[Here's one more set of documents from the jail cells of the late Harold Carrington -- I've heard from several of you who are interested in this little-known figure from the Beat era. Hope these letters will bring more readers to Carrington's small body of work and perhaps lead to the recovery of more.]
Two things I've written
here, let me know what
TO THE CHALLANG-
SWEET & VIRGINED
AND THE NIGHT YOUR BODY
AGAINST THE CRAZY CHORD PROGRESSIONS
OF MY TONGUE
AN ORGY IN CRESCENDO!
YOU NEVER ACQUIRED MY TASTE
NOR DUG THE CHANGES
OF MY BEARD...
[STAMPED IN INK ON REVERSE OF PAGE:
Notice: No food, articles of wearing Apparel, Candy, Tobacco, Cigarettes, Books, Magazines, Papers, Etc., will be permitted sent to inmates by mail or otherwise.
ATLANTIC COUNTY JAIL]
FOR JONATHAN WILLIAMS--
THOUGHT I'D HAVE HEARD FROM YOU BY NOW, I IMAGINE YOU ARE PERHAPS TOO BUSY TO WRITE--
I WANT TO THANK YOU AGAIN FOR REFERRING ME TO WALTER LOWENFELS, A VERY GOOD MAN & EXCELLENT POET, I AM INDEED FORTUNATE IN MEETING HIM, HE DROPPED IN ON ME YESTERDAY__MAINLY HE SEEMED AMAZED, & PERHAPS, APPALED BY THE FACT THAT WE ARE NOT PERMITTED READING MATTER HERE, WHICH MEANS THAT, NOT ONLY IS ONE REFUSED THE OPPORTUNITY FOR STUDY, BUT FURTHER THAT ONE CANNOT KEEP ABREAST WITH PRESENT HAPPENINGS IN THE COUNTRY, WORLD ETC-- BUT AS THEY SAY "THINGS ARE GETTING BETTER", MAYBE EVEN HERE--
HAVE MADE INQUIRIES TO 8TH ST. REGARDING BOOKS YOU MENTION, BUT AS I SAY, NOT PERMITTED HERE, SO WILL HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL I AM SOMEPLACE ELSE TO MAKE A PURCHASE--ANOTHER MONTH OR SO, AFTER TRIAL WHICH IS DUE IN TWO THREE WEEKS--
ALSO WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF BOOKS BY ZUKOFSKY & OLSON'S "MAXIMUS POEMS" STILL AVAILABLE THRU YOU I.E. THE PURCHASE OF THEM--HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO UNDERSTAND ENTIRELY WHAT THEY ARE SAYING IN THEIR WORK__PARTICULARLY ZUKOFSKY__THIS I THINK COMES FROM NOT HAVING READ ENOUGH OF THEIR WORK__ANYWAY, AM TRYING HARD "TO GET TO THEM" AS LITTLE I DO GRASP SAYS TO ME "THEY ARE VERY IMPORTANT, DO NOT MISS"--
HAVE NOT WRITTEN ANYTHING IN LAST MONTH OR SO__MAINLY CONCERNED NOW WITH STUDY & UNDERSTANDING WHAT I AM TRYING TO DO & HOW TO DO IT__WOULD LIKE TO ASK YOU IF YOU THINK IT POSSIBLE TO CONVEY FUNK IN WRITING SAY AS MILT JACKSON, HORACE SILVER OR BOBBY TIMMONS DO IN MUSIC, I MEAN AS LIKE IT IS CONVEYED IN FIGURES LIKE "BAG'S GROOVE", BY MODERN JAZZ QUARTET OR BOBBY TIMMONS' "MOANIN'" ALSO WOULD LIKE TO ASK WHAT THE WORD "ANDROGYNE" TO THE FRIEND" (BLK. MT. REVIEW, SPRING '56)__WORD NOT IN DICTIONARY I HAVE__PLEASE EXCUSE MY IGNORANCE__
WELL, THANKS AGAIN RE/WALTER LOWENFELLS__HOPE YOU WILL WRITE WHEN YOU WILL__
P.S.HOPE YOUR JUNE READING IS A SUCCESS!!
from 4/10/61 letter to Williams
"still haven't produced the complete jazz thing yet, but the intent is there...like creeley says: i recognize a frog by its structure...well like, i want to recognize my jazz poem by its structure plus get the same or similar impression i get on hearing jazz plus originality plus swingin' plus profundity plus the great god FUNK plus which all in all is a large order plus which after reading the poem you can see the need for study..."