LETTER FROM WOODY
(postmarked August 5, 1987)
Okay alex, here we go.
Some strange leaking chemical is stored on the porch.
The porch is a stinky place, that's why
I'm on the couch, in the living room.
The heat is everywhere, even more so
is the drip drip drip, the perspiration.
The faucet, the other drip, drip, drip,
is fine if you put the control knob at
just the right angle.
It's hot. The
mind oops-brain can ignore it.
The body can't. The body moves as in heavy
A young man has a great idea.
With the information he has, it is the best idea.
It will solve many problems.
If the real world were like his collage
version of it, it would solve many problems.
But the collage is not complete.
It is not yet mature--though he believes
And he commits himself to his great
idea, and fails because though the idea
is perfect in his version of the world,
his version of the world is not perfect.
He is embarrassed, disappointed. He
gives up trying to have great ideas.
He gives up trying to have
great the best idea
before his collage of the real world is
educated enough to be complete enough
to be able to come up with an idea that
works both in his version of the world and
in the world itself.
But if he hadn't given up, he might have
been able to actually get a best idea that
works in the real world.
And it's still hot. My underarms.
I've named my underarms Sog and Swamp.
They've never met.
Honesty. Honesty is good. It can hurt.
You are honest like a hammer blow.
Is it a Russian thing? Or an Alex thing?
Are your hemorrhoids OK? Please Alex,
never shy away from speaking about your
hemorrhoids. Speak about them often,
and your virginity. Find a loudspeaker
system. Call radio talk shows. It is
good. It is so very good -- it should have
Is it a kind of a dare?
P-K4 P-K4 P-K4 P-K4 P-K4*
Shocking honesty is sometimes a tactic
of my ego.
But my shocking honesty is an ant
compared to your cockroach.
Is bigger better? My penis is of
a medium size.
I clean the refrigerator.
Here, look, it is my poetic
license. It is valid.
Math. It must be very compelling.
I do not know it. Geometry and beyond,
I mean. Well, the basic basics are easy.
But algebra? Physics? What is calculus?
The school system I attended as a child
did me a great disservice.
The guck in the refrigerator
is black and brown and requires
Maybe my shocking honesty is to
yours as a Burger King whopper is to
the creative spark of a master chef.
I am commodity.
My function: to be loved. By everyone.
Sounds good. My refrigerator -- Our
new refrigerator was a gift -- a gift
from a random friend Don who didn't
even know our refrigerator was quickly
dying Synchronicity** is bullshit,
though, as I have explained to you in
the past. And now it stinks of Pine-Sol.
The goop inside it, jammed up into crazy
orifices and corners -- the goop that
required a sponge, Pine-Sol, Bon Ami,
rolls of paper towels, even a
chopstick (YES!) -- the goop --
the goop was like butterscotch,
gelatinized beer, a napalm you'd throw
at your friends -- I know you would,
Boy was the fridge a mess, especially
the freezer. It had the brown goop.
Maybe my shocking honesty is to yours
as a TV commercial set is to the big bang.
Or is that backward? What's the criteria?
Or was it ever a clear comparison?
It's not the depth, but the GAUD that makes it.
IT'S A KIND OF SNOBBISHNESS.
It's a technique. You'll find it in art,
in rock music. You'll find it in my letters.
Blur the familiar till it's unfamiliar --
or disguise it in some other way, so that
it gives just enough of itself to create interest
but not enough to open itself up to
You can't hear what the crazy singer says --
it just sounds good -- and THERE IT
GOES AGAIN -- you sometimes hear
a word you understand -- and it's an exciting
word -- and though the context isn't
understandable -- it excites (your brain creates
an ideal context) does it?
Can you imagine?
Alex, are you a three-toed hairy ground sloth?
Language gets in the way. Translating
my thoughts into English can be hard,
especially when the thoughts are flying.
Sometimes the translation is wrong
and even I can't figure out
what I was thinking about.
My slow handwriting may be
the cause also, though.
Onward through the heat
Where am I going?
Where am I going?
Maryland? (&? Mass.? Vt.? N.H.?)
And to where am I going that is not a place?
And you, Alex? ...
POSTSCRIPT ON THE BACK ON THE ENVELOPE:
Alex -- man -- there's lot's TO DO. The question I see is
"Why bothering doing it?" and at present my answer
706 Wayne Av.
Silver Spring, Md.
*P-K4: In the English chess notation, denotes a pawn move e2-e4.
**Synchronicity: Jung's concept of a coincidental occurrence of psychic and physical events
that seem to be related but cannot be explained by conventional mechanisms of causality.