Reading through my letter [The Sun, October, 1977], I see I was (am) just a bitter old fart, grumbling because the world never got around to having any use for my poetry, my teaching. Futile endeavor. To be sure, a scattered band had some use for me, but alas, nothing likely to do me any good. I guess to them I was their own modern Frank Villon, stumbling around in the gutter. Some of them, I think were genuinely fond of me, would even read the poems, though those were mostly just “credentials.” Mainly, though, they were waiting, y’see, for me to fall — then, they could get really indignant at the “establishment.” Or whatever. And I kept rain’ at ’em, y’see, howling about it bein’ a question of focus. Hell, it was just a question of what they wanted. Who the Hell wants poetry, eh?
So, when the energy went, the howling became grumbling. Y’know, during my career (sic!) as poet, I wrote probably more’n 10,000 pages (single spaced, typed) of “letter.” So, when I absolutely quit writing, period, probably a hundred pages or so of the grumble Judy passed to you came seeping out. Nuthin’ in it your readers can use, I fear.
So, lookin it over, I figured, “Hell, maybe I oughta put something in front of it they c’n use. So I’m sending along a copy of Vivisection [see page 47, this issue]. . . .
Reading Searls’ piece [The Sun, October, 1977]. About Wigner’s remarks. You know, those building cosmological models, projecting them “out there,” always, just like the poets, are mapping themselves, their own life-winds.
This is more apparent with Hawking than with most.
I wakened to this particular bit of horror, the poem his life work is, listening to him on a PBS documentary (or was it BBC?). Anyway, they were describing his “black holes” and he was telling part of it, trying to work his body. And I realized his “theory” was describing what it was to live inside his body. “Even the light can’t get out.” Y’ know how, even with somebody who’s inarticulate, the meaning can get out, as he puts body-English on his trying? That meaning is the light. And when you can’t get the body language behind the language (or math), “even the meaning can’t get out.” Here’s this man, one of us, living in this decaying corpse, and projecting his poem of being all over the heavens. He’s living in a “black hole,” you see. There’s no art but poetry. No speech but poetry. And anybody that presses out any being, anybody who fights to “say,” ends up speaking his world, making a poem. And that ain’t inconsistent with my pointing out that most “poets” can’t see or say.
And math ain’t different from any other marks we make in the sand, eh?
Give in to the temptation. We love getting mail.
(Of course, we reserve the right to edit.)