All going well here, Kent & Mike — have read Ammiel’s response, of course. Agree wholeheartedly. Right now so caught up in work (intro to a selected Abdellatif Laabi, 40 pages of Mostafa Nissabouri & a book of poems by Safaa Fathy on Tahrir Square to be finished translating while working full-out on my play which is premiering on 14 June… rushing between Luxembourg & Paris… just got back to Paris & after finishing the other stuff this week will return there for 10 days, & on 22 off to Prague where a book is coming out in Czech translation… yikes, don’t know when I’ll get around writing anything that would be topical response for Dispatches — but you have the poem for the next update — abrazos, Pierre

p.s. 1 Tuesday night a big feast for the new translations into French of Juan Gelman by my old Luxembourg friend Jean Portante, with his widow Mara LaMadrid Gelman whom I know from Mexico D.F. I think or last year here in Paris; then the Marché de la Poésie with a reading on 10th — Alt Europa is suddenly full of vim & vigor… maybe later in the month I will send you an epistle from zigzagging Europe, a lopsided zig with no zag: one move to the right, one to the center…

look: this seems too meager & self-involved to me — maybe I can get a more interesting note to you later in the week (want to walk over to République tonight or tomorrow night — depending on rain) to have a listen to the NUIT DEBOUT crowd (if crowd it still is, seems to be thinning out, though that’s what the media say…

p.s.2 funny scene on metro last night: I got in at Gare de l’Est & a youngish/30ish Afro-French couple with me, sat opposite me & the woman started to roll a big joint, crumbling hash in her palm, breaking up a cigarette, all very casual, & as usual in Parisian metro, no-one smiled, everyone stared straight ahead, the two went about their business all the way to Odeon (some 6 stops) where the woman having basically finished rolling the spliff handed it over to her companion still open for him to lick & fold & tighten — I got out at Saint Germain, he was still shaping it & so I can’t tell if they were going to light up right there…

…this was more interesting than the book I had been reading all the way from Luxembourg: Philippe Sollers’s later, Mouvement, I always pick up the latest Sollers for summer reading when I get here, always delight that what is really a common place book gathering whatever he has been thinking about or reading or listening to this last year is still pompously labelled by his published as a “roman,” a novel on the front page… but this may be the last one I get, he is running out of breath, he does mention a lover (of course called “Lola”) on the first page to claim his aged libertine self can still get it up — but after that it is a childish recounting of bible stories, a slightly more interesting retelling of his readings of Hegel (whom he also brings on as a character commenting on contemporary matters), and notes on his reading (with improved translations, or so he claims) of classical Chinese poetry… After years of being one of the very few French writers who delighted me with a heteroclite & heterophile mind, basic Francisité, basic Frenchness has caught up with him. The pages on Victor Hugo’s corpse may be slightly funny, but that are also a millstone drags old Sollers down with him. A shame.

Pierre