P. O. BOX 500
BORDENTOWN, N. J.
december 28, 1958
dear leroi jones,
I recently started a yearly subscription to your poetry magazine YUGEN, I would like to congratulate you on having one of the finest quarterlies available.
in reading YUGEN 3 & the previous issues of YUGEN i've become very much interested in the work of barbara moraff & would like to read more of her things. would you please let me know if its possible to get anymore of her work or if she has a book of poems available, & if so, how I can obtain them.
P. O. BOX 500
BORDENTOWN, N. J.
Dear LeRoi Jones:
Just a short one to inquire about YUGEN 4, as to when it will be out or if possibly you might send the two issues I asked about in my previous letter as I've absolutely nothing to read, Ray having taken nearly all with him. We've (Nick & I, my tenor playing friend) read YUGEN enough to recite the entire issue by heart, to give an example of the situation.
What has Ray done with his plans for RIFF! (the jazz-poetry mag. to end all mag.) gone ahead or abandoned them indefinitely? & what has become of Thunder Bird Suite?
One day he (Ray) & I searched his memory for a Negro Lady Poet, to no avail. I finally found one Margaret Walker, tell him about her for me. The book I read of hers was an ancient one, pub. about 1945 by Yale Univ. Press, edited by Stephen Vincent Benet. I believe she teaches school someplace in the south, but don't know if she still writes. I think Ray will enjoy her (if he can find the book), but perhaps you've read her yourself & already told him about her.
Let me hear from you soon, the books &c.
Dear Roi Jones,
Recently I wrote to Ray Bremser in care of YUGEN, as I had been unable to reach him at his Jersey City address, and do not know his NYC address, please pass it on to him if and when you see him
After my last letter from you while I was at Bordentown I returned to Atlantic City, unfortunately I lasted only a few weeks and am now in the County Jail, worse yet we are not allowed any paperbacks so I'll have to discontinue Yugen until some later date, exactly when I can't say--
Enclosed, I'm sending a short poem about a woman I met while on the streets this last time, perhaps you can use it in Yugen or if not, possibly you might make some comment on it...
Also if there are and hardbacks available by yourself or any of the people who've appeared in Yugen I hope you will let me know about them, as we are allowed to have them here,
I hope you will let me hear from you soon--
Happy New Year--
the pungent odor of your too thin winter coat
or acrid armpits
your white eyes after ancora's six months
your clouding of your own eyes with one free beer
your euphorian stupor riding a six-man train
your outhouse mouth--
your actual infection of a young drunk of thirteen
sixteen cents short in the blank night of 9:45
your gurgling throat gurgling frantically in the spittle
of empty bottles
your drunken falsetto--
your 87 lbs.
your black skin screaming anything for a dollar in
the white bar
your vague knowledge of little children running across
your collapsed body in the raining doorway of
new jersey avenue school--
their curiosity wetting your matted hairs