what is offhand | overheard | bits of remembered things
potions | amulets | charms
unsaying the said of said
contingent | interlaced
preexistent inheritance succeeds
desire | trance-like
legitimate limits conspire to conceal
modified blue lyricism | mimetic challenge
idiosyncratic | inbetween
weinsberg hospital | monday | june 27 |1959
today is already the sixth day that I have received this medicine
there is no longer too much pain
the professor said I should sleep calmly
sylvi's mother came to see me
I am alone in this room
somehow I like this
is my window open?
your Ludij
somewhere in france |1980
behind you trails she whom you will not see
at your back crawls...she whom you will not fight out in the open
that shadow that separates us
and whom you refuse to look straight in the eye
for a fight to the bitter end
who is this girl who lacks courage?2
somewhere | recently
cups cats diaries texts clips papers trees mice tables sounds
plurals hear voices
scripts notes rings hats buttons schemes ribbons
ridden and recast
irresolute acts | referenced
comedic pathos | legacies
parallel means equip
imaginary retrospection
unwitting gestures | bequest
neckarsulm | thursday | july 14 |1959
forgive me for the delay in reply, but I have been very ill
dr mutlich looked into my eyes and said I was being poisoned
only with a great deal of effort did I manage not to cry
he shouted and hit his fist against the table
what am I thinking of?
does anyone ask about me?
please read this one letter between you
one thousand kisses
your Ludij
somewhere in france |1980
if talking that way still has a meaning3
somewhere | recently
it does
recondite artifacts | excerpts
implications | faraway agents
extrinsic secrecy
chaos chaos chaos
rest on my frame | effortless
weinsberg hospital | saturday | july 16 |1959
my darling, thank you for your warm letter
we all like to know how things are for you
sylvi said I had told you stories
we argued a little about your letter
your sister-in-law gets upset very easily
thousands of kisses
your Ludij
somewhere in france |1980
but it is within one step that the soaring of your rhythm is lost
and if you find the strength to dash forward
along the path of your recurrence
you always risk the abyss4
somewhere | recently
I woke yesterday
there she was again
stunning, in my dreams
does she seek to inhabit me?
how do I know my place?
teasing discomfort | intimate distance
transitional | contrary
concrete essences | duration
scattered kinship | an unlikely muse
restless lineage
weinsberg hospital | sunday | august 7 |1959
yesterday, sylvi and otto brought me your letter
they have taken sylvi's mother on a short holiday
I have been examined and found to have
some sort of nerve infection
I don't understand your letter
did you get paid forty pounds?
what do you mean by twenty kilos of money?
I have bought myself some new sandals
It's a very beautiful, sunny day
your Ludij
somewhere in france |1980
and you stay far away from everything and everyone
in the midst of the glaciers that help you to keep your burden intact
that environment hardens your shell
doubles it by their aspect
and, in the last hour, are you not obliged to mimic ice?
and look endlessly upon those that are close to the sun
and yet remain ice5
somewhere | recently
there are days when I feel completely irrelevant
uncommon discretion | playful
diffident practices | obscurity
chaotic humility | illustrative coherence
time-traveller in disguise
come, rest your inquiry
thursday | october 15 |1959
I haven't written earlier
I am very upset
and you, my darling husband
are at fault about this
if you had paid sooner
I could have travelled with BOAC
how will I manage this journey alone
the luggage
the luggage
it is too great a detour
kisses for my daughter on the eyes
...but to see you soon...
p.s. I am still in hagen
somewhere in france |1980
and before you have even noticed the enemy appear
you will be felled by a blow from an imperceptible weapon
that is the will of your fortune
you the sublime of the last day6
somewhere | recently
I am wearing clothes that have been inspected by No. 95
I've been wearing them all day
adornments surrounding gold-leaf-legacies
of recurring confusions and becoming voices
do we yet hear each other?
1 Maso, Carole (1993) AVA : A  Novel. Illinois, USA: Dalkey Archive Press, 6; 169; 172.
2 Irigaray, Luce (1991) Marine Lover of Friedrich Nietzsche. Trans. Gillian C. Gill. New York: Columbia University Press.
"Contempt for Your Nostalgia", 24; 25.
3 "Ice Wedding", 32.
4 "Dance of the Abyss", 44. 
5 "Burning Lava You Carry Within You", 54.
6 "Adversity by Chance", 69. 
 This work is drawn from the loose translation of some of my
grandmother's letters.
She had sent them to my grandfather and family in Australia while in
Germany for medical treatment in 1959,
four years before my birth.
Her name was Ludvika.
Her first language was Latvian.

Lisa McDonald, 1999.