Page 27 - Jack Foley | The true litterateur
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Moment of truth



                                       Towards "the urge to killowatts,"


               On June 25, 1974 I was utterly depressed about my writing. I had just brought
               our car in for servicing -never a happy obligation -and taken the bus back home.
               I  was  extremely  tired  and  believed  at  that  moment  I  would  never  produce
               anything of any value. My life as a poet seemed to have ended. Glancing at a
               collection of Charles Olson's essays -particularly at "Human Universe"- I noticed
               a sentence which began, "If there is any truth at all to the idea that...." Certain
               that nothing would come of it, I typed on a piece of paper, "If there is any truth

               at all" and added, as if in commentary, "(there is)".  I  went  on  to  appropriate
               others of Olson's phrases, changing them if I felt like it. (Olson actually wrote,
               "It is not the Greeks I blame.")


               if there is any truth at all (there is)
               it is the greeks I blame
               the lines in which
               speech takes place
               & Melville did....


               Next I took a recent passage from my journal,

               a waking dream.
                                      Someone (me, not me) on a rooftop.  Being chased?
                                          Crowds.  The man's friends below, holding a
                                       net which looks like an awning, urge him.
                                             Tremendous distance!
               The man jumps! -he misses the awning.
               I remark (it is remarked to me): he didn't check
                                             which way the wind was blowing,

               and retyped it, moving my fingers slightly so I would hit some of the wrong
               keys and leaving out some of it, revising as I went along:


               a wajubg dreanL
                                       sineibe OOne.bitg neOOib a riiftioOObeubg cgased.
                                                    Criwds  the man's friends bekiw
                                                          gikdubg a bet kiijs kuje ab wawbubg 'greeb
                                                                     tremendous distance
                                     yrge
                                                       urge him


                                                                       to killowatts
                     27                                                                   Litterateur
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