#omaggio a Toni Negri 21

Dear Michael,

sorry to bother you but L. said I should write something but I don’t write anymore. And when I write in italiano I get all loquacious and shit. That’s his fault too, you know… how fucking substantivizing he was. Whenever you came back with your edits, he’d porconare under his breath: Michael says it’s not clear. Grinning, of course, because you made him (write think) better.

I never actually saw you two work. But I imagine it was probably more or less the same: after a brisk walk through the Venetian/Parisian morning, you’d get all hopped up on Judith’s coffee and then: to work. Shortly thereafter, that devilish glint. Vuoi un bicchiere? Io sì. Goddamn, his ombre were atrocious. And then the real work.

He was the most disciplined beast I have ever met in my whole life, the vecio. He was nearly seventy when we met but my twenty-something-year-old self could barely keep up.

Was it like that for you?

I still can’t explain it. Conduits. He’d have his notes, of course, but he wasn’t reading. All it took was one question. He’d ask himself, out loud, one question. And then begin: torrential pondered riverrun speak horizon staring into space or down into his paperpad and sculpt sounds from brief silence; life. Just life that would flow and I’d have to follow. But I couldn’t listen nor could I understand, I had to keep pace I had to make the marks on page, leave a trace. Try to engrave what little what little could, conduit of conduit of. I bet you didn’t know but sometimes you were reading my hisour words.

Was it like that for you?

I miss him, Michael. You should have seen his face that time I made him pasta e fasiol. It reminded him and me of pianura padana nights as children. I’d never seen anyone clean up a plate like that so fast. Scarpetta even.

Today Sergio talked about the devil. About the cattivo maestro. How he liked it. Whenever I walked in with him to those Cardigan and padded-elbow events I’d get the looks. Ripped jeans and probably just… too… brown. But he was always: Connaissez-vous Jason? And then leave. That’s all it took. They had to talk to me, and it still makes me laugh today. One time, referring to his Nina, he said: you’re just another figlio del peccato. and I’ve never found an adequate translation for that. He loved the devil in me.

And I guess that’s why I’m writing to you, Michael. Because of the few people who have loved this devil in me, Michael, I now have lost one. And I don’t know if you love devils too, Michael, but I know he loved you and you loved him and revolution is love. And so I’m hoping that maybe, maybe, you, Michael, might understand why I Today I write.

from the underground riverrun revolution love.


Foto in apertura: Michael Hardt e Toni Negri, Madrid, 2011

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