Very Old Stuff (pre-digital)

December 25, 1978

My sister’s friend gave me a book
    full of blank paper
    for Christmas 1978
    There’s a green tree frog with suction cup fingers
    hanging on to a vertical stick on the cover
    Under the small letters “Write Your Own Book”
    is the title
    “Coping” in large yellow letters
    beneath that in a non serif font, white letters, no caps
    “notes to help me hang in there”
    My sister’s friend said she couldn’t resist.

And for my first entry: I put down the sf/fantasy book I was reading and wrote:

Beryl Beaver set a wolf on fire
    < Dragon Winter >
    Burgundy is a wine too bitter
    for anyone here this afternoon
    And Glenn backed into my truck

My father walked all the way into the kitchen
    to tell my mother that if
    somebody didn’t take that record < Stephen Stills >
    off the turntable he would smash it.
    < I think the threatened smashing     would involve the turn table >
    Um- I immediately visualized my hand
    smashing very hard (as in Karate)
    into his adams apple

He knew the record was mine
    a Christmas present from my sister

Would he cower or roar
    if he understood what sort of effect
    his infantile behaviour
    generally has
    on me? Instant rage?
    -sigh- That’s not a very nice
    Christmas message
    is it?

“Our good luck might be the next animal’s downfall-” Granny Badger


December 26, 1978

in all caps:

All things are new
    there is no past hostility
    strong enough to own me
    You are forgiven
    who(m?)ever you are.

now put my book down
    before I forget this
    and break your nosy neck.


Next Page


Kathy K (a childhood friend)
    invaded my dreams last night
    we talked, I
    don’t remember what we said
    I think I
    wanted to hug her
    I remember
    turning around with that
    in mind
    turning around near the edge
    of a stage
    music, not heard?-
    But Kathy, I-

remember her as an awkward thirteen year old
    turning around, barefoot in the sand near the river
    walking away from some idiot’s dirty joke, looking
    like she thought there was something wrong with her
    if she couldn’t take it-

in the moment, remembering, I realized
    “there’s a little bit of you
    in every woman I ever
    wanted to hold-
    and shelter from
    the dirty jokes
    that no one wants to laugh at.”

(Jim Wellington)

{ This was typewritten on a single sheet of yellowing typewriter paper I think it was one of Jim’s from our first couple attempts at having a writers’ workshop }


   Never know where to begin-

I thought I’d try to tidy up a bit
    -for the exterminator?-
    as we’re moving me
    into this apartment

We never seem to get Anything done
    when we’re together-

came across an
    unfamiliar box
    contents in a jumble
    -all the time you’ve known me
    there’s been some kind of crisis
    looming very near
    very dark
    maybe it is the time of Man
    maybe it is a season
    for me to dance carefully
    between disasters
    and try
    -not to get crushed

Maybe our lives are
    portable messes
    that we can sort through
    or store as-is
    and maybe
    neatness doesn’t count at all
    it’s how you live
    and what you give
    to each other
    and the world
    around you-

((( Feels like circa 1991 ? )))

((( I don’t know if this is one of the things Jim Wrote and typed and left with me or is it something I sat down and wrote after one of our first attempts at a writers’ workshop? )))

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