He becomes less & less attractive till he is coming to
resemble Jesus Christ.
His poetry becomes less & less comprehensible till it
begins to resound with pure music.
These things are happening before he reaches forty. Will
he reach forty.
he is in good shape. He does not play ball & he is in
good condition. His face is no longer deteriorating, it
is being cut into the shape of music & he does not think
it is only funny. I never thought it was funny but now
I begin to come to think it is more than just funny.
It is almost as if he lives in Babyland.
When he came back from England he was riding a bicycle
& wearing shorts & he lookt tanned & healthy on Yew
Street. He did not resemble Jesus Christ in any way &
I didn't want to hear his poetry because I thought it
wasnt even funny.
Now he does not resemble England in any way, his great
brittle nose rises like roots from the moist soil of
the west coast, his bicycle lies in parts resting in some
unknown person's shed.
He carries snails & slugs with him, they are dry in a
match box or moist on a stick from the soil of his back
yard on the coast.
That is what you do down Yew St. on a bicycle, it is
so steep, & it is not funny if you cannot stop at the
The better work men do is always under stress & at great
His flesh falls away exposing the bones & that is exactly
what he is coming to let his poetry do & I come to hear
Reprinted with the kind permission of the author from George Bowering's Curious, originally published by Coach House Press, 1973.
The drawing was executed in Paint Brush by Jamie Reid.