from "Letter to Gary Buttone"
by Jack Spicer

Bohemia is a dreadful, wonderful place. It is full of hideous people and beautiful poetry. It is a hell full of windows into heaven. It would be wrong of me to drag a person I love into such a place against his will. Unless you walk into it freely, and with open despairing eyes, you can't even see the windows. And yet I can't leave Bohemia myself to come to you-- Bohemia is inside of me, in a sense is me, was the price i paid, the oath i signed to write poetry.
I think that someday you'll enter Bohemia-- not for me (I'm not worth the price, no human being is), but for poetry-- to see the windows and maybe blast a few yourself through the rocks of hell. I'll be there waiting for you, my arms open to receive you.

But let's have these letters go on, whether it be days, years, or never before I see you... And we can continue to love each other, by letter, from alien worlds.


[c. 1951-52]

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