The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

People and Sleeping

From Al Wilson I learned you have to tune your instruments
carefully. From Vito Acconci I learned I wasn't an artist and to
only look at masterpieces. From Laurie Anderson I learned I was
an artist. From Clark Coolidge I learned that it was okay to go
as far as possible, and then turn around and find out it's still
safe. From I.A. Richards I learned I have talent. From Keith
Waldrop I learned I was a real artist. Because I can't sleep, I
count my breaths, read, write, shower, cry, masturbate, cuddle,
type this, script, send email, imagine a great iron sphere,
imagine four-dimensional projections, think about theory and
aphorisms, take sleeping pills and melatonin, brush my hair.
From Kathy Acker I learned never to take my chances with a
hippy. From Dad I learned I was a wastrel and a nincompoop. From
Jabes I learned the virtues of condensation. From Foofwa I
learned the value of mastery and intense preparation. From Darcy
Lange I learned the virtue of speed. From John Todd I learned
how to write. From Azure Carter I learned most of all. From --
----- I learned betrayal and I won't betray. From Gerald Jones I
learned the American way of bad dying. Because I can't sleep,
I've learned the value of lists, the necessity of half-truths,
the art of being quiet. But people have taught me nothing and I
am awake in the middle of the night.

Next day: In the middle of the night I am a coward. In the
middle of the night I rake over old stories, crash-land "on a
constant basis." I woke and slept and woke and slept today. I
lost and gained a career. Where are the shakuhachi's high notes?
Nada, Azure, and I had an amazing Japanese dinner. I continue to
pursue the recording with Azure's songs. Steve has the master
for the instrumental. I write this useless paragraph as an
epitaph to the one above, bringing narrative to a halt as I once
again try to sleep in the nearby future.

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