18 March 2008

Paul Metcalf told me

I'd like Jonathan Williams.

as I recall my first letter from Jonathan   however   was mostly business: wanting to know if Kent State had enuf money to pay him for a reading. that was in feb of 1973. in the fall of that year I publishd my salute to him "At the Tyger Drive-In with Col. J. Wms" in Vort.

in may of 1976 Jonathan & Tom Meyer came to visit for the first time. I was living in Twin Lakes. we drove to Hart Crane's birthplace in nearby Garretsville & drank a great deal. I documentd this in "Footnotes to a Visit in the County of Hart Crane's Birth" which appeard in Liszt & Other Lists publishd later that same year.

in addition to drinking & laughing & eating well the three of us enjoyd skinnydipping in my swimming pool. one day Jonathan took this of me:

in nov of that year I visitd Mary Ann Begland in Kentucky at the same time they were visiting Guy Davenport. so we connectd   sharing Jonathan Greene's floor for a nite. & the next month I visitd them in Highlands where I became greenish after smoking my only cigar while polishing off most of a bottle of rum.

during a 1981 visit to Kent Jonathan met my father. ironically they died 16 days apart.

in addition to being poet & publisher Jonathan also was a remarkable photographer. I believe it was during his 1986 visit to Kent that I arrangd for him to show his slides in Special Collections. he surprisd & delightd me by including one of the ones he'd done of me in the pool a decade earlier.

this is the last photo of me with the Jargon gentleman (taken in my Morris Rd backyard in spring of 1990):

in 1993 Jonathan honord me with a tribute "Alex (Alfresco)" which appeard in Gildzen at 50: A Celebration. & Jonathan appears in my book from last year It's All a Movie. I had hoped to visit in Highlands in may or june.