Thursday, March 31, 2016

Letter from Robert Creeley

This letter from Robert Creeley was rejected from inclusion in his Selected Letters.

 64 Amherst Street
 Buffalo, NY 14207-2748
 (Presently San Diego)
 March 30, 1994

Dear Bill,

We've managed to get ourselves to edge of charmingly vast Pacific, and if wishes were wings, we'd head for Moorea this very moment.  Ah well!  I love poem of Phil Whalen's that has line: "Let's call it the Pacific."  One of the few "lines" I've remembered ever after (along with "Little Orphan Annie came to our house to play" and "The road was a ribbon of moonlight." etc. etc.)  So San Diego is hardly where you are at (or so I imagine) but it is a great relief for this brief week after the characteristic hanging on winter of Buffalo.  So good to be somewhere where one isn't endlessly having to think of inside and outside "edges".

I don't know finally what to think of Cid's quite evidently flat finances.  As Puritan I would mumble he "wanted it that way" but that's not true.  His ventures, as the restaurant in Boston, or the teahouse scene there in Kyoto don't make it apparently, despite his wife's incredible labors and devotion.  Anyhow I just don't know finally.  But I do know he committed all his attention to his imagination of poetry years ago and that's been the point of it all, good or bad.  I don't therefore have to feel guilty.  All in all, he's had remarkable response, given he all but rejected it so often.  You'll sense, like they say, that there's an aspect of Cid's scene that both drives me up the wall and down into doldrums--worried I don't deserve etc. etc.  But no one deserves nothing, if that's the question--figure Cid's where he figured to be, and Japan is not next door to 51 Jones Avenue, Dorchester, Mass.  So be it, as the Zen Buddhists say.  Onward!

All best as ever,


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Letter to Teuruna

Mauruuru for your card, and for thinking of me, remembering me.  I always have kept a suitcase packed and am still ready to return to Moorea.

There is so much to say, yet words cannot express it properly.  I do remember everything and everybody.  I know it was not all milk and honey for people there and I know how privileged I was to be there so many times, and to experience the magic

I hope you and Marc are well.  And your younger sister, Sidonie.  You were my "lagoon guru" of course, and it was so wonderful on the motu - the picnics, the pakelolo, the grilled Maohi corned beef.  The Saturday night show and barbeque; and the Sunday feast: uru, fafa, poi.  The lovely dinners of lamb and taro you cooked in your fare....

So many have died.  Paul, to whom you were so kind.  My friend Michel (yes, I know he was raving drunk so often, but a great artist) - we had deep discussions about art and poetry even though his English was as bad as my French!   Teva, who died so young.  Andre.  Ben.  Monsieur Gendron.  Didier.   .....     I still have a carved coconut and black beads from the Marquesas Paul gave me.

Remember when you and Caroline took me to where Roonui was living in a little fare and he thought I was completement fou for wanting a tatoo the traditional way until you convinced him I was okay.  Jewish people are not supposed to have a tatoo, and the very day I got one my house I then owned in Feltonville in Philadelphia was burgled.  Very strange!  (I hope Caroline is okay, and that she has forgiven me for being insensitive to her when she was planning on visiting me in New Jersey.)

Well, there's always more...I remember William (the gardener) often having a smoke with me on the porch of my bungalow before he began work.  And Dahlia.  And Julienne.  And Christina (Logue), but that's another story...

It does get lonely here on my own in London, but I am 75 now - ancient!  Lucky to be alive. As you must know, I daydream of going back to Moorea one more time. Still ready to snorkel in the lagoon!

I remember when Marc surfaced there after his service underwater in a nuclear submarine - he must have thought he died and went to heaven!

And I think of all the others in that extraordinary community of Moorea (and Tahiti) - Donny, Jacques, Ron, Lee and Paola, Jean, Omaha Pat, Tea, and everyone else who made my life in Polynesia the happiest of times.

Be healthy and strong.  Blessings to you.  Faaitoito.  

Bill (Mahi).