Tuesday, July 20, 1999

I was thinking of leaving Inch (she could have been “Pouce” as a child?) alone at a Paris café like Thérèse Desquéroux, saint for poisoners, look that up. (Look up “pouce” in the Creole-French dictionary, and Léogane for Queen Anacoana.) But now I think that Jim will have booked her a final concert in Haifa, nodding back to the first place in all the world he’d chosen to escape to, and so the place where he chooses to escape from all the world.

This pages fall out too easily. And so Inch is left on the final page at an Israeli café: and flees into the bazaar, so:

[Panels of Inch twisting right and left: “and wide-eyed with terror sees the Shrine we cannot see (or from shin level?)”]
Saint-Pierre de Lafcadio Hearn
Les rues descendent vers le port par de vieux degrés de pierre moussue et elles sont si escarpées, qu’en regardant en bas vers l’eau bleue, on a l’impression d’être sur une falaise. Par certaines échappées dans la rue principale—la rue Victor-Hugo—on a une vue à vol d’oiseau du port et des navires.

Cristoph, a 4-month Bahá’í just swinging through, winningly telling me about his trip to Senegal: « Dakar, c’est Port-au-Prince. »

Read some Caryl Phillips: Vintage has Cambridge, Higher Ground, The Final Passage also. Also, The European Tribe.

[Praise had bled my lines white of any more anger, and snow had
inducted me into white fellowships,

while Calibans howled down the barred streets of an empire that began
with Cædmon’s raceless dew,

and is ending in the alleys of Brixton, burning like Turner’s

– Derek Walcott, Midsummer, 1984

Cædmon? Brixton? Turner? For that matter, Caliban? This is downright fraught..]
[Notting Hill riots of 76?]

Good Lord, Glen has a good library. The Serpent & the Rainbow, Wade Davis.

Okay. Caryl Phillips can end a friendship, at 8, because of a single misunderstood (by the teller) racist remark. Search for identity. Fury at even innocent jokes that blur what sense of it you have. Imagine Inch, whose life was thrust on her wholesale? Her resentment, confusion, must be shattering.

Native Son by Richard Wright.

Jim dances around Europe, for his own reasons denying Inch the right to face kolon blan yo. Must have gone to Africa though. At her insistence.

In 85, rural Haitians either served the loa or did not. This copy of The Serpent & the Rainbow is in Glen’s possession because a Jean Edouard of Vilnius was scared of voodoo, and tattooed it with wards before ridding himself of it altogether. Epigraph, Paracelsus: “Everything is poison, nothing is poison.”

Harvard’s Botanical Museum – “Against one wall beside a panoply of Amazonian dance masks was a rack of blowguns and spears. In glass-covered oak cabinets were laid out elegant displays of the world’s most common narcotic plants. Bark cloth covered another wall. Scattered about the large room were plant products of every conceivable shape and form—vials of essential oils, specimens of Para rubber, narcotic lianas and fish poisons, mahogany carvings, fiber mats and ropes and dozens of handblown glass jars with pickled fruits from the Pacific, fruits that looked like stars.”

Remember that people de drugs in Inch’s world: one kind is a phosphorescent eyedrop that makes your eyes glow like a jackal’s.
–ayahuasca, the vision vine
–the Darien Gap
–“I began to feel like a crystal of sugar on the tongue of a beast,” describing a jungle trek
–Heinz Lehman of McGill? psychopharmacology
–Blacks have no pallor of death?
–Grenada commie till ’83?


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