Dear Stephen

He sits to write this letter for a friend. He, he writes too. His friend, altho not a close friend, lives in Berkeley now, which makes this letter more necessary. Calling himself him, and Stephen a friend, helps, if only to recognize the distance. (Time out. He re-reads “He was,” by David Bromige. See Sparrow 4.) This letter is not immediate. Altho he tries to mediate the distance, his friend must wonder about his character. His weeks have flown, and now minutes correct his form. With an envelope, a stamp, handling, and a few days, these very words . . . But his friend must know the story. The words get out of hand, and he loses elevation, not for lack of air, but for want of wings. He wanders on by himself, trying not to let his friend down, too. What are the grounds? They are discoverable. Try falling from the third story. He will find it at the end, near the foundations. Altho this is only fiction, yet the friction of the fantasy rubs out a definite object. It grinds over all objection. What it finally leaves are the grounds. Gratuitously, Tom Sharp

6 May 1974