Dear Paul y Poetas Estimados–
Goddman it!!!!–Sorry–but all of a sudden a huge chunk of this letter up and vanished!! And no idea of how to retrieve it from Cyber obscurities–somewhere out there–who knows–disintegrating into particles and forming its own “meteor Belt” encircling an ever dwindling point in space time–
        Oh well–just have to live with it–so here we are, back at the start:
Thank you so much for this very beautiful & moving letter Paul!–
       Re what was written about “Miss Liddy”–(my first replay had been actually, “I would not Miss Liddy for the world!”)–
      you certainly may be right–it may be interpreted this way also–
       The illuminating confusion over the meaning of “Miss”–reminds me of an incredibly long discussion I had one night with my Professor, friend and Mentor Louis A. Renza, in my second year at Dartmouth–
      we were both huge Dylan Freaks–(later one he wrote on Dylan and has taught Dylan classes for eons at Dartmouth–)
—and had fallen into marveling over we each had differently understood the lines
     “I received your letter today/about the time the door knob broke”–
       the key word being “about”–
        I thought It meant “at about the time the door knob broke”–
     whereas Lou has taken it to mean–
         “(the letter) about the time the doorknob broke”–
     that is, the letter was about the time the doorknob broke–
      so–you see, this little set of alternative ways of understanding “Miss”–brings the doorknob back very vividly!!–let alone our lengthy hilarious discussion–
        so–the words “about” and “Miss” act like hinges of a door that opens both ways–
          both can be “right”–
           and of course we go from Miss Liddy to Miss Rimbaud–or–on to “Miss Kitty” as my friend and Chef to my sous-Chef Michael Kittredge was called by the other gay men working in the kitchen with us–
          I am happy and honored that you like this little glimpse of James–!–I am going to scan in a poem he wrote dedicated to me–there is a hand scrawled note on to Zack to give it me:  “cher maître, could you present this to m. chirot, French Shepard since the Revolution!  Happy X-mas, James”–
   so you see, there I am, the “Good French Shepard of Black Sheep”–another way that James wd. put this-
though I never di have a class with him, I felt that in a very deep way every moment that one spent with him was an education–he lived and breathed Poetry–in the Highest Sense, so to speak-his standards very exacting–
        It was such great FUN sitting there at Woodland–happily chatting away, name dropping right and left–we must have presented a combustible, conspiratorial pair–I remember many times getting rather dirty looks from the Powers tthat Be at Woodland–as though we were very bad school boys–except more threatening–
    there is an essay by Audre Lourde as I recall re the subversives, the disruption, of women’s laughter–I the face of stodgy uptight old Patriarchy-
     I thought of that when James and I sat together–as it seemed our every laugh, our every small or large gesture–seemed to quite distinctly bother the self appointed Guardians of Poetry–making us laugh all the more–to see them squirm!
       a lot of the FUN–was also that as one listened to James, one did really feel as though one were taking in great draughts of the wild, free air of Poetry–one learned as one laughed–
       I also recall  times when James–giving a quick, mischievous smile, and moving his body as though barely able to contain some secret glee-
       yes–I recall those times when James wd. launch into sotto voce mimicry of various other poets–at times, the very one reading!–as well as chortling over the tip of an iceberg of some vast Allusion–
       It meant a very great deal to meet James that very first time, when he gave me a copy of Burroughs’ QUEER–he presented like a badge of honor, a medal of honor–awarded for being in on the Conspiratorial Subterranean Flows and Power of not only the Beats, but all writing deemed “off limits” by the PC crowd who ruled over the Modern Studies Program–it meant so much as just previously I had been taken aside and given a list-rap sheet of writers not to mention at all by my self-appointed advisor, Herbert Blau–Burroughs and Kerouac–Henry Miller–only topped the list–also I was banned from making any art work, collages etc.–so–meeting James–not only healed the wounds–but brought one back to full ready to roll Life–
           (in a Seminar later on, I used the word “imagination”–and the Prof practically screamed a halt to what I was saying–saying–You cannot use that word in here!!–without thinking, I repeated it in the next sentence–and the Prof, visibly shaking with rage, told me if I used the word again, I wd be banned from the class–kicked out–
        Situations such as that–you can see why James meant so much to me–as though throwing me a life preserver in a turbulent and malevolent sea–reminding one that one had an active life OF THE IMAGINATION–“only the Imagination is real” as WCW writes in SPRING AND ALL–(which one thought to think through along side/along with :”no ideas but in things, Mr.”–which discussed a lot with Robert Grenier–NOT an “either/or”–more like a “both/and”–for the things of the Imagination are also real facts–out of which flow ideas–the materials generate ideas–much as when I make a rubBEing–touching the paper on one side with my had, crayon–and on the other, the material touching back–there the real “facts,” the materials–are generating ideas which fire the imagination which in turn is feeling directly the raw material–in a
       Looks like I shd call it a day here–and get on with the work at hand–
Thank you so very much Paul, again, for this wonderful, warm letter–you have set in motion a while cosmos of memories of James–
I only wish more of my memoirs which had just written you of, had not vanished–
        who knows though–perhaps a subconscious “editing machine” kicked in and shut me up, so that I didn’t mender for hours in the rhizomatic chains of associations–memories linked to memories linked to memories in an ever expanding sphere until it bursts, like n immense bubble of words that collapses —
     leaving a glittering rubble–reflecting in miniature the cosmos—cosmos  and cosmos–expanding–floating–glittering–all that is left of the words are sounds–vibrations I the air, in the materials at hand–a vibration . . . perhaps that OM–out of which–came the Universe–like a kind of Big Bang–only–without Explosion–instead, a repeating cycle of sound that slowly gathers energy and slowly moves up and outwards in other deeper registers–
      –a warm embrace dear friends–“ride, Boldly Ride–on to El Dorado–“–as the Poe poem is roughly recited by James M. Cain in the opening scenes of the Western EL DORADO–
   yes–with Rimbaud–one will enter the Splendid Cities–when it is truly Christmas on Earth–
–david nadal–