To You

Paul Haines To You
Paul Haines: Unknown Location, late 1950s
Photo Courtesy of H. Pal Productions©2007

Is it because you have no foot, or feet, or are completely footless, and Victor the Englishman is your only friend, that unrealized promise is what gets kept against your will?

Innocent description bewilders you; successive description alone gives you the feeling. Falsely raised, you expect me to leap away. Yet Tuxedo appears here today as it appeared elsewhere, yesterday. What’s wrong is exactly what’s the matter.


—What is it now?

—Louise is getting married.

—Who is she?

Diving into the water isn’t one of the treasures of the ocean. When clicking occurs with large balls it is generally a sign that they are too hard. Lemon, lettuce, and cakes. You don’t select, you delete. And as far as that efficiency you seem to expect between you and music goes, any conclusion is premature, but keep an ear on the last agitated base. It is silly to wave goodbye. (Moments to music are not places to fail.) If any model (example) is a rough explanation, how much is that sick doggie in the window?

Celebrity will end and with it your prolonged, exploitative interpretation of the times. It was once thought silly to wave goodbye; now it is the part of the mind for which you are famous. You come from a family of nine-passenger automobiles, and have been trained to believe to the extent of your achievement.

Your circle is a critical one, you destroy what you cannot create, and you resent the strength necessary to withstand you. (You would make a dull whore, but as a virgin you would have an even lower standard of living. What wouldn’t you do to keep the summer house open?)

—It must have been an awful shock.

—You wouldn’t think so, but then you never know.

Musics are selflessly sympathetic, only every now and then a landlord’s life gets taken. J’irai peut-être en Amérique. Is it because you are so precociously accustomed to things that you fail to recognize music as a natural object? (And why must such a foolish amount of time be wasted in your getting used to music?) You come to cure nothing. If to the musics here you have a future, it is not an intriguing one: you will attend what you are invited to and speak when spoken to. Why can’t you feel what is wrong as weakly as what you feel is right? If it is important to have a careful chauffeur, why important because he is careful? What is the impression you wish heightened?

Not precisely? Then why listen as though respecting the covenants of an agreement made with an absent loved one? (In the company of a young German wife, kill a cow in a railroad car only to have you and your government impute the solution to Ted Tow? How much like you are you?)

The no-name no-shit jive

The woman I got her name is Fay the

woman I had ain’t got no name she shit

on me and I took her name away

Evade the subtle torture of your convictions. Stop being so careless with those who are unwilling to wait until a music dies enough to become amenable to your suggestions. Stop thinking of everything as some experimental theme to Western Man. Waive your goodbye. Change some. Reduce your raw purchases and agree that the new trust beyond yesterday’s love insists that no song be sung—become C.I.’s gentle borrower.

[A reminder: In America, jazz criticism is numerous, widely-spread, esteemed as art, and haven for the syndicated, the reactionary, and, of course, the businessman; composed of this, it can be likened to a body bore. A reminder: The new musics are seldom heard in America. For the musicians there is no bread sometimes, and never any promise of it. There are, however, the rude potencies of American record companies and their dictates; the flirtatious ignorance of American night-club owners; and, everywhere, the great persuasible American conscience. May gold bless their appropriateness. A reminder: With the exception of an occasional one-nighter—when the club would otherwise be closed—none of the musicians of the orchestra ever has “work” in America. He is not heard on American radio or seen on American television, and if he should begrudgingly be invited to appear at one of the profitable jazz festivals, some famous, mildly pleased jazz columnist may refuse to introduce him. Anti-jazz. (How misleading would it be to suggest that any of these musicians’ decision to knock the columnist down the stairs would be jazz?) A reminder: An absolute paltriness surrounds. Listen to roast and recall the perfunctory dismissal of one of the orchestra’s rare public appearances by a businessman-critic who did not mention Milford Graves.

Or attempt to reconcile the work of Shepp (who has dozens of people living off his feet) or Rudd (capable of anything, with the monumental impatience of a tattoo) or the estimable Bley, Tchicai, Swallow and Lacy (whose last recording date—with Don Cherry, and one of extreme brilliance—all but vanished the day it was released) with the hatred and derision peculiar to any apparent interest in them. A reminder: Mantler’s earlier writing for the orchestra, his significant work with Cecil Taylor, and all that is evidenced here. A reminder: Carla, her writing everywhere and, in terms of pleasure, her playing and the graceful welling]

We are otherwise poor enough.

We are all dependent, but not on each other. You shouldn’t worry about being such a hypocrite. Worry about taking what you don’t need. You’ll always be such a hypocrite. (Don’t the friends you keep tend to cooperate? Isn’t most of your time spent rounding life off to the nearest exit?)

Graves dug;

Dig jazz.

If, like you, Rubati my dear, all my feelings had their parallels, and what had previously appeared ashy were suddenly to become moderately warm only after I had sensed its hotness, I would try to put everyone else to sleep before I did my dance.

The conspicuous value of your filthy-thin complaints about “time” in jazz (too uppity?) is that they allow us a vision of you sitting and deploring as political Radio Moscow’s broadcasts in Quechua, the ancient language of the Incas, to 10 million Indians in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Northern Argentina, and a second vision of you standing and deploring as racial Brecht’s contention that his work might better be served if translated into English by a nonwhite.

A collective recognition is common to these performances. The time is intervital. (Communications #5 has a fine dance step to it which Mantler never breaks, and interactions arising from the playing which Mantler never prevents.) To cite to an excess, the breathing periods and the redundancies are remarkably free of superfluity. (Perhaps in this sense, a participator’s sport, but wounds are without exception impure.) Is it because you can’t hold contradictory ideas without becoming oppressively firm that you fail to notice tensions existing here with just the opposite effect of getting you uptight? Everything is not, as the businessman-critic would have it, one enormous prediction.

I know of your necessitous denial of whatever you are not on record as having predicted. I know that the most powerful justification is what causes fear. Never are your fears sweetened by their goodness. Your fear discharges love. (It is not certain what is meant by a Ranch Manager’s contract. Ask an Oul.)

One of your expressible concerns is that a barber glve you a military type haircut. Go to a woman you love and she won’t touch a hair on your head.

There was once an occasion when the heart burst from base to apex.

What can be expected, except that you remain an inaccurate source of abuse?

I love you.

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