An unexpurgated feminist letter to a close friend.
|You were standing in the waiting room of a college dormitory like a princess, Katho & I was in the moonlight when it looked like a night to remember. I have to admire your face from afar
& hope that as you appear in perfect form it will be the best response I need to walk out into a morning mist, just that kind that looks good & dewy & get to a grocer's deli for a little of nature's bounty. It is true that all we need to go for is a good diet & some politics, there is nothing stronger than testimony, the real thing, the real fun that gives us an attitude. Believe me, harm no soul by winning your own Promised Land, Princess. How could my letter get lost to an editor at a dear time when 17th century romantic poetry fails me. That leopard-collar old fashioned red fleece coat & the brown hat you knitted, your one delicate hand extended furiously up for the goodbye I wanted to remember for a lifetime. It was awesome. The fashions we look for to change our appearances from nude fleshpots to spring flowers, sometimes make us appear as if we were nomads in haste who silently steal away awaiting a good meal after the sun has set.
* * *
The ride down to you was like a day with George Sand stopping into the Winn-Dixi. The impossible West Virginia mountains as grandiose as other fishy Floridian dreams savoured with bavarian cream at a doughnut shop with a cup of Cappuccino sipped in the middle of a wait to depart. Half way through the journey my own Willy whistled to the tunes on the CD as Willy Nelson sang his old standard On The Road Again like a lullaby. You know I heard your gravy voice through Savannah and the good complexion that you keep must be because you eat smart. Those early evenings, the ones we spent alone together, still drift happilly with the fading brew of chilly weather when ever I take the time to make sense of why things happen & so thus, my destiny shouts with the people I meet & asks why I am so surprised at being part of certain people's lives. It is something my brother could have said about me, that I am worldly free & see that golden thoughts can be such a blessing.
Will we soon be saved? I am thinking about our leisure hours as the only way to make us feel comfortable with our nests, then we are as comfortable as animals since it is how we might be judged.
If you have to sit up in that old Victorian chair, Katho, with a little bit of jealousy for me to have gotten so far into writing this letter, remember that it is a memoir-letter in light of my wildest dreams. I love to praise your diamond-arched nose lifting me into your daughter's ballerina lips so then I love to praise you both, don't I. I then submerge into common sense & think of a great reason to keep us together. Here then. I blow you a Dina Shore kiss. I'll make a lasting one in case we should never meet again. We are such funny old women inside ourselves, Katho.
You had a good point about my poem that you liked all about the sentimental value of our closest memories together & all about the state of affairs we place ourselves in like thinking of someone after their funeral and yet finally we get selfish. We demand stupidity & yet it works to be brilliant & we pray to God to lift us to safety. Were you embarrased when I called you later on hoping not to play the fool? I ended up being one I believe. We get right down to a good conversation level, don't we Like the fox & the hare & then then quickly we get off on men & men's private parts, private attaches, private lives, private drives, private estates. Please keep me in mind at the grocer's when you buy a bag of groceries--I will think of your unforgettable lox & bagels. Old women with purple hats do cart around shopping items, liking the feeling of being independent at their age.
What do you suppose we are looking for, a kind of philosophy? Is it a matter of conditions for survival that has us saying We Are The Fittest
We Can Be & being candid about suspecting avarice will lead us to our destinies? Women are woman once they get their guns up and tell their minds. You may miss the one who just left you with dust on your windowsills, you know?
I am laying down testimony & searching for truth & musing too over what the gods & myths are like with a cup of thier divine wine overflowing & a special explanation of my own skeletons in a story. I just may be destined to take you through the backstreets of a royal avenue in a certain city to whre afterwards you will realize the grandeur of knowing this city on a Tuesday afternoon when it is sunny. I find you floating freely as if a composed woman in a painting that sounds like metal sheets over white ivory so you must be sitting demurely in a chair with a terry cloth bathcoat on & it would certainly be you in your best form smilingly sheepishly after midnight when thinking quietly on how to prepare for the next day.
Catch a rising star you said to me in a dark alley one night when I wore your velveteen red 40's jacket as you stuck your hand in my pocket for that one pretending moment. Of course, it was golden.
It comes me to that I was thinking of which shampoo I'd buy & I am your friend forever so ask me anything including hair tint. I will plan on your opinion on things just as if these frantic dizzying lines are meant for only you. I would think a supergirl poster navigating a jazz musician's banquet like your X's might be nice because through voyeurism you look glorious and awesome. Although posters aren't paintings & monumental & take less time to ascertain revelation with & how about if I send you a photograph of myself soon so you can know I am alive & living outside of Pittsburgh with my lover out of raw destiny in full flesh & hoping an editor would sanction my backstreet dreams in my poetry. The things is they claim that love is alive and at large.
Do you think maybe I'm trying to mastermind a sermon on fruits like bananas with marshmalloow moon shapes & red candy hearts & then cry reality like Fielding Dawson does when he thinks about painters like Pollock. How long can postcards from God exist? I know that men are exciting. Men like Fielding. But for God's sake Katho the word woman applies here. You may save my life, I'm not sure. You know? There are a woman's feelings for a man's writing. Oh to be cared for and so on.
Now. I don't want to dump sacred meanings either. These have already brought civilization through centuries of preserving women's womankind. Their intuition, their babies,their rights, their interest, their deepest emotions, their fancies too. I might be interested in recording a long blue dream & asking you to float through it & as I take you on a journey of the mind you can plan on giving me your ideas about ideal places to be and such.
Let's talk about plumbing tools & all those sorts of things that engineers are made of & how we leave them to men. And what about our homes? Can women keep them safe from collapse? Women must be good with everything under the sun so that other women see this. You being the woman I think of when I think of one just like the one in a gorgeous fairie tale.
You should have seen the shape I was in three days ago. I took apart my file cabinet. Then I demolished it. I made certain that the circular file found all of the junk but I saved the good stuff in hanging files. I have found a piece I'd written for a Shakespeare course. I read it over once, a particularly young piece of work. You know I wonder if I have worked with enough topics to know what the average contemporary reader wants to see in me. There is always more to learn each day.
I have gone out & come in again. Whre is the housekey? Ah, yes--in the lining of my deep pocket. I have it here. My handbag gets stuck half-way into getting in the front door. I'm in.
Within the hour I am racing the clock for my favorite radio station on the dial as I think of you and Chopin and a bowl of licorice on the top of a book of poetry. That book is like a huge diamond for reading after midnight.
I once wrote a poem smelling like rose hops using the method of completing images in a poem that smells nice like roses & as much fun to grabble with as I could get with it. I will listen to the grand mellifluous inner voice of great poets before I send you a note next. And so it surfaces with the greatest respect for you--how it came about writing a feminist letter to a close friend.