Matthew Conrad

May 15, 1986 - Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski

a bilingual conundrum

how naive of me - the fact that i'm living in
a post-marxist times -
i had to chance the thought that
marxism didn't invite the serfs of the world,
rather, the workers....

if catherine the great's reforms regarding
serfs....
i am most certainly an imbecile with every regard:
the thought that i'm an idiot
is weighing me down -

i really must think myself as an idiot,
i want to enter a discussion...
not as a hopeful -
marxism and the workers of the world...
well the workers of the world
were not the serfs of the world...
but i truly am an idiot...
by simply wanting to say:
why of course the working class disappointed
the marxist intellectuals...
the workers were not serfs... after all!
i'm still an idiot...
because i really don't care about this
opinion: nor would i defend it -
should a dialectical theatre engulf it...

for marxism to work...
you would need... serfs... not workers...
a serf was someone without a wage...
blah blah... truly... idiotic of me...
but this idiocy has to burden me...

it's crippling me with such burdens that...
because it's more about finding
coherence of a need to not say something
rather than accompany saying something
to begin with - what is attempting to crawl
back into existence is a scribere ut scribo...

i not used this language for well over a week
other than for the purpose of listening...
i haven't read in it,
i haven't really spoken with it,
i haven't thought in it...
and here i am... "frustrated" as to why:
i'm not writing in it!

i can't imagine myself the same person
who could have written this:

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

Orléans, the maid Jean (Żąn of Arc)...

i have made peace with the paganism revival
in the medium realm of music,
i once entertained the idea...
but upon watching Floki crawl into the heart
of the mountain
(vikings t.v. series)...
and seeing a cross at its base,
rather than a hammer of a dwarven
master smithy...
breaking down and crying...
and then recounting his ambitions?
for a people to adopt an approach of a people
to do not consider revenge?
him screaming, from the mountain's heart,
which resulted in a volvanic eruption...
what god was he seeking,
to begin with?
i moved from pop, rock, alt., punk
etc. into pagan revival music,
but i also transitioned from pagan revival
music into the realm of the templar chants,
byzantine chants, the gregorian...
and it was so soothing,
my faith, my heart lies with the music
that appeases me, my angers and my doubts...
it's not the most spectacular of examples,
but its the only honesty i can ever give,
i cry at beauty...
when i spent the whole night
watching the indian sea pillage and rape
the kenyan coast...
when i first heard ola gjeilo's ubi caritas,
when i first heard
vaughan william's fantasia on a theme
by thomas tallis...
it is so hard to cry when presented
with beauty...

i side with the christian chants...
akin to the gregorian: libera me domine...

after all... the post-roman scripts are
not pretty, esp. the english language
pretending to know the existence of orthography...
which it doesn't: given it has no diacritical
marker applicability...
hardly a diacritical marking system
if... ȷust so, as ι saιd... and also... they disappear
upon the CAPITAL STATED...
JUST LIKE, SO...

but at least the post-roman
latιn remaιns allow, more for a language to be
sung... than could ever be saιd...
hardly to claιm... ι, I, L, l...
(after all... what of the asiatic people?
they have a complex phonetic encoding
system,
last time i checked...
they drew beautifully...
but when it came to singing?
i find crows to croack
more beautifully than their peoples singing;
i guess you really need a castrato harem
of choir boys to reach the sort of pop
established by 20th century artists...
how almost wonderful...
castratos ascribed the governance
of song, rather than disgruntled harem whores)...

now... please excuse me, whιle ι translate
the lyrιcs of lιbera me domιne
(in pig latin)...

libera me domine
de mortem aeterna
in die illa tremenda
caeli movendi sunt et terra
dum veneris
judicare saeculum per ignem
tremens factus sum ego et timeo
dum discussio venerit
atque ventura ira
quando caeli vendi sunt et terra
dies illes dies irae
calamatis et miseriae
dies magna et amara valde
dum veneris
judicare saeculum per ignem
requiem aeternam dona eis domine
et lux per petua luceat eis
liber me domine
de morte aeterna...
in die illa tremenda...

free me lord
from death's eternity
into your godliness that's awe inspiring
(as also terrible)
heaven moves both sun and earth
while love judges heathenism
by fire
rest from the eternal gifts as
does the lord...
and the light from its "petulance"
to continue to shine...

will gregorian chants be censored?
templar chants? byzantine chants?
i tired of pop songs,
of 20th century "innovations"...

petua...
in english... the word implies:
advice...
ah!
et lux per petua luceat eis
and from seeking advice from the light
that shines!
so much for: petulance...

what a contradictory song...
still...
what's next,
they ban gregorian chants,
and fall flat praising and clapping
the next adhan?!

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

only a few months back -
but i am that same man...
nothing has truly happened -
i gave up writing for 6 weeks -
prior to i could find myself juggling ideas
for a whole day,
find co-ordinates,
and when it came to conclude the day:
i'd open a bottle of whiskey,
drink a little,
allowing these ideas to somehow come
together...
a 6 week hiatus of mostly reading...
and... i want to pick up a paintbrush...
writing was always the alternative
to speaking -
for a while i forgot how reading can be
deemed a leisure activity -
until i rediscovered it...

what am i looking for?
the spare two hours from 11pm to 2am
each night when i can compress the day
and find relief in these: scribbles?
perhaps...

even today i spared an hour on reading...
then i gave 10 minutes to
michel de montaigne...
of drunkenness: roughly 8 pages of an
essay... then...
i figured: there's only one purpose
in writing - to never come to it with
an impeding doom: should it not occur -
to write for scribo per se -
and that one is to not feel any relief:
most certainly not prior,
and most certainly not after...
i keep forgetting what writing FEELS like...
6 weeks and i'm rust compared
to a metal sheen...

it's not a question of: why i write -
scribere ut scribo -
even the "how" is what is is -
something murky and not inviting
a critical point of closure...

perhaps i need something to wake me up...
perhaps i need to spend
one decent, sober, afternoon,
reading the apology for raymond sebond...
perhaps i haven't used this
language: as such...
perhaps it has been hidden from sight
for 6 weeks... i haven't thought in it,
i haven't spoken in it,
i haven't read in it...
and here i am complaining that i'm not really
writing, in it!
6 weeks and all i had to offer was:
the antithesis of shrapnel...
because... this language truly is shrapnel...
well when you compare it to german...
or Polish...

one sentence revelation...

pewnego wczesnego marcowego popołudnia usłyszałem,
że koło mojego mieszkania parkuje jakiś samochód.
zszedłem na dół i wyjrzałem przez okno...

and just look how the pronoun(s) and the articles
appear... never mind hiding the diacritical marks...

on some early march afternoon i heard,
that near my accommodation
some sort of car is being parked,
i went down and looked out out the window...

this is such a bad translation...
it's a bad translation because...
(a) i could say both sentences correctly and
(b) not bother about translating them...

(c) zszedłem na dół... i went down...
in english this could imply: a courtyard...
or stairs... or something...

english as such is a language that would read
latin like: ego cogito ergo ego sum...
Polish? well... ja (i) - is hardly used in sentence
structures...
perhaps that's because there's a masculine /
feminine structure to words...

i went down... zszedłem (masculine)...
feminine? zszedłam...
i have rarely read a book in Polish where
the pronouns are stressed...
esp. JA... there's even a Hermeneutics of "it"...
I... in English... it's never or rather rarely used...
since... everything is so bloody obvious...
who is speaking, who is listening...
one can reach a profound critical statement...
in saying: mieć, swoje, ja!
gott mit uns is equivalent...

to leave a language that compounds...
and to re-enter a language that is...
if merely bilingual was so easy...
spreschen eine augenblick diese -
und eine andere daß...
spiegelglöt blah blah..

why do i need to escape to deutsche from time
to time... geographically speaking:
Berlin is a day closer to London from
Warsaw... mein gott:
wie ich haß warschau - schmutzig sakrament
von stadtplanung...
because every time a little bit of english:
becomes too much of english...
i have to go where english came from...

i have to reiterate to myself:
nun... einheimische i(s)ch bin ni(s)cht...
so? i have to compensate since...
i can't really tattoo myself with the garbs of
local dialects: to be celebrated as either
scot or cockney welsh or a bristolian...

it has come as a surprise to want to envy
a person who only knows one language...
to have the audacity to presume
that Norwegian is the etymological:
of everything in Swedish and should a Norwegian
speak Norwegian in Sweden:
a Swede is to understand him...
Knausgard... i think that's an audacity...
it's not out of forgetting that you'd speak
Norwegian in Sweden...
perhaps there aren't that many linguistic
differences in Norway per se...
like in Poland... between the Kashubians...
the Masovians... the Silesians...
and the "old" orthodoxy...

i have yet to speak a full sentence upon returning
from Poland... but my ears are already
pricked up... i'm listening and i understand everything...
i can't even begin to imagine how
easily people speak...
how there is rhetoric...
how people can just yap-yap-yap away...
no wonder i am having to unearth these frustrations
on a piece of paper...
anyone with enough sanity could
presume these words to have been written
in a simulation of solitary confinement -
in a prison -
6 weeks without speaking english...
reading english... writing in english...
and this past week? buffer zone...
i can listen to english, i can write in english...
but i'm yet to speak a sentence of it...
'thank you' doesn't count when "talking"
to a supermarket cashier...

what the hell was i expecting, to not be, otherwise?!
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