), more specifically similes, where the comparison is explicit. The tenor is a word, but we think of the vehicle as an image. This is wrong. It's just another word. I believe this is what the poet meant when he wrote: "La terre est bleue comme une orange." The earth is of course round like an orange and blue like the sea, since "orange" is both a color and a fruit, but mostly it's a word. I seldom use memtaphor and simile, prefering schemes to tropes. Imagery does not exist. There are images in hypertext. I have never written a symbol, nor a parable. I've used ellipsis and hyperbole, and C the G once compared me to a package of Diable Noir cigarettes. (Hint to my parents: in the last two sentences you have to look up the etymlogy of the four words with -B-*-L-* in the last syllable.)

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 5 September 2007

Subject: Sins of the Mother

While we're on the subject of C the G's sins against maternity, I remember two particularly galling incidents of this spring. Sarah went on a long week-end to Montpellier with two girl friends and the father of one of them. I heard them return about six in the afternoon. I was upstairs giving Rose a bottle. I later learned that the father, surprised not to find C the G at home, actually took the girls across the street to the Saturne looking for her. They didn't see her in the back of the bar playing chess or getting fucked on the billiards table, so they left, and Sarah came home alone, where I cooked supper as usual. Another day I was mowing the lawn at five in the afternoon, when Stella came downstairs and said something to her mother, who went inside. Stella then came out to tell me: "Rose is awake. I think she wants a bottle. I told maman, but she went to the Saturne." I mumbled something that C the G later rebuked: "You should have mowed the lawn some other time."

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 6 September 2007

Subject: Lovin' You

The first time I heard the song "Lovin' You" a Little League teammate sang. The lyric sounds a little precocious for a twelve-year-old, but ghetto niggers grow up fast. Lori was the best player on our team, and he hit the ball hard, but his voice hadn't changed yet, and he sang in a beautiful boy soprano. I like the perceived meritocracy of sport and music. Murder, despite his nickname, is a very mild-mannered man, whose whole family Nichelle has compared to the Beaver Cleavers, a television show I've never seen and whose very existence I doubt. However, I can easily imagine John saying: "I am the first fl(a)utist. Get the fuck out of my face." Or, as Muddy "Mississippi" Waters sang: "I got seven hundred dollar. Don't you mess with me."

Muddy Waters, Hoochie Coochie Man

This absence of sentimentality leads me to drop the other shoe on "Love". I don't know what the shit is that women talk about, and sometimes even men. Paul Newman was once asked: "Do you believe in love?" and he answered: "I believe in saying, 'I love you.'" C the G may have loved me. I don't know. I don't know if I loved her either. I seldom said so. In fact, I have no idea what anyone else means by the word "love", but I know what I mean. As I said, it's not sex. It's not nursing. I might have mentioned that it's not an emotion, which animals may feel too, for all we know. It is the physical/mental phenomenon known as love poetry or love song. Other than that, I will take care of C the G if she breaks down completely and needs my help. I will even bring Rose to visit her in the jail or psych ward where she ends up. But that is animal love. I will do that because she is Rose's mother.

 

From: APRIL REISS

Date: 6 September 2007

Subject: Disrespeck and Rudness

it is amazing that you get insulted if someone eats a chicken leg with his hand and you call people niggers

the answer is a bit deeper that to stop sending me your bloggs...

the problem is that you have such low life, uncivilizd gutter talk and thinking

what do you do when people call your daughter kike

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 6 September 2007

Subject: Milk, Cream & Alcohol

Black English tends to suppress the helping verb in the perfect tense, as in the introit: "song I witten":

John Lee Hooker, It Serves Me Right to Suffer

The malapropism "description" where standard English demands "prescription" reminds me of Mister Betsy's "oldtimer's disease", rhyming with "Alzheimer's disease".

 

From: Nichelle

Date: 6 September 2007

Subject: dooty

I got the letters and put them in a safe place. I assume I'm supposed to mail them in the event of your untimely demise.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 7 September 2007

Subject: Childproofing

I have installed safety caps on the electrical outlets, gates at the top and bottom of the stairs, corner bumpers on Rose's night table. Philippe said: "Social worker gonna think you fuckin' paranoid, bro." I read two bizarre articles on the op-ed page of today's paper news, one about an hysterical mother throwing out all of her daughters' toys, adding: "In solidarity with the girls, I toss a fistful of cheap bracelets I haven't worn in years." Not, to be sure, a fistful of dollars. Not even something she actually wears, just some old junk to compensate for the childrens' beloved costume jewelry. Thanks, Mom. I'm sure that makes them feel better.

This is the Hour of Lead--

Remembered, if outlived,

As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow--

First--Chill--then Stupor--then the letting go.

I wonder how much lead one has to eat to reach intoxication. Probably swallow a lot of toys, or more likely paint chips in the houses of poor people who don't read, let alone write, editorials in posh newspapers. The second article is even sadder, for it is written by someone who actually steals (Oops, I mean earns.) money as a professor of something called "Child Development", which isn't even an academic discipline, so far as I know, and a "literacy expert" at the CRLA, which would be Center for Reading and Literacy Research, of Tufts University. Citing Socrates, who was condemned to death, as you know, for corrupting the youth of Athens, and who never wrote shit, but was a very careful reader of Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus, and Heraclitus, she bemoans the woes of our poor little people who will never know the joy of holding paper books in their hands, since we can already read electronic documents on the potty chair: "How many children today are becoming Socrates' nightmare, decoders of information who have neither the time nor the motivation to think beneath or beyond their googled universes?" Um, Google is an obscenely language-based universe. What kids do online is overwhelmingly read, and write, and listen to music. (Maybe they look at porn too, but that's been around forever, and watch too much video, but that's been around since the Freres Lumiere.) What exactly is supposed to be wrong with this, or contrary to the goals of a literacy expert teaching child development? Not only is this woman a dumb bitch, but she also has a very ugly haircut, which brings me back to C the G, whose hair I like, except that she has begun dyeing it again since I left her. For some reason she sent me "SAGReiss pere" again yesterday, further proof that one can learn to read online. I guess she likes that letter.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 7 September 2007

Subject: Re: dooty

Yes, dear. It is your sacred dooty.

 

From: Thierry.CABOT

Date: 7 September 2007

Subject: Faire connaître ma poésie

Monsieur,

J'ai le plaisir, dans un esprit confraternel, de vous communiquer, ci dessous, l'adresse de mon site de poésie créé la semaine dernière et où figurent des textes extraits de mon livre intitulé : " La Blessure des Mots ".

Bien cordialement à vous.

Thierry CABOT

http://p-o-s-i-e.over-blog.net/

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 7 September 2007

Subject: Re: Faire connaître ma poésie

Thierry,

N'ayant pas la moindre idee d'ou vous avez eu mon adresse, sauf visiblement de mon site, je fais suivre votre mot a ma liste de correspondents en BCC.

Je n'aime pas commenter les textes des auteurs vivants, mais j'ai remarque ce barbarisme dans la premiere strophe d'"A ma bien-aimée":

Je me grise de vents constellés de grandeur,

Mille fois magicien d'un élan qui m'inonde,

Er [sic] secouant un rêve à la folle splendeur.

La grammaire demande ou bien "En", qui me semble preferable, ou bien "Et". Je pense qu'il s'agit d'une faute de frappe.

Merci de votre poesie.

Meilleures salutations.

Gabriel

 

From: Thierry.CABOT

Date: 7 September 2007

Subject: Re: Faire connaître ma poésie

Gabriel,

Merci pour votre message et votre remarque judicieuse.

Il s'agit en effet d'une erreur de frappe que je vais corriger à l'instant même.

Je tiens également à saluer votre esprit d'ouverture à mon endroit.

Bien amicalement.

Thierry

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 7 September 2007

Subject: Music 4 Home Cookin'

I can't get the mouse to work, nor turn ALL CAPS off, nor use the backspace, delete, or arrow keys, can't select all, nor select icons on the desktop or in the control panel, can't turn the fucking machine off, neither through the start menu nor by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL, but I did manage to play a couple of CDs during lunch. I guess that's what Dell calls multimedia. As you would have guessed, I first played Ludwig Van, and sang along with the Ode to Joy, rather badly. Then I played a misogynistic masterpiece, "L'Homme à tête de chou" by the same Serge Gainsbourg who sang "Lemon Inceste" with his daughter Charlotte, as Laurent so kindly reminded us. It's a hymn to madness, murder, and masturbation in a style known to one Amazon reviewer by the superlative "pimpiest", in the Frank Zappa, ugly seventies clothes, sense of the term. Yet this man apparently fucked three of the most beautiful women of his time, Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve, and Jane Birkin, mother of Charlotte. Well, two out of three ain't bad. Jane Birkin was some kind of British refugee no one outside of France has ever heard of. Also, according to some site I'm checking, Elisabeth Levitsky, Bambou, and maybe Vanessa Paradis, who sang "Joe the Taxi", and I really don't want to explain why I like that song. Humour me.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 8 September 2007

Subject: Ah Melody!

The third shoe, and if we get to a fourth then we'll be back, my friends, in February 1996 with Plato's Aristophanes' hermaphrodites, is that there was no love in our couple. How do I know this? C the G can neither sing nor write. I sing badly and write well, but I could do neither in our couple. She castrated me, except for my balls, which she took good care of. Indeed she photographed, drew, and painted my sex. I think I've figured out the secret of her art. She may be technically a good artist. I don't know. Murder liked her blue. But she has no soul. Her soul died on the same day as Patrick Chevalier, because she knew she was guilty, whether or not she pulled the trigger. And all the beer and wine and port and antidepressants in the world can't revive it, can't bring him back. As King Dave said: "I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." That's only six words in Hebrew, but I can't get the fucking right-to-left fonts to work on this bullshit Linux manchine. It suddenly occurs to me that the child, Bathsheba's firstborn, had no name. I am tempted to think that this explains the confusion surrounding the dead boy's surrogate: "And David comforted Bath-sheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the LORD loved him./And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD." His father gives him a new name, but Nate refers to him by the name of his late brother.

Serge Gainsbourg, Ah Melody!

Strangely huddled at the base of the wall, his knees drawn up, and lying on his side, his head touching the cold stones, I saw the wasted Bartleby. But nothing stirred. I paused; then went close up to him; stooped over, and saw that his dim eyes were open; otherwise he seemed profoundly sleeping. Something prompted me to touch him. I felt his hand, when a tingling shiver ran up my arm and down my spine to my feet. The round face of the grub-man peered upon me now. "His dinner is ready. Won't he dine to-day, either? Or does he live without dining?"

"Lives without dining," said I, and closed his eyes.

"Eh!--He's asleep, aint he?"

"With kings and counselors," murmured I.

[...]

The report was this: that Bartleby had been a subordinate clerk in the Dead Letter Office at Washington, from which he had been suddenly removed by a change in the administration. When I think over this rumor, I cannot adequately express the emotions which seize me. Dead letters! does it not sound like dead men? Conceive a man by nature and misfortune prone to a pallid hopelessness, can any business seem more fitted to heighten it than that of continually handling these dead letters, and assorting them for the flames? For by the cart-load they are annually burned. Sometimes from out the folded paper the pale clerk takes a ring:--the finger it was meant for, perhaps, moulders in the grave; a bank-note sent in swiftest charity:--he whom it would relieve, nor eats nor hungers any more; pardon for those who died despairing; hope for those who died unhoping; good tidings for those who died stifled by unrelieved calamities. On errands of life, these letters speed to death.

Ah Bartleby! Ah humanity!

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 8 September 2007

Subject: Transition

Mrs McGinn took one look at my essay, handed it back to me, and told me why the American profs couldn't understand what I had written: "You write transitions at the end of paragraphs, like the French. Americans write transitions at the beginning of paragraphs." Or maybe it was the converse. I can't remember. Alexandre Dumas père is a French Walt Scott, an author out of favor with the close-reading public, but not to be overlooked. His not-exactly-posthumous last novel, The Knight of Sainte-Hermine, was serialized in 1869, the year before his death, lost and forgotten, rediscovered in the graveyard of the National Library, and finally published in 2005. Amazon won't let me search inside the English translation:

Sur les quatre couples qui dansaient la gavotte dans le grand salon de Mme de Permon, les deux danseurs qui attiraient les applaudissements unanimes furent le comte de Sainte-Hermine et Mlle de Beauharnais.

Ces applaudissements furent si bruyants qu'ils tirèrent Bonaparte à la fois hors de sa conversation avec M. de Talleyrand et hors du boudoir où elle avait lieu.

This is a magnificent transition between paragraphs, complete with multiple link-words: "applaudissements [...] furent" and "(at)tir(aient)" "tir(èrent)". We've already discussed Dumas fils' Dame aux Camélias and my run-in with Prof. Lacassagne. The latter gave as an example of a no-no some napoleonic general's wound in the thigh and in his honnor at the battle of Austerlitz or Waterloo or wherever. Dumas père commits exactly this beautiful no-no here, pulling Napoleon out of both a dialogue and a sitting room. Dumas loved money like Defoe did, writing political tracts for all parties and selling the same texts to as many publishers as possible, which apparently so did John Lee Hooker. I've also noted that the man who introduced Howlin' Wolf on the video we watched was none other than Brian Jones, and one can see the short, skinny Stones in the background, overshadowed by the six-foot-six, three-hundred-pound Chester Arthur Burnett.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 8 September 2007

Subject: The Letter

Joe Cocker, The Letter

Before I loved e-mail I loved what wasn't called snail mail yet. I'm a letterbug. The next nine days beckon so empty and painful, I hope you will find time to write from time to time. I could never write in a vacuum. You know I feel bad when I'm hoping even C the G writes to me. Music from the sixties exudes an aura of innocence, of improvisation, of drug-induced unself-consciousness that is beautiful to look at and listen to. Bad dress, outrageous hair, epilepsy mascarading as dance, nothing seems over the edge, and so what if there were a few too many overdoses? I've chosen the Joe C(r)ocker version for obvious reasons. How thin he looks here in spite of that big voice. Oh, well, no one cares. I guess I'll go back to my friend Dumas. He is a master, even though one can see a few glitches that he would have fixed up in the book version, if he had lived.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 8 September 2007

Subject: Battle Fatigue

Battle fatigue sets in. I am not enjoying this any more than you are. I doubt anyone's reading anymore. I can barely write. But what else can I do? I will stop this as soon as I can, as soon as I get Rose. I will kill this list again, damyata. Some one else can resurrect it, if necessary. I will take care of my daughter, "take care on my daughter," as my grand-mother would say, "Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,/She stood in tears amid the alien corn;" as my friend Keats would say. Anyone who has read all of these letters has bought a ticket to the daily Rose cinéma vérité, or reality show, since I'm a man of my times. I'll have to fix the hour, and choose the lowest-tech technology, web-cam, Skype, or Yahoo messenger. I'll have to figure out how to protect my concentration on Skype, for I will need that to work. Work seems like relaxation to me right now. You think I can write like this forever? I will be dead in six months, if this keeps up. I need to rest. I need Rose.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 9 September 2007

Subject: Fwd: Sins of the Mother

Maitre Rebours,

Sachant que vous n'avez plus envie, si jamais ce fut le cas, de lire mes mails en anglais, je me repais de l'illusion que celui-ci peut vous donner une idee de notre vie familiale.

Je ne connais pas le nom du pere de Sidonie, le seul temoign adulte, et me doute qu'il n'avouerait pas les faits, quoi qu'il en soit.

Je suis tellement seul, rien ne se passe, personne ne m'ecrit, j'attends Rose, j'ecris par autodefense.

Veuillez m'en excusez.

Gabriel

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 9 September 2007

Subject: Fwd: Rose Reiss

Docteur Telseau,

Il y a deux semaines Rose a fete son premier anniversaire, n'ayant pas vu son pere depuis de longues semaines.

En meme temps elle devait faire la visite medicale obligatoire de douze mois. Vous n'avez pas repondu a mes deux precedents messages (ci-dessous) demandant des nouvelles de son etat actuel de sante physique et morale.

Soit vous avez vu ma fille, dont je garde l'autorite parentale a part entiere, meme si celle-ci a ete baffouee par la mere en ce qui concerne le droit de visite et d'hebergement. Si c'est le cas, je vous demande de bien vouloir me tenir au courant.

Soit vous n'avez pas vu ma fille, et je dois avertir mon avocat (Maitre Rebours a Rosiere, CC ci-dessus) que Rose ne recoit meme pas les soins medicaux obligatoires sous la tutelle de sa mere.

Je repars chez le juge lundi prochain afin de determiner enfin la garde de Rose et fixer, pour sa mere ou pour moi, le droit de visite. Je vous prie donc de bien vouloir repondre a ce message avant vendredi.

Merci.

Meilleures salutations.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 10 September 2007

Subject: The Serial Novel

We read Charlie Dickens or Al Dumas in a way that differs chronologically from that of their first readers. The magazine readers read, and writers wrote, in a kind of real time, largely determined by external circumstances, the page limits and publication schedules or the journal on the one hand, the financial needs and commitments of the author on the other. I read in a kind of quiet frenzy, devouring hundreds of pages in a day, but always remembering on page 216 what I read on page 39. Most people probably aren't paying that kind of attention, but that is their fault. I still remember the general instructions to a Greek exam I took at Yale university when I was fifteen years old. Chris Hernandez, a young, Jesuit-educated prof, wrote:

1. Follow directions.

2. Remember everything.

3. Make no mistakes.

C the G blames my obsession with dead poets, dead white males in America. In 1983 Christine Toquebœf, a psychology student whose Provencal pronunciation of the word Oedipus I didn't understand at first, gave me two things, the Ecrits of Jacques Lacan and "L'Homme à tête de chou" de Serge Gainsbourg. Henry Miller entitled a chapter of The Books in my Life: "They were alive, and they spoke to me!"

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 10 September 2007

Subject: Terrible Tom redux

The difference is not a simple difference of degree between poets. It is something which had happened to the mind of England between the time of Donne or Lord Herbert of Cherbury and the time of Tennyson and Browning; it is the difference between the intellectual poet and the reflective poet. Tennyson and Browning are poets, and they think; but they do not feel their thought as immediately as the odour of a rose. A thought to Donne was an experience; it modified his sensibility. When a poet's mind is perfectly equipped for its work, it is constantly amalgamating disparate experience; the ordinary man's experience is chaotic, irregular, fragmentary. The latter falls in love, or reads Spinoza, and these two experiences have nothing to do with each other, or with the noise of the typewriter or the smell of cooking; in the mind of the poet these experiences are always forming new wholes.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 10 September 2007

Subject: Laforgue unplugged

From the same article, which I must have quoted before, we read these lines. I can only imagine what BabelFish will do with them. Jules Laforgue had of course gone mad. He might as well have written, as Hoelderlin did:

Da! Da!

The poet must become more and more comprehensive, more allusive, more indirect, in order to force, to dislocate if necessary, language into his meaning. (A brilliant and extreme statement of this view, with which it is not requisite to associate oneself, is that of M. Jean Epstein, La Poesie d'aujourd-hui.) Hence we get something which looks very much like the conceit - we get, in fact, a method curiously similar to that of the 'metaphysical poets', similar also in its use of obscure words and of simple phrasing.

Ô géranium diaphanes, guerroyeurs sortilèges,

Sacrilèges monomanes!

Emballages, dévergondages, douches! Ô pressoirs

Des vendanges des grands soirs!

Layettes aux abois,

Thyrses au fond des bois!

Transfusions, représailles,

Relevailles, compresses et l'éternelle potion,

Angelus! n'en pouvoir plus

De débâcles nuptiales! de débâcles nuptiales!...

The same poet could write also simply:

Elle est bien loin, elle pleure,

Le grand vent se lamente aussi,

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 10 September 2007

Subject: Unfounded Speculation

I have no idea what C the G is doing. I can only hope she really wants the haunted house. I don't know if her girls are in school, Immaculate Conception, by the way, which is exactly what she wants us to believe of Rose, that she was born with no father. I haven't heard a word. I guess the judge will recognize that they are taking the piss out of him, or maybe he just doesn't care. If she's gone to Italy or the Dominican Republic, he will just tell me: "Sorry, it's out of my hands now." I have enrolled Rose at the nursery, just in case. I have asked our doctor, for the third time, to give me news of my daughter, if he has seen her for the mandatory one-year visit, or to attest that he hasn't seen her. He probably won't answer. I am still working on insurance, the computer, and a connection. There is nothing else I can do, but wait. Seven days, as The Ring says.

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 12 September 2007

Subject: Rose

Pour le bien être de Rose, nous pourrions, si tu le veux, avoir une relation d'humain à humaine.

Rose a beaucoup changé, nous avons réorganisé notre vie. Quand elle sera amenée à te revoir, je pense qu'il sera nécessaire que nous trouvions une manière adulte de pouvoir en parler... Je pense que la prendre comme un sac sera très douloureux pour Rose. J'aimerais pouvoir lui parler en ta présence, afin de la rassurer.

J'espère le meilleur pour Rose, j'espère que tu comprendras...

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 12 September 2007

Subject: Fwd: Rose

Maitre Rebours,

Cet argument de plus est d'une mauvaise foi ahurrissante. C'est Madame Uccellatore qui a interrompu brutalement les relations affectives de Rose et moi.

C'est elle qui a "reorganise" sa vie, c'est-a-dire prive Rose de son pere tout en introduisant a la maison son nouvel "ami".

Je n'ai pas envie de repondre a ces horreurs, mais je suis comme d'habitude votre conseil, si jamais vous en avez a me donner.

Je n'ai pas envie d'etre en presence de Mme Uccellatore, et plus jamais sans temoign, etant exclu bien entendu le nouvel ami, le croque-mort ivre.

Si elle a quelque chose a me dire, par exemple sur les habitudes de sommeil et de la nourriture de ma fille, je prefere qu'elle m'ecrive.

Merci.

Meilleures salutations.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 12 September 2007

Subject: Human Relations

C the G wrote back, this time in her Dr Jekyll incarnation, asking that we have human to human relations and a conference with Rose before I can see her. She treated me like an unloved dog from 15 September to 1 July, then severed human relations between my daughter and me. And now she wants human relations? To tell my daughter what? "Aujourd'hui je te presente ton second pere. Si jamais il se branle devant toi, dis-le moi, cherie." Go fuck yourself, you callous-ass strumpet, fornicatress, and low-born gutter slut. In your honor I've renamed the computer I'm reformatting Beelzebub. This after two weeks of reading my lease? I haven't heard from a social worker. She didn't contact my landlord. She just gratuitously added two weeks to Rose and my exil, two weeks of Rose's life that I can never get back. Fuck her and her drunken undertaker. I do not want to see her, hear her, smell her, taste her, touch her, nor really even to read her illiterate e-mail, but I will compromise on the latter. I just hope I can con(vince) Ishmael (in)to witness(ing) the transfer of sovereignty at six o'clock on Friday 28 September. If I get custody, all bets are off. I will need to get the gendarmes there as soon as possible, before she can leave for Italy or the Dominican Republic. I would like Rose to be bilingual and learn to play baseball, but not by speaking Spanish in the Carribean. I will not answer this "tripe [sic] language". (I had recently used the noun "tripe", but the grammar here would seem to require the adjective "trite". Could this be an AZERTY mistake?) unless my lawyer absolutely insists. Since she has never written me e-mail, I assume none is forthcoming. I will talk to her on Monday. Once I get a connection (by 21 September in theory) I'll send C the G the message I prepared a few days ago (CC Dr Telseau and BCC my lawyer) asking about Rose's current eating and sleeping habits. I am sad, ashamed, and heartbroken to say that I don't know.

P.S. I guess C the G is sucking off Maitre Vessie. She said she paid him four hundred euros. My lawyer has just sent me a bill for 750 euros, and she wants a downpayment of six hundred right now. The assignation cost 465 plus tax. I wonder if she gave me a pro-rata discount for spelling mistakes. I remember at least three. My rent check has just bounced. Hallelujah.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 12 September 2007

Subject: Re: Rose

Catherine,

Si tu veux entamer de bonnes relations avec moi, on peut commencer par se mettre d'accord sur la garde alternee.

Il est encore temps.

Amicalement.

Gabriel

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 12 September 2007

Subject: Focalization interne/Effet de réel

Dumas' narrator consistently refers to people as "an old man of sixty-eight to seventy [...] Two robust lads of twenty-two to twenty-four". Is this some primitive form of Flaubert's focalization interne? or rather an effet de réel? I've written back to C the G. This is probably my last chance at a peaceful settlement, so it makes no sense to worry about the past two months. That's over. I will never get them back. I've made good use of my time. For all I know, she may have thrown out the drunken undertaker. A mutant drunk who plays chess is not much better than a drunken genius who speaks with: "your viper tongue". She may still think there is a way. If I can play that into shared custody, so much the better for me and Rose, and too fucking bad for C the G.

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 13 September 2007

Subject: Re: Rose

Je pense que tu n'as pas entendu mon mail, je ne parle pas de la garde de Rose.

Je pense au bien être de Rose quand elle sera amenée à revoir son père. Elle te reconnaitra à peine si elle te reconnait. J'ai peur, s'il n'y a pas d'échange entre nous, si je ne peux la rassurer avec ton aide, qu'elle vive ce moment de manière douloureuse.

Merci.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 13 September 2007

Subject: Re: Rose

Catherine,

Si Rose ne me reconnait pas, ce dont je doute fort, c'est parce que tu l'as privee de son pere pendant deux mois. Si tu pensais justement au bien-etre de Rose, tu aurais pu agir differemment. Rose a besoin de son pere, comme tout autre enfant.

Cela fait deux mois que je te demande, non pas de l'aide, mais le simple respect du droit legal ("droits egaux sur l'enfant") et naturel de Rose et moi de se voir. Je t'ai suppliee en personne, par telephone, par mail, par lettre recommandee, et par le biais de mon avocat. Tu as ete sourde a tous mes appels desesperes.

Cela fait deux mois que je n'ai pu rassurer Rose. Pendant ce temps tu n'as pas hesite, selon tes propres ecrits et sans attendre un mois apres mon depart, a introduire a la maison un homme (au moins un, Christophe, le croque-mort ivre) a la place de son pere. M'as-tu demande si je voulais rassurer Rose avant que tu ne lui imposes ces hommes chez elle?

Je viendrai donc a la maison recuperer ma fille au jour et a l'heure prevus par le juge, que j'aie la garde ou pour la premiere visite bihebdomadaire chez moi, si tu refuses toujours la garde alternee. Dans notre echange de mails du 6 aout, tu indiques que tu voulais m'informer des habitudes actuelles de ma fille. Je t'ai propose de m'ecrire.

Je viendrai avec un temoin, si j'en trouve un, avec les gendarmes, si tu m'y obliges, mais je viendrai, et je retrouverai ma fille, et je lui parlerai, lui chanterai, la rassurerai en anglais, et je l'eleverai comme le pere devoue que je n'ai cesse d'être, tout cela malgre toi.

Je te prie de nouveau de m'ecrire au sujet du sommeil et de la nourriture de Rose pour que je puisse m'occuper d'elle dans les meilleures conditions. Sinon, j'ecraserai des fruits et des legumes pour elle, lui donnerai du lait de vache entier, et nous nous debrouillerons.

Gabriel

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 13 September 2007

Subject: Beauty & the Beast

Dumas writes some long, boring sentimental scenes and historical passages, but every once in a while he lights on fire:

Au bout de quelques secondes, l'un des deux [tigers, but two paragraphs above the narrator {who uses the first person singular and the royal "we", both discretely} refers to three tigers] s'élança contre l'éléphant de René, ayant soin de se ranger de côté pour éviter d'être écrasé par lui.

Pendant ce temps, René eut celui d'abaisser un de ses pistolets et faire feu, mais la balle atteignit l'animal à la cuisse, et, ne lui faisant qu'une légère blessure, redoubla sa rage.

Aside from the confusion about the number of tigers, and the participle "ayant soin" which is either anthropomorphic (and refers to the tiger) or dangling (and refers to René) or both (and refers to the elephant), Dumas uses this somewhat ambiguous participial phrase in the first sentence of the next paragraph, for the reader must understand: "René eut celui [le soin] d'abaisser..." what an astonishing effort to demand of the reader of pulp fiction rags.

Even weirder is the following sentence, which is a paragraph unto itself: "Une femme qui n'a pas été belle n'a pas été jeune, mais une femme qui n'a pas été aimée n'a pas vécu." I have no idea what this beautiful line is supposed to mean. The two copula + predicate adjective constuctions in the first clause lead the reader into error when faced with a similar-looking phrase in the first part of the second clause, but the verb is in the passive voice. The active verb that closes the thought shocks the ear, or whatever organ it is with which one perceives the rhythm of written language. I would almost suggest this alternative: "Une femme qui n'a pas été belle n'a pas été jeune, mais une femme qui n'a pas été aimée n'a pas été."

 

From: Nichelle

Date: 13 September 2007

Subject: through the filter

I got a PDA last night and it has a great feature. You write with the stylus and it transcribes your handwriting into typed words. (I'm pretty sure this is the best letter I've ever written.)

Dear gaby, (Minder, laurert et at) - I am writng Tris on my pda s and it recogn:2l5 the words i write wi-1l the stylus on the screen. Forgive my errors In fact. Enjoy mt errors. I hope thet amus_e Iou. Perhasps They wi" mean someth.rg in French foot d. Hilarious Murtilda SatS Hello. Or. Rather She squeaked at me and I deci2el to, -ell you it meant hello.

tin pony I dont write More. I am working ir a pedicab business will I also sell used looks online - 1rougl technically de pedicab gig is rot r ''j" Since I do it fount. You lint how thafis.. Idols mean that I get let of fresh air Gird exercise ir tee guiding Arizon t Son.

I Cort imogre hear you can popery decipher iris but it amuses me to joetwe it. After this I aspire have sorted- cyber spit will e. e. Cum wings. Trey or ion Ollie J. Its - awor s car order leer on we menu at hoo lies **

I can see you with your colored pencils ard a glass of Pricend or a beetle of Val policella with a look Of Con stei nation On your face a furrowed how and a grand and ova along Scase Of Nostal gra. Some days I miss it too.

I enjoy how fall make alternating references to Tu classecs and pop culture. I live between tre two myself. T _havl1 on he one hand my love of peat jazz and classiol mis. ). My literary puss,..is. Lately I hare been rading Sherlock Holmes stories Bvt tier again I ajoy Daniel pirkwater, Ne i" Gairroni Neal stephason. Jacqueline caref. Gool luck deciphering that. Ha! My tastes in fine music t literature makes me In these parts something it an anavroy. This is killing re. Anyway. I really identify wits -oe P ill of the structure cod I re rec ugriireL or works of artist.. Went merit us vs de More popular aid no- Tire leid works That seen to me also works of genius. That is hocu it has always been for me and perhaps wr7 I ended here lacking focus It is what it is. I'm Sony J Larit Hitler and s hrs you oozed. Your. Riddle.

** [Translation: They are delicious- you can order them from the menu at Hooters. Had to add that, because "e. e. Cum wings" sent me into a laughing fit for five minutes.]

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 13 September 2007

Subject: Used Looks

I can hardly express my awe. I was expecting more illiterate gibberish from C the G, and instead I get another monsterpiece from Nichelle. I would recognize her writing in black font on black background, let alone through any looking glass. I am not nostalgic. I do not look back in anger. I hold on to my memory. It is the only proof I was alive. I can see you, Nichelle, looking very much like an anavroy. I can remember Rose in her stroller at 20:30 on 4 July sitting just outside the phone booth as I called my mother: "There's someone here who'd like to speak with you." Rose: "Da, da, da." "She threw her out." Nichelle is bold, and bereft of bitterness. Rose has that kind of strength. I fear she will need it. Rose has the strength of my grandmother Ruth and great-grandmother Deborah, who walked out of Lithuania, barefoot, homeless, stateless, without even a God to help them, although they took some comfort in the very Judaism that made them the object of such hatred. Rose will walk out of the haunted house, whether or not I need to call the cops to open the door. Rose will walk to me. She will turn her back on her marâtre and walk back into the world, the world of her father, the world of memory, the world where no word is forgotten, the world of truth and beauty, music and song, the English world, the Jewish world, whatever world she wants, the world of freedom.

Who hath sent out the wild ass free? or who hath loosed the bands of the wild ass?

DILSEY.

They endured.

> Your. Riddle.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 14 September 2007

Subject: the structure cod

I am still tingling all over from the letter I read four hours ago, squinting through the tears, even after shopping and buying UHT biological whole milk for Rose, even after finally receiving not one but two wireless modems (Liveboxes) from the phone company and rudely refusing to pay for both or send one back. Some day, someone, not me but some graduate scum in want of a PhD dissertation, will try to reconstruct the letter, beautiful enough from what I can see, that Nichelle wrote before filtering it through her PDA. It is interesting to ponder where exactly this letter existed, for it no longer exists, except in filtered form, and reconstructed form, if someone reconstructs it. It may have existed in Nichelle's mind, except that it would be impossible to untangle the different versions of the letter in her mind from one another and from the billions of other synapses firing at the same time. It existed on her LCD screen, but for a moment. As in Shakespeare, the search for the master text is futile. Nichelle can make poetry out of anything, a cat's meow, BabelFish, alphabet magnets on the ice box, and now PDA poetry, a whole new genre she has so kindly invented for our reading pleasure. I am giddy. I am stunned. Nope, she hasn't lost it.

Minder

French foot d

Hilarious Murtilda SatS Hello.

You lint how thafis..

Arizon t Son

I Cort imogre hear you can popery decipher iris

e. e. Cum wings

a beetle of Val policella

Scase Of Nostal gra

Some days I miss it too.

My literary puss,..is.

Gool luck deciphering that.

This is killing re.

the structure cod

That seen to me also works of genius.

I'm Sony J Larit Hitler and s hrs you oozed.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 14 September 2007

Subject: Joe Hill

Near the end of this song I was seized by uncontrollable sobs. I knelt down on the kitchen floor and wept. I guess it was the exaltation of Nichelle's letter, the degradation of C the G's ongoing taunts, the stress of eleven weeks of woe:

Paul Robeson, Joe Hill

To continue our dialogue of high and low art, Joe Hill is a low art song sung by a high art singer, Paul Robeson, who was also a star football player at Rutgers (whose team seems to have been called the Queensmen at the time [1915-18], cheered on by a mascot called Chanticleer), where Murder studied and/or taught, I believe. The song dramatizes the ideology that Proudhon put best: "Property is theft," which Robeson would probably have quoted in French, but I prefer three words to five or six. It does so by means of prosopoeia, in this case the invocation, apostrophe, and speech of a dead man. In high art François Villon did this most memorably in the service of the same ideology, remembered by Truman Capote:

La pluie nous a débués et lavés,

Et le soleil desséchés et noircis.

Pies, corbeaux nous ont les yeux cavés,

Et arraché la barbe et les sourcils.

Jamais nul temps nous ne sommes assis

Emily Dickinson, of course, went one step further in the incipit of the poem: "I heard a Fly buzz -- when I died --" Speaking of buzzards, I'm off to call my lawyer, who will tell me that C the G's lawyer, Maitre Vessie, has not concluded nor sent his documents. I hope the judge gets as tired of this as I am.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 14 September 2007

Subject: Taciturn turpitude

Maitre Rebours told me, as foreseen, that she had no documents, that Maitre Vessie had told her he would only see C the G on Monday morning, which probably means she will show up in court. Maitre Rebours seems like she's spoiling for a fight. I made sure to stress the point two weeks ago that Maitre Vessie treated her badly. We went over a few little things, the "turpitude" of C the G, the worthlessness of her self-serving arguments, the necessity of my bringing all of my credit card receipts to the trial (I don't know why.), my being forbidden to speak at my own hearing unless authorized by the judge to do so, the judge's taciturn nature (When I used the word, she complained I was making a malapropism: "Maitre Rebours, Tacitus was a Latin author who presumably didn't talk too much."). If she shows, C the G will have a hard time keeping her mouth shut, especially if the judge asks me to talk. She will interrupt. The judge's silence is apparently normal. It doesn't necessarily mean acquiescence, as I had misunderstood. I've had enough of this shit.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 14 September 2007

Subject: Alcools

Maitre Rebours,

Excusez-moi, mais j'ai du mal a reflechir avec un telephone a la main. Si l'on est amene a parler du sujet de l'alcool, et que mon analyze ne leur suffise pas, je propose alors de faire encore une prise de sang mardi matin, A CONDITION que Mme Uccellatore fasse de meme.

Jamais de la vie elle ne le fera. Elle ignore qu'elle a un probleme. Le juge tirera alors ses propres conclusions.

Meilleures salutations.

Gabriel

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 14 September 2007

Subject: PDA Poetry

I cannot let this letter go. I will never recover. In twenty years I will be talking to Rose about "through the filter" and PDA poetry. I suddenly feel that we will win the War of the Roses, because it is just, it is altogether fitting and proper. There is no boastful bone in Nichelle's body, but I can understand why she wrote the prologue and epilogue. There is a dizzy feeling when one has reached perfection, a bewildering wonder: "How did I do that?" I felt this after I wrote "Todd's Holiday", and Murder felt it after he hit his high E. Nichelle cheated death, as Joe DiMaggio did when he hit safely in fifty-six straight games in 1941 (of course). Nichelle don't need to play chess. She hasn't got time. I can see her staring at the PDA: "Mr. PDA, do your worst, motherfucker. You can't beat my style. It will shine through." Think of the implications. How would we know if she had made a spelling mistake? Of course, maybe she wrote a pen and paper draft, which I sometimes do when the cybercafe is closed. Maybe she wrote the damned thing in Eudora, and just made up the shit about the PDA. It don't matter. Somehow, last night Nichelle caught a gust of inspiration and rode it to immortality.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 14 September 2007

Subject: OuLiPo

Can you imagine a literary artist actually giving up control of his, or in this case her, text? That is precisely what Nichelle has done. She took the pen, or in this case the stylus, out of her own hands. She allowed the PDA to write, or recognize, the text for her. This is confidence. This is grace. Laurent, I think you need to wake up and give us the precise mathematical OuLiPo formula for this kind of writing. Remember your friend Martine? Read 'em and weep.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 14 September 2007

Subject: Apologie de SAGReiss

Maitre Rebours,

I have written the following suggested summation keeping in mind the first sentence of Plato's Socrates' Apology speech in his own defense that I learned by heart thirty years ago: "Hoti men humeis, o andres Athenaioi, peponthate hupo ton emon kategoron, ouk oida." The text is particularly relevant in that Socrates begins by stating that under the law in which he lived, and died, he did not have the right to hear the prosecution's case against him. Under the law of Mme Uccellatore, I have not had that right either. Socrates was accused of corrupting the youth. Mme Uccellatore has accused me of similarly falacious crimes. Don't you think we should give the judge some of Mme Uccellatore's mail, and the four messages I wrote after she had beaten me? or do you the judge will simply not read the shit?

Monsieur le President,

Nous avons deja vu, helas, la garde telle que l'envisage Mme Uccellatore. Depuis deux mois M. Reiss et sa fille ne se voient pas. Tous les pretextes, tous les renvois sont bons. Mme Uccellatore invite M. Reiss a quitter l'Ardon, a abandonner sa fille. Mme Uccellatore souhaite apparemment faire de Rose une orpheline, comme ses soeurs ainees. Mais M. Reiss n'est pas mort. Il est ici, comme il l'etait le 19 juillet et le 3 septembre. Il est la a vous demander son droit, celui de voir sa fille, comme il l'a demande tous les jours a Mme Uccellatore pendant de longues semaines. Il le lui a demande en vain. Nous savons donc que le but de Mme Uccellatore est de priver Rose de son pere, quels que soient les moyens et ses chances de succes.

M. Reiss envisage la garde de Rose, qu'il souhaite obtenir de votre grace, tout autrement. Il ne souhaite pas soustraire Rose a sa mere. Il a propose la garde alternee. S'il obtient la garde, il fera une tres large place pour Mme Uccellatore dans la vie de sa fille. Il fera, en revanche, moins de place aux amants que Mme Uccellatore a cru bon, selon ses propres ecrits, d'introduire a la maison de Rose moins d'un mois apres le depart de son pere, et ceci pendant que Mme Uccellatore sevrait brutalement les liens affectifs entre pere et fille. M. Reiss souhaite que Rose grandisse entre sa mere et son pere, avec une culture bilingue francaise et anglophone. Il souhaite d'ailleurs l'entourer de sa grand-mere paternelle, de son grand-pere, de sa tante, de son cousin, et du petit Pablo, un garcon de onze mois qui habite a cote de chez M. Reiss.

M. Reiss a deja pris toutes les dispositions necessaires pour accueillir sa fille dans les meilleures conditions. Il ne demande que son droit legal et naturel, le droit de voir sa fille.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 14 September 2007

Subject: Con stei nation

I have updated my web site to include the following paragraph under the picture of Rose and me (I'm offline, so I haven't posted it yet.):

I can see you with your colored pencils ard a glass of Pricend or a beetle of Val policella with a look Of Con stei nation On your face a furrowed how and a grand and ova along Scase Of Nostal gra. Some days I miss it too.

This way the image is complemented by a verbal representation, two portraits, although I am not sure that all of the above letters constitute words. In what language are "stei" and "ova" (neuter nominative and accusative plural of "egg" in Latin?) and "Scase" and "gra" words? To which parts of speech do they belong?

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 15 September 2007

Subject: Son of Apol(l)o(gy)

Maitre Rebours,

J'ai oublie dans mes conclusions ce paragraphe que mon pere trouve tres important, le smoking gun. Je suis plutot d'accord avec lui, mais c'est vous qui decidez:

En Belgique au printemps 2005 Mme Uccellatore a porte plainte contre son propre frere pour viol incestueux sur mineure. En janvier 2006, au bout d'une enquete exhaustive, le juge a acquitte Lorenzo Uccellatore. Il a tenu a preciser que Mme Uccellatore, qui n'etait pourtant accusee de rien, etait motivee par "jalousie", etait une "mere irresponsable" qui abandonnait ses deux enfants pour sortir le soir, et a fait faire de faux temoignages a ses filles. Il y a dans ce jugement de quelques centaines de pages que M. Reiss a vu et que Mme Uccellatore possede sur papier et dans un fichier PDF sur son ordinateur portable, un precedent d'autant plus terrible que Mme Uccellatore recidive aujourd'hui, attaquant M. Reiss par jalousie, abandonnant ses trois enfants pour sortir le soir, abusant de l'alcool et des anti-depresseurs, et faisant faire de faux temoignages a l'encontre de M. Reiss.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 15 September 2007

Subject: Colored Pencils

I probably haven't used a pencil, colored or otherwise, in thirty years. On the other hand, I do use black, blue, red, and green Pilot ink pens, although I used them more often when I lived with Nichelle and hadn't yet forgone paper. Could this be a twist of her memory, or did she simply need one syllable more? Or maybe it's my memory. Could I have blacked out a dark pencil fetish? This letter puts so much stress on words, forcing them into odd shapes and places, that meaning becomes completely superfluous here. The unbearable beauty of this letter is that it teeters right on the edge of utter gibberish, but the reader is still able to, or at least still thinks he can, understand. I probably couldn't write PDA poetry for the simple reason of bad penmanship. Nichelle writes just legibly enough to create the perfect balance of understanding and the ultimate impossibility of human communication. Technology also plays a decisive role, as it does in the tone of Murder's flute and the reception of such works as the Rite of Spring and Charles Ives symphonies. If no one can play the music, no one will hear it. In the case of Stravinsky, what used to be a straining bassoon line is now commonplace, and the strain has been lost forever. A better OCR, and Nichelle's letter is worse off. Worse handwriting, and the letter falls into illegibility.

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 15 September 2007

Subject: Re: Rose

Je pense que tu n'as pas bien compris mes propres écrits.

Tes accusations n'ont pas de sens.

Je ne peux te faire entendre raison contre ta volonté.

Je ramasserai donc chaque pétale de Rose avant que le vent les emporte, et du mieux que je le peux, j'essaierai d'en faire une force pour que ma petite Rose ne fane pas.

Je soulagerai ses souffrances.

La maman de Rose.

PS: Rose a une bronchite. Je la soigne jour et nuit.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 15 September 2007

Subject: Re: Rose

Catherine,

Je suis navre que Rose soit malade. Je suis navre que tu as cree cette situation penible pour elle. Il fallait penser a sa douleur avant de la separer de son pere. Je suis navre que depuis deux mois je ne puis rien pour ma fille. Avec un peu de chance je peux bientot m'occuper d'elle tout le temps.

Les textes ci-dessous sont assez revelateurs, je pense.

> From: catherine uccellatore

> Subject: Re:

> Date: 11 August 2007

> Depuis que tu es parti, Il existe une vie chez moi.

> De la musique, des chansons... des amis... Mon

> ami...

> Date: 4 August 2007

> From: SAGReiss

> Subject: Fwd: Rhinocéros

> Maitre Rebours,

> Quant

> a

> ma fille et ses soeurs, je vous raconte cette

> anecdote

> survenue le 31 juillet en fin d'apres-midi. Stella

> est

> sortie de la maison pendant que je telephonais a ma

> mere de la cabine d'en face. Elle a crie a travers

> la

> rue au bar de l'hotel Saturne: "Christophe, maman dit

> que tu peux venir a la maison maintenant." C'est

> dans

> cet environement que ma fille va grandir? Pauvre

> Rose,

> pauvre Stella, pauvre Catherine, mere indigne.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 15 September 2007

Subject: Fwd: Re: Rose

Maitre Rebours,

Je vois dans la branchite (et j'espere que ce n'est pas vrai) encore un pretexte de renvoi.

Je vais essayer de verifier avec le docteur Telseau, mais il ne repond pas a mes mails, et ne repondra de toute facon pas avant lundi.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 15 September 2007

Subject: Fwd: Re: Rose

Dr Telseau,

Je suis le pere de Rose Reiss. N'ai-je pas le droit de connaitre son etat de sante? N'ai-je pas le droit d'etre consulte avant tout traitement medical?

Vous avez mon numero de telephone portable depuis le mi-juillet et mon adresse electronique depuis le mi-aout.

Est-ce que Rose a une bronchite? Si oui, quel est le traitement qu'elle suit?

Merci de repondre.

Meilleures salutations.

Gabriel

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 15 September 2007

Subject: Re: Rose

Je vais finir par penser que tu es complètement stupide.

Rose est malade comme beaucoup d'enfants dans ce pays et je la soigne.

Je n'ai jamais séparé Rose de son père, son père l'a abandonnée...

Tu m'as trahie 1001 fois, je voulais juste tes passeports, si tu avais eu envie de voir Rose, tu me les aurais laissé, le temps de la voir à l'extérieur, puisque tu ne voulais pas la voir chez moi. Je pense que tu avais d'autres envies à ce moment là, surtout elle t'aurais couté trop d'argent et de travail, et de temps.

Quant à tes textes révélateus, ils révèlent que tu es incapable de lire un texte et que tu es très capable de mentir et de manipuler.

Quant à la mère indigne dont tu parles, elle s'occupe de ses trois filles, elle fait les lessives, elle nettoye la maison, elle prépare les repas, elle s'occupe du jardin, elle paie la nourriture, les vêtements, le loyer, l'eau, l'électricité, le médecin, les médicaments, elle fait les calins, elle soulage etc etc etc Et toi que fais-tu SUPER PERE? TU ATTENDS DES ALLOCATIONS DE PARENT ISOLE POUR QUE TA FILLE TE PAYE TON ALCOOL ET TES CIGARETTES. ELLE DOIT PRENDRE LA RELEVE DE TA MERE? AS-TU DONNE UN EURO POUR TA FILLE EN TROIS MOIS. AS-TU CREE UNE SITUATION VIVABLE POUR LA RENCONTRER ? TU AS ESSAYE DE MENTIR ET DE MANIPULER, C'est TOUT.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 15 September 2007

Subject: Bronchitis

Will this never end? C the G wrote to inform me, among other scabrous accusations, that Rose has bronchitis. Now I have to spend the week-end trying to get the on-call doctor (an answering machine that doesn't even take messages) or our doctor Monday morning to confirm or deny this rather convenient tale. I'm afraid to say that we may well be heading for another adjournment, Perry Mason. Meanwhile the phone company gave me two accounts, to fit my two modems, I guess, and has threatened to publish my phone number. Hmm, let me check... The bastards, not only am I in there, I'm not even the only Reiss in Les Gorges. I hate the telephone. Oh well, I can pick up my new phone on Tuesday. I've got other things to do on Monday. I hate wireless. I will also have to scream at Wanadoo/Orange to install the modem manually. If not the CD installs all kinds of vicious software and fucks up the whole file system tree. I got in a little shouting match with C the G, but I kept mostly quiet. She is disarming because she convinces herself of what she's saying before she tries to convince anyone else. She looks honest, but let's face it, judges are used to pathological liars and selective memories. The judge in Belgium didn't fall for her bullshit. I just hope we can plead on Monday. I don't know if I can go another week without a drink.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 16 September 2007

Subject: Dr Cambio

Maitre Rebours,

Je viens d'avoir le docteur Cambio de Joyau au telephone. Il est medecin de garde ce week-end pour Les Blaches. Il affirme n'avoir pas vu Rose.

Je vais telephoner au docteur Telseau demain matin.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 16 September 2007

Subject: Re: Rose

Catherine,

Est-ce que tu peux m'informer de l'etat de sante de ma fille, s'il te plait?

Merci.

Gabriel

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 16 September 2007

Subject: Re: Rose

Bien entendu, c'est dans ce sens que j'aimerais que les parents de Rose s'entendent.

Rose va mieux, elle a une rhino-bronchite. De plus, ses dents du haut lui font terriblement mal, sa gencive, hier, était en sang.

Le docteur Telseau a préféré ne pas lui donner d'antibiotique, donc je la soigne avec sirop, suppositoires, sérum et spray pour le nez, poudre dans son biberon… Et câlins jour et nuit.

Rose est très courageuse.

En ce qui concerne Christophe et tous les hommes que tu imagines dans ma vie, tu es loin de la réalité.

J'ai effectivement un copain, tombé du ciel.

Il est cinéaste et non fossoyeur.

Il n'est en aucun cas installé chez moi.

J'ai installé mon atelier chez lui, dans une ancienne magnanerie qui faisait office de musée, il fait 100 métres2. Je prépare donc enfin mon exposition dans de bonnes conditions.

Je travaille quand je veux, ce qui me laisse le temps de m'occuper de Rose.

Rose adore ses sœurs, et ses sœurs l'adorent.

Rose a besoin de sa maman, bien plus que ce que tu peux imaginer.

Rien ne remplace une mère, surtout à cet age là.

Je pense qu'il est important que Rose sente une certaine entente entre ses parents, ce serait plus facile pour nous tous.

Catherine,

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 16 September 2007

Subject: Re: Rose

Catherine,

Merci pour l'information concernant Rose.

Ce qui m'interesse, c'est la garde de Rose, le droit de visite et d'hebergement dont tu nous prives si cruellement depuis deux mois, si tu as la garde, la garde alternee, que tu m'as proposee a l'ecrit le 3 septembre 2006, quand Rose n'avait que sept jours, et encore une fois a l'oral l'apres-midi du 14 juillet 2007, ou la garde chez moi, auquel cas naturellement je ne t'empecherai pas de voir ta fille comme tu me le fais.

J'ignore la raison pour laquelle tu ressens le besoin d'etaler ta vie devant moi. Ca ne m'interesse nullement. Je ne souhaite avoir aucun contact avec toi, sauf pour les deplacements de Rose, et jamais sans temoins. Pour l'instant tu m'obliges a rester en contact avec toi en me separant de ma fille. Une fois que le juge se prononce, a supposer que tu respectes la decision sans l'intervention des gendarmes, ce contact, qui n'a pas lieu d'etre, cessera definitivement.

Neanmoins, j'ai une memoire plus photographique que selective, comme tu caracterises si bien la tienne, donc je vais essayer de recapituler la liste des hommes que tu as deja introduits chez Rose, ce qui effectivement doit semer une confusion terrible chez elle depuis que tu nous empeches de nous voir.

1. Piam, le sculpteur, vers Noel dernier, lorsque tu m'as demande de quitter la maison pour laisser la place a sa visite.

2. Raphael Djavani, l'ecrivain iranien de Meetic (donc pas de visite que je sache), dont tu m'as envoye la photo le 18 janvier.

3. Christophe, le croque-mort ivre avec qui tu passais tous les soirs des mois d'avril, mai, et juin au bar du Saturne pendant que je m'occupais de Rose et faisais la cuisine pour toi et tes filles ainees. Tu l'as invite a la maison le 20 juin pendant que je passais la journee a Bellevue pour mon entretien au rectorat. Ce jour-la j'ai du emporter mon ordinateur, que tu as essaye de casser la veille pour enfin reussir au 1 juillet. Quand je suis revenu le soir, le poulet et la vaisselle de midi etait toujours dans la cuisine. Christophe est de nouveau revenu le soir des 30 et 31 juillet.

4. Dom ou Don, que tu as telephone vers 16 heures le 1 juillet devant moi, qui faisais mes valises apres que tu m'as violemment agresse, pour l'inviter a la maison le soir meme. Le lendemain, apres que tu m'as rappele a la maison, tu as dit au patron du Welcome a Joyau: "D'habitude je viens avec mes amants. Aujourd'hui je viens avec mon mari."

5. Monsieur X, a moins que ce soit Dom ou Don, le cineaste, dont tu m'as parle deja au mois de juin.

Apres le 31 juillet j'ai heureusement quitte Les Blaches pour ne plus etre temoin de tes va-et-vient. J'ignore la raison pour laquelle tu me parles de ta vie sentimentale, qui ne me regarde pas, sauf dans la mesure ou malheureusement cela retombe sur Rose, surtout privee comme elle est de son pere.

Quant a tes prouesses maternelles, voici encore deux petits textes a interpreter, puisque tu n'aimes pas le mot "revelateur".

--- SAGReiss wrote:

> Animals nurse their young. So do women, except C the

> G

> and Lady Macbeth. ("Come to my woman's breasts,/And

> take my milk for gall, you murdering

> ministers,/Wherever in your sightless substances/You

> wait on nature's mischief!") C the G was such a good

> mother to Sarah that she nursed her for a month,

> not

> noticing anything wrong until the doctor gave the

> baby

> a bottle, exclaiming: "This child is hungry."

> Suddenly

> relieved of the burden of motherhood, C the G

> promptly

> left the newborn baby with her own mother for two

> weeks, and went on holiday.

--- SAGReiss wrote:

> While we're on the subject of C the G's sins against

> maternity, I remember two particularly galling

> incidents of this spring. Sarah went on a long

> week-end to Montpellier [Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines]

with two girl friends and

> the

> father of one of them [Sidonie]. I heard them return

about six

> in the afternoon. I was upstairs giving Rose a

> bottle.

> I later learned that the father, surprised not to

> find

> C the G at home, actually took the girls across the

> street to the Saturne looking for her. They didn't

> see

> her in the back of the bar playing chess [...] so

they left, and

> Sarah came home alone, where I cooked supper as

> usual. Another day I was mowing the lawn at five in

> the afternoon, when Stella came downstairs and said

> something to her mother, who went inside. Stella then

> came out to tell me: "Rose is awake. I think she

> wants

> a bottle. I told maman, but she went to the

> Saturne."

> I mumbled something that C the G later rebuked: "You

> should have mowed the lawn some other time."

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 16 September 2007

Subject: Uccellatore contre Uccellatore

Catherine,

J'ai depose mon testament aux autorites. Au cas ou il venait de m'arriver quelque chose, Rose heriterait de 50% de ma part de la maison, et sa grand'mere paternelle heriterait de l'autre 50%.

J'ai par ailleurs prepare une lettre adressee aux Uccellatore de Belgique indiquant les coordonnees de leur parent Rose Reiss. De tierces personnes detiennent cette lettre, qui partira dans le cas d'un accident qui me survienne.

Meilleures salutations.

Scott Alexander Gabriel Reiss

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 16 September 2007

Subject: Fwd: Re: Rose

Maitre Rebours,

Je sais que ceci est une erreur, mais je n'en peux plus. Je suis a bout de nerfs.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 16 September 2007

Subject: Lovelife

C the G wrote me a long letter detailing her lovelife, and I lost it. (At least I have learned that Rose is OK, just bleeding from her upper teeth, which I have never seen, and a nose-and-throat infection, not bronchitis. She is seeing Dr Telseau, who has not prescribed antibiotics, so that's one less thing I have to worry about tomorrow morning. Maybe I'll go to the post office.) I sent C the G a laundry list of her various lovers with exact dates and times, but polite enough, I guess, and selections from the letters "Love" and "Sins of the Mother" as well as the new letter "Uccellatore contre Uccellatore" about the will. I wrote to my lawyer that I knew this was a mistake, but I can't take it anymore. I haven't had a drink in two weeks, but that will end tomorrow evening. She beat me for ten months, and has kidnapped our daughter for two months, and I'm supposed to listen to her tell me how happy she is with her new lover(s)? I cannot stop this fight. I do not have the strength. The judge will have to stop it by creating a legal solution. Then I can just ignore C the G.

 

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 16 September 2007

Subject: RE: Uccellatore contre Uccellatore

Je ne comprends pas ta démarche...

La maman de Rose

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 16 September 2007

Subject: Excuse-moi?

He-he-he. The last will and testament stopped her right in her tracks. She is confused. Let the bitch think about it. She is so puzzled that she didn't even bother answering my lastest volley. Cessation of hostilities. Good. I'll see her tomorrow, if the cunt shows up. In any case I'll see the judge. I don't care what she does. The only thing she can do, let me see Rose, she will never do unless forced to by the law. I couldn't care less whatever else she does. I prefer silence to fighting and fighting to friendship. All I want is to see Rose.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 17 September 2007

Subject: RE: Uccellatore contre Uccellatore

Catherine

C'est pourtant simple. Tes filles ainees sont orphelines. Tu as essaye de rendre ma fille orpheline de fait, sinon de droit.

J'ai fait le necessaire pour assurer que, dans le cas de mon deces premature, Rose soit protegee par ses deux grand'meres, et que son heritage soit protege par sa grand'mere paternelle. C'est mon assurance vie.

Meilleures salutations.

Gabriel

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 17 September 2007

Subject: Style Points 4 C the G

I have to give C the G a few style points. She showed up dressed in red like the whore of Babylon, like the harlot she is, with her new bf. She raged and pointed so much that the judge had to ask her to behave. She actually said that she had caught me "jerking off" in front of the keyboard, and that there are women "sucking off" men on my site. (There are also women eating women, but that's besides the point. She needs to learn how to spell the word "naked" in order to find them, or learn to use the site map. I can see the queries people make, so I know when it's her writing "neaked" and "necked".) The judge was a new guy, young and not, um (since I'm sending a BCC to my lawyer) taciturn. He was very interventionist. Unfortunately I was not at all prepared to speak when he asked me to, so I guess I appeared flustered and nervous. I didn't say anything of note, such as that it might be in Rose's interest to learn English, which she won't if I see her only one week-end in two. Maybe he can figure that out for himself, or maybe he'll find C the G so hateful that he'll give us shared custody, which apparently is an option, contrary to what I had thought. Both lawyers were woefully unprepared, hers far worse than mine. It wasn't even Maitre Vessie, but some other guy who will have to live in infamy without a nickname. Maitre Rebours (Pardonnez-moi.) was good, but in the capitalist system there's simply no way she could ever have given this file (as French lawyers call other people's lives) as much time as it needed. She read or skimmed much of my mail. She told the judge it was heartbreaing. The other lawyer gave us C the G's documents, a laughable collection of lies and mistakes, fifteen minutes before game time. C the G wrote a text so insipid that even if I had an electronic copy, I wouldn't dignify it by reproducing it. My favorite line was C the G: "...sins of Gabriel... drunken violent skum... shiftless loser, squatter... no job, buming off his parents..." Judge: "You had a child with him." After two months of agony, I just want this to be over. I just want to see Rose. I'm too tired to care who gets custody, too tired to care if she ever learns English. The war of attrition is working. A decision should be rendered 1 October, but it takes time for everyone to sign it, authenticize it with a wax seal and red ribbon, so my lawyer may get it a week later. Bottom line, I get to see Rose for a week-end or call the cops no matter what on 19 October and for a week between 27 October and 7 November. Maitre Rebours, je vous ai menti, car je vous ecris encore, mais je pensais que cela vous interesse peut-etre de savoir ce qu'un client pense du jugement. Je vous remercie de votre travail. J'envoie le cheque de six cents demain.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 18 September 2007

Subject: How the War was Lost

It is (to describe it figuratively) as if an author were to make a slip of the pen, and that this clerical error became conscious of being such. Perhaps this was no error but in a far higher sense was an essential part of the whole exposition. It is, then, as if this clerical error were to revolt against the author, out of hatred for him, were to forbid him to correct it, and were to say, "No, I will not be erased, I will stand as a witness against thee, that thou art a very poor writer."

Soren Kierkegaard, as quoted by JD Salinger

I write from between the iron bars and stone walls on Beelzebub, fumbling with muscle memory of the AZERTY keyboards in the cybercafe, where the storm last night knocked out the connection. Justice is bought and sold. If I were OJ Simpson, guilty or innocent, I could have bought Maitre Rebours' time, and she would have been prepared, and she would have prepared me. I didn't know I would be asked to speak. I didn't know I could submit a written document, although I wrote one just for fun in half an hour. (Listen to the iambs in the last two sentences.) I could have taken the time to insert accents. Maitre Rebours never read it because I sent it last week-end. She is a good lawyer. Funny, I once wrote: "Catherine is a good ;other." (I leave that typo to posterity.) I was trying to convince myself, which reminds me that Maitre Rebours almost quoted Wild Bill yesterday: "Vouching it does not make it so" (Othello, I.iii, for those of you keeping score). In a way, though, I am glad it worked out this way, at least if the young judge (Let that be his nickname.) gives us shared custody. If not, I will appeal, no matter the cost, and write directly to the Young Judge. Rose has only one or two years left to learn English as her paternal language. Every other week-end will make Rose an allophone. I may write to C the G before the decision offering her shared custody even if I win sole custody, because she is too angry. I don't want her to run. Despite the fact that the Young Judge is probably going to put stamps in our passports barring us from leaving the country, she could leave anyway. And yes, I will write to the Belgian consulate asking that she not be given a passport, though I think she is too late to ask for one. Old Man, you looked good in the photograph C the G submitted of you and Rose. I am sorry that I will probably never be able to send you that electronic image, which I only saw in a degenerate paper representation. I think the two most beautiful phrases I have ever read are: "le lieu du singe", which is a direct misquotation of Georges Perec's translation of Harry Mathews' The Sinking of the Odradek Stadium, and "the structure cod", which is a direct unmisquotation of Nichelle's "through the filter", which is the most beautiful letter I have ever read. Eleven years ago my mind merged with Nichelle's. While we were not a couple in the vulgar sense of the word, together we worked ourselves to death creating physical/logical objects of literary art. To tell the truth, I'm not sure whether "through the filter" is a work of literary or visual art. Nichelle left me, and chose life over art, while I am still trying to do both, and will continue one day with the most beautiful woman in the world, my angel, my beloved daughter Rose. I do not blame Nichelle. I blame myself that she not only stopped writing, but stopped playing the devil's penis. I know that Nichelle is the greatest writer on Earth. I trust Murder and Quodlibet that she could blow the horn too. I can see Rose. I can see Rose and me. I can see Rose and me listening to Nichelle (clarinette), Joy (bassoon), Murder (flute), and Laurent (sexophone) play "the structure cod wind quartet". I can see Rose. I can hear Rose. I can remember Rose. I am alive. Rose is not an orphan. Rose is with me. Rose. Rose.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 18 September 2007

Subject: Belgian Verbs

"Are you still nursing the baby?" I almost laughed. I had just sent C the G the text about Lady Macbeth. It leads me to believe that the Young Judge is thinking of giving me back my daughter. C the G speaks Belgian, so at one point she said, when she describing the scene in which she threw Rose out at eight o'clock at night: "Il l'a tappe dans un bistrot," which was a logical place for her, since no where else was open at that time of night. The Young Judge didn't understand: "Il l'a tappe?" which means "to hit" in French. She didn't go so far as to claim I had hit Rose, but I remembered that this was exactly the word she used to describe her own mother's treatment of herself, which her childhood friend Sylvia strongly denied, precipitating yet another rupture in her relations with the past. I am in fact surprised she didn't accuse me of more. The stuff she said about her daughters was strictly true, and I am ashamed of each and every incident, but I never hit them, and she didn't even accuse me of doing so, nor of hitting her. It's odd, given what she said about masturbation, which is just as much of a fantasy, or the bit about my exposing myself to her daughters. She didn't mention the pictures of my sex gracing our walls, which perhaps she has destroyed, or maybe not, if she respects her art. It's an interesting question, to which we will never know the answer, so let's move on. I am now in the bizarre situation of having a 'puter and connection, but no anti-virus, so I still can't get online except at the cybercafe, or the library, since they still haven't got a connection.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 18 September 2007

Subject: History

-- Mais comment avez-vous appris toutes ces choses, alors?

-- Je n'en sais rien moi-même: en lisant tantôt un livre, tantôt un autre; ces choses-là ne s'apprennent pas, elles se retiennent; on a du goût pour l'histoire, on a l'esprit tourné au pittoresque, les événements et les homes vous entrent dans le cerveau, votre cerveau leur donne sa forme et vous voyez les homes et les événements sous un autre jour.

Alexandre Dumas is seventy years old, an old seventy. Too ill to hold a pen, one of the most prolific writers in the language lies in bed dictating page 925 of a novel that should have been put out of its misery several hundred pages earlier. Another meaningless adventure befalls the Count. He tells a few more boring anecdotes with which Dumas hopes to earn a little more cash, not that he has long left to spend it. He copies from memory the Satires, Seneca, Suetonius. All of a sudden, in answering a banal question of his pedestrian traveling companion, Sainte-Hermine improvises Dumas' theory of literature. History is written, read, and rewritten. It is not "learned", but remembered, that is to say transformed: "one has a taste for history, one has the mind turned to the picturesque, events and men enter the brain, your brain gives them its form and you see men and events in another light." Let's study this phenomenon. History is a matter of taste and the picturesque, in other words Dumas draws no distinction between history and literature. Events and men enter the brain not, remember, through experience, but through "sometimes one book, sometimes another". Your brain, the text makes it quite clear, gives them its form, the form of your brain, and this transformation is given linguistic expression in the inversion of the two nouns. In come events and men, out come men and events, a completely different matter. Classical history is transformed into romantic history in the age of Napoleon. Seneca in, Stendhal out. Bastille in, Bonaparte out. Only Karl Marx escapes the romantic ideology of history. Dumas tells the tale, not of events, but of men.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: 19 September 2007

Subject: Les Faux Temoins des Blaches

Les faux temoins des Blaches, les cornuards de Joyau, les mange-tripes des Gorges. Papi taught me this enlightening local proverb regarding the liars of Les Blaches, the cuckolds of Joyau, and the tripe-eaters of Les Gorges. How altogether fitting and proper. C the G waits silently. Maybe the last will and testament upset her, or maybe it was my description of it as an insurance policy, or maybe her new bf told her that gesticulating wildly enough for the Young Judge to ask her to please restrain herself did not necessarily help her case, although she may have forgotten to mention it, as she surely forgot to mention the words "sucking off" and "jerking off", her selective memory again. Anyway, I can wait another two weeks for the next episode. I have no choice. At least things are moving forward, and if I have to wait until the winter of our discontent, by that time C the G will have maneuvered herself out of custody, and possibly out of motherhood.

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: (This message has not been sent.)

Subject: Piece a conviction

Maitre Rebours,

http://www.sagreiss.org/rose.htm

Vous etes la seule personne au monde a qui je donne cette adresse, qui est pourtant publique. Chacun decouvrira cette page a son rythme. Rose a besoin de la verite autant que de son pere. La verite dure plus longtemps. Le site est heberge au Canada, et dans le monde anglosaxon, du moins, la verite est une defense absolue contre l'accusation de calomnie. Neanmoins, je comprends si vous ne voulez plus me representer. Je me represente moi-meme au seul jugement qui m'interesse, le dernier.

Merci de votre entendement.

Meilleures salutations.

SAGReiss

 

From: SAGReiss

Date: (This message has not been sent.)

Subject: The Rosegarden

Attached: baiser.jpg

Move out the way, motherfuckers.

http://www.sagreiss.org/rose.htm

Roberta Flack, Killing Me Softly

Rose, this is your garden.

Nichelle, you knew.

Catherine, adieu.

SAGReiss

Shalom.

SAGReiss &
          Catherine Uccellatore

From: catherine uccellatore

Date: 22 September 2007

Subject: RE: Uccellatore contre Uccellatore

Uccella aime Gavriel,