J a c k   K i m b a l l




I've saved clippings that might amuse you or at least update your intake
of "the hidden order" around here which of course embraces more than
makeshift architecture with rhetoric-based formats which are considered
quite challenging within the context -- c'est à mon tour de me confondre
en excuses: n'ayant pas fait suivre à Paris mon courrier c'est seulement
à mon retour de France que j'ai pris connaissance de votre aimable
lettre though we met (three years ago?) in Fukuoka after I believe I
argued (for ten seconds) that the English sonnet parallels _haiku _ in
its dependency on concision but belated thanks dearly for the Easter
cards and the extraordinary fortitude in hunting me down in my
cave-headquarters here in Barnstable, Cape Cod -- anyway excuse me for
the rudeness of replying by wordprocessing but so far I have located Cid
Corman another ex-Bostonian who has lived in Kyoto for forty-plus years
and who has been a good friend of slightly more eminent poets such as
Snyder and Ginsberg yet comme le sujet n'est pas en lui-même si vaste je
ne pense pas devoir faire une très longue communication though it's
astonishing I think that I can use such vocabulary in writing you as
these words embody virgin scruples that just do not apply in the
prevailing trade climate and even everyday comity and my own situation
here in Japan for I enjoy the "looking out" perspective in many of my
exchanges crammed with poppies narcissus violets new shoots of palm fir
lilac and rose -- a New England reserve superimposed on all this so it
comes together with ceramic containers of rainwater (an essential
element in any green-blooded Thai garden) and from the "looking in" view
in my own hope to create a stir after a weekend of "blossom viewing" --
but I would like to relax the stakes in discussing your verses since we
have been writing for years right? the mountainous terrain in these
parts is very northern in fact not a palm tree in sight during the
yokagura which is an ancient dance repertoire exclusive to the major
shrine where in honor of Amaterrasu sun goddess and mother of Japan it's
only now beginning to feel like autumn as well as in palm-strung
Miyazaki in the south so that puts us about three months and miles
behind schedule from the Cambridge perspective because here autumn comes
first as a visual rather than climactic fluctuation complete with surges
of ruby hues in fields and by doorways but I feel like a citizen of
Hartford by way of Stevens and now you and the farmyards' berryladen
branches that hang from the little rain roofs we find as protective
tokens slotted just above most everyone's entrance and without regard to
any order here are some other suggestions regarding the brutal but
spectacular biz of composing poems -- no rain though and that's the
second sign fall is coming as the summery ten-minute downpours that you
expect every other day suddenly stop altogether and a week or ten days
later the air turns dry and much cooler because it changes direction
moving southerly to easterly or something over the last half year or so
with many near-calamities -- typhoons quasi-tsunamis earthquakes shaking
things up a bit so I'm writing more poetry now making one of the dances
a kind of preening exercise by Ameno-Usume local tough guy and a god in
his own right who stations himself just outside Amaterrasu's cave
jumping grunting and wiggling so provocatively I hadn't counted on going
back to Perth Amboy this year but it seems that I will be embarking
after several minutes of this as A-U succeeds in luring the unsuspecting
Amaterrasu from her hiding place leading directly according to the logic
of allegory to dancing among gods and goddesses and quite recklessly the
escalation of best wishes to you both

Two new collections of Jack Kimball's poems will be published in 2001.
Kimball teaches in MIT's Program in Writing.