Dear Billy, my lad—

Through channels as intricate as life itself, I have in hand a copy of Stylus. Thank you, thank you. Indeed I am not dead, though more I cannot say. You are, God bless you, one of the three people in the world who conceivably could care. I sound intolerably grim about it, after all it is a witty poem, worthy of your fine mind, and I am honored to find it dedicated to me, honored is hardly the word...But frankly, excuse me, I am moved by this, deeply, and as usual unable to express myself—forgive me. Thank you, thank you./ But Billy it does take me back, your poem, hurls me back with such emptiness to our cold days in Lex, the Tottle House, the Green Dome, Fetter man & his stinking dogs...Tell me how I fell into the house of a weight lifter, will you,/ how I ended up at the Derby with a julep in hand ...And Winston with his ascots and chemistry set, the man actually slept in my bed, his beard each morning stuck up into the fetid air ...And Grant C. keeping his profile among the press of students, I miss the man...But I have forgotten the name of the lady in your peom—poem—excuse me—though I do recall her suave tongue and vaginal intensity. And her squalid brain, which I now forgive. /Poetry indeed redeems, you are far the better poet, Billy, I could not have written such incisive lines for that dark lady, I being part of the pot. Thank you.