17's for Lou

(On reading Joys and Perplexities)

you write of peni and diarrhea, and bill climbing (always) and

mary and jack (our old friends) and partch and cage and henry cowell, and

teaching, and all those old greeks, and brandon, and new zealand, aptos and

java, and monochords and the bomb, and a litany (where's quechua?).

and i read it all, and my first thought: where does he get the f---ing time?

but there's always been time. for us (you showed us what it means to be and

to do) and for work. all our lives, we pick up many things, but we have

to give them all back. when cage died you said to jody (i hate the phone)

"now there's just me and hovhaness." but peter said (postcard, from java)

"now there's just lou and conlon." both wrong: there's me and jody and peter

and paul and so many others, and partly because of you, we don't

have to give it all back. we are the ones living in other places.

so go ahead and write about avicenna and vd and mumps

and be your own font as you have been to others, and paint, and sign, and

while you're at it, knock out a few more symphonies, and some large gendhing.

we'll never have to give these back. nor trade them in for the new models.

When i'm done and i've done what you've done, i'll write about urinals too.

larry polansky

september 15, 1992

lebanon, new hampshire