Distribution Automatique

Saturday, August 16

Three incomplete and unsent letters to Barrett Watten- 12/9/85

Dear Barrett,

I read the piece in The New Criterion
today and I want you to know that I am
more than ever in support of your work and
its ongoing and long existing aesthetic
value. Before the publication of *This*
the world of poetry
was literally a bore and boringly
literal. How can these morons misread
you so terribly?

Dear Barrett,

Charles mentioned to me recently your
concern about the "Writers in S.F." article
in The New Criterion. This
article is ghastly. The political overtones
are horribly accusatory and menacing and
the denouncing of the language writers
(now almost as familiar as Classic Coke
on everyone's coffee table) here takes on
a jugular vein precision on a par with
the subtlety of Rambo.

Not that this is a joking matter or an
occasion to embroider smart alec journalese
responses. From a theoretical point of view,
I believe this is a perfect time to hurl
polemic back in no uncertain terms. Its days like
this that make me want to read Nietzche
again, although I'm settling for a reread
of The Prison House of Language.

I have a talk at St. Mark's
lecture series that you appeared
in- about a year ago wasn't it?

Dear Barrett,

After reading "Writers in S.F." I want to
come to San Francisco soon to deliver my lecture
"Subject to Change" which I read recently at
the St Mark's Talk Series (November 24th). I
really slammed it out if I do say so myself
(check this out with Bruce Andrews,
Charles Bernstein or James Sherry. Now that I've
heard what has been happening in the Poetry Flash
and all over the place, I'm ready to give a
lecture that will make them wonder if they'll
ever want to
write a standard sentence again. Of course
I exagerrate, but I'm serious about wanting to
come out. I may be able to get an invite
to read in Los Angeles during the same
week (I'm off from my day job the first week in
April.) I'd really also love to do a poetry
reading in San Francisco the same week.