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By Nicole Brossard

Carla Carlson is on the inn Clarendon in Quebec urban attempting to end a singular. close by, a lady, preoccupied with unhappiness and infatuated along with her boss, catalogues antiquities on the Museum of Civilization. each evening, the 2 ladies meet on the lodge bar and speak – approximately early life and fogeys and landscapes, approximately time and paintings, approximately Descartes and Francis Bacon and writing.

When Yesterday, on the inn Clarendon seemed in French (as Hier), the media known as it the head of Brossard’s notable forty-year literary profession. From its intersection of 4 girls emerges one of those paintings install, a full of life learn during which existence and loss of life and the vertigo of ruins tangle themselves jointly to assert whatever approximately heritage and wish and art.

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SIMONE: (still very emotional) You mustn’t be wanting pals. AXELLE: I don’t exit a lot. i am going dancing as soon as per week. I determine frequently in a gymnasium. I sleep 8 hours. I by no means devour greater than thousand energy an afternoon. I by no means watch television. My display screen is kind of sufficient to smash my eyesight. That’s all. Evenings earlier than going to sleep I recite a poem to myself. It’s a behavior from while my mom and that i lived within the South. My mom knew a number of poets down there. a few of them used to come back to the home with their better halves and youngsters. occasionally the children have been requested to recite a poem. i used to be continually requested for ‘A Little Sonata to the Moon and the Iroquois. ’ sooner or later, my mom requested me to recite a poem by means of Octavio Paz in entrance of Octavio Paz. He was once sitting in a huge armchair smiling at me. at the back of his head used to be the shelf the place my mom stored her hibiscus. I mentioned each observe of the poem with meticulous care, having a look immediately forward on the purple plant life and the poet’s gray hair blurring my gaze. you recognize, my mom wasn’t ideal, yet she did transmit her love of poetry to me, which exonerates her from all blame. the entire poems i do know I hold inside of me, like my mother’s reminiscence. I realized all of them by way of center whilst she was once nonetheless dwelling by way of my part. Cuánto pesa un ojo en los angeles balanza? Cuánto mide un sueño entre dos parpados? Cuánto pesa en tus manos un ojo cerrado, Un ojo de muerto y un ojo pelado? – Homero Aridjis SCENE 8 CARLA: i'm wondering what creates worry even if there’s no transparent and current chance. everyone is continually asserting they’re petrified of this and that, of the wind, of snakes, of previous flames. It’s transparent and particular. once we say, ‘I’m frightened of being chilly, I’m petrified of now not having the ability to breathe,’ it’s simply because we’re comparing a threat or, particularly, simply because we’re afraid the review we’re making is incorrect. yet being petrified of writing, that has to be like being scared of residing, being petrified of oneself, fearing lifestyles itself. NARRATOR: possibly we’re afraid forever, with no knowing it. petrified of demise or terrified of desirous to die. yet now's no longer a great time to debate this. i need to speak to Simone Lambert a few extra approximately my exhibition. CARLA: At this hour? NARRATOR: sure, it’s now or by no means. It’s very important. I’m operating round in circles with this undertaking. you'll want to see my house. Now that may scare you. I suggest, you’d be petrified of the individual dwelling there. CARLA: I’ve obvious messy flats earlier than. NARRATOR: My condo appears like the residences of people that have that disorder, you recognize, that prevents them from throwing out issues that experience turn into dead, that forces them to save lots of empty matchbooks, toothpaste tubes, liquor bottles, chewing-gum packets. yet in addition they top off on newspapers, magazines, calendars, no matter if it capacity demise of asphyxiation amid their records. I’ve turn into a deadly collector. CARLA: harmful? good, you’re now not gathering boa constrictors, revolvers or lethal poisons, are you? NARRATOR: Worse. I acquire photographs of ruins, blind spots of civilization. I encompass myself with particles, relics of historic glories, old school manuals.

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