Wednesday, July 24, 2013

missing link?

broken link

[on seeing an online photo of an intern going through clancy sigal's papers at the ransom]

while googling myself a few years ago
i discovered that norman mailer
had sold his papers 
to the harry ransom center
at the university of texas at austin
and there was my name
as one of his correspondents
in an index to the boxes of letters
he saved, probably a dozen 
letters of mine over thirty years

i used to check the site occasionally
to remind myself of my brush with greatness
at the notorious 1968 democratic convention
i'd gotten an autograph and we'd
exchanged a few meaningless words before
he flew back to provincetown
i later sent him a letter to criticize his version
of existential philosophy and he sent
a fuck you reply, but it was a friendly fuck you
so i continued to send praise or blame
over the years
for his numerous works and he'd reply
as the mood struck him but he put my letters
into a file, evidently, quite the pack rat, aware
that someday the biographers would
come lurking

                       but yesterday
i discovered that the link is dead
and navigating the site is now restricted
the harry ransom center requires you
set up an account--life keeps getting
so much more complicated 
it was easier at the convention
when the humphrey people voted down
the peace plank, meaning we'd stay
in the war for good--as we have--
you knew then, finally,
where the establishment

was going, and it did

may 2013

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