The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

August 31, 2001


let me be in your presence and careful consideration this one last time,
i am of this firm belief, and of the hardest on myself; grant me now this;
in this broken life there are some moments of pure brilliance, substance;
let them speak; discard the worst of them; filter and winnow the rest;
i have come from nowhere and will go nowhere; read each and every letter;
give me the ability to fail; let one or another word falter; do not hold;
stave off the fear of oblivion; lift ever so slightly the gravestone;
what must it take to give weight to the words; catch texts from the brink;
as now she could hardly touch the keyboard without her fingers shaking;
presage of a career or futility; she would wake up in fright, sweating,
already she was running out of steam, the book was completed, closed off,
only the idea of obsession; already she felt her death far too near,
she thought, there were nothing to say in her work, or it was nothing,
over and over again, the same or slightly different substance; as if,
would appear the slightest bit meaningful, as if she only wrote once, but,
would ever be considered by itself of any importance, only the obsession
since no particular work, not even the book which took so long to write,
would, in the long run, be considered an idiot savant, horrible failure,
which was, would it not always be, proving impossible, and because of it,
that she would have to, therefore, continue to write at the same level,
that, because of the quantity of her work, expectations were always high,
ever, produce anything to live up to that work which had been hers alone,
worrying the language and terrified at the same time. that she would not,
below; reading in reverse immediately corrects everything, she thought,
as if one should have, in this case, a title, hanging down, an appendage,

the fear


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