from the diary: “Thursday 4/2/87
“Got a letter yesterday from First Leaves; they took two of my poems – ‘Can’t Be Put Back Together’ and ‘New Suit.’”
First Leaves was the SRJC campus literary annual. It did not restrict its choices to students & faculty as many campus lit mags do. I’d gotten a poem in it three years earlier. I remember a staff member telling me there were votes to put all three of my poems in, but in fairness to others (there being only so many pages) an argument to hold each contributor to no more than 2 works won out. Thus “Blah de blah”, a dialect piece that Don Emblen liked missed the cut. I no longer feel the … confidence? is that the right word? the colonial prerogative? is that more PC? … to write in dialect. Other varieties of English will turn up in fragmentary form these days in poems in which everything is essentially fragmentary and the register swings from high to low, jargon to jargon, fact to impossibility within the space of a line.