Volume 7 of Raw Forming: 1967-68 August-September  work & days: a lifetime journal project  

40 Clergy Street









Part 1 hitchhiking from Alberta to Kingston. Part 4 camping trip with Greg, treaty project job, Don and Olivia leave for England, the end of final year at Queen's.

Mentioned: Greg Morrison, Michel de Salabery, Olivia and Don Carmichael, Jerry Reznick, Paul Epp, Judy Epp, Peter Harcourt, Kerry McSweeney, Liz Robinson, John Glassco, Krista Maeots, Madeleine Murray, Jackie Roddick, Carol Dresser, Bill Volk, Pat Ranch, Tony Tugwell, Christine and Peter Dyck, Michael Fox, Andrea Maitland, David Cox, Marilyn Cox, Hugh Lawford, Richard Partington, Bill McGee, Arnold Dresser, Peter Martillo, Bron Wallace.

40 Clergy Street, 15 Sydenham Street, 28 Maitland St, 30 William St, the Gatineau Escarpment at Mountain Road, MacDonald Park, Hunting Island State Beach.

Brahms violin concerto, Expo in Montreal, Good day sunshine, United Nations film called To Be Alive, Reik The third ear, Sylvia Ashton-Warner Spinster, Jules et Jim, Le devoir, Look or the keys to art, Henry Murray, Notebooks of Hesse-Briggs, B & B Commission Report, Diary of Anais Nin, Warrendale, A Man and a Woman, Lady L, Sartre, Browning Caliban upon Setbos, Doris Lessing, Monique Leyrac Mon Pays, Tennyson In Memoriam, Adam Bede, Huis Clos, Diary of a Chambermaid, The Golden Coach, Thompson Northern River, Thames and Hudson Van Gogh, photograph of Top Withens, the winter Olympics, the Canadian Constitutional Conference, Kierkegaard, Mitchell Sharp, Pierre Trudeau, Diefenbaker, Beryl Fox Last reflections on a war, Bande à Part, Bach Nur Ein Schlummer and Who Ich Jesum Finde, Ne me quitter pas, Hegel, Dürer, Lord of the rings, The Alexandria quartet, George Eliot, Sidney Hook on Marx and Hegel, Yeats, Heidegger, Gass Omensetter's luck, Styron Set this house on fire, Perry Como, Napoleon Hill self-improvement course, Hunting Island State Beach, Beaufort, Parris Island female marines, Jauchtzet Gott in Allen Länden, Kinderscenen, Pierre Léger, Gauguin print, Laura Nyro, Ivan the Terrible Part II, Agee in Agee's letters to Father Flye, The General Line.

Kingston 9 August 1967

I must remember the moment during Olivia's wedding reception when Don replied to a toast. The living room and dining room were full of people in new dresses talking to each other with champagne glasses in their hands. Don had had to respond warmly to many steamy faces. Paul from next door made a gay and appropriately sarcastic speech in toasting the bride. When Don was to reply - he was speechless; I could tell that he was refusing this time to play sophistication and I knew it was because he was being asked to deny Olivia - in effect - by selling his feelings for her to the steamy faces' laughter. He stood awkwardly and said that Olivia was a wonderful woman and that he hoped to make her happy as she deserved. I was embarrassed for him, and so stung by his desperate vulnerability that I ran away to cry a little in the bathroom, but was caught on the stairs and brought back to be toasted. Later as we were driving to Myrna's, I did begin to cry and Greg knew it was about Don, so he stopped among the neon puddles off Yonge Street and held me anxiously.

Something has happened with Greg - Greg is so much a part of me now that I am eager to tell him about Jerry, about Don, Rasheed, Frank. Things that are important to me seem to need sharing with him; he is a kind of hub with my self, and I cannot any longer exclude him jealously from what touches me. He's central, not peripheral - he's not the Other but he is - not another self, not an extension of myself - this is difficult to describe - something like what Mitchell described: someone who stands back to back with me to see the other half of this 'terrible' world: ie he too is central and perceiving rather than perceived, but at the same time I can look at and touch him and not feel myself looked at or touched. What it is is nothing romantic - 'unity' of lovers etc - but simply the fact that I'm safe enough with him not to filter my responses or feel a need of self-presentation-preservation, yet at the same time am pleased or annoyed with him as an object, touchable, whiskery (he's growing a stiff red beard that makes his eyes beautiful), smelling of body and Right Guard, wet under the armpits when he makes love strenuously, hairy legged , large-handed; he walks with his feet straight ahead of each other, like a tightrope walker, but loosely. It makes him seen pigeon toed. He wears a pair of white denim shorts fringed above the knees, with a patch on the inside right thigh - usually he is barefoot or in sandals; he wears an assortment of baggy shirts or turtle-necked jerseys stretched out at the bottom. He has a beautiful childlike mouth; a large solid wide-boned frame.

The confusion about touching Jerry reminds me of my famous (to me only) promiscuity: when my friends are men I want to sleep with them, at least put my arms around them.

I decided several weeks ago, suddenly, in the periodicals library that I am going to become a film-maker.

18 August

"A return to understanding by simply looking" from Look or the Keys to Art.

"Like the other arts, literature has the power to enrich the imagination and to clarify thought and feeling." What was Walley's comment about Olivia's essay? It struck me as the most precisely relevant criticism possible for any writing: it involved the necessity for clarity of feeling.

Can a film have clarity of feeling?

24 September

Woke on Sunday morning, drops of rain on the top panes of the window, very little light to read the Notebooks of Hesse-Briggs by, as Greg slept. When he woke he moved to put one arm around me and his head against the side of mine so that when I looked sideways I could see only the delicate white skin around his eyes, an eyelid and the beginning of his red beard (separate curling hairs distinct along the cheek profile). His arm across me isn't heavy; it gathers me up in a friendly, certain way; it is a long well-made arm and this Sunday morning I feel wide awake, warm, happy under it. Later he wakes up and we get excited quietly. Being with him is good all day.

Because it is very cold tonight, he wears his leather jacket for the first time this year. He smells like last year's autumn and the evenings in my bright room after dinner when we lay on my bed with our arms around each other.

10 October

I can't 'handle' people: I've never wanted to handle them, only something else, vague. Have them tell me suddenly and joyously what their life is like, as has happened once or twice. Or strike a sudden mutual humor with me, even an irony or an admiring battle (Al Lalier, the Englishman in the Aston-Healey) - as long as somehow we two recognize each other and explore, guess, pry, laugh - and do not hand back and forth silently our cards.

I've no patience with formules de politesse, I've always been so irritated by them. When Don went away I went home so I wouldn't have to say goodbye to him, and good luck and you'll never write but he came to my room to get a book and we said it anyway.

At the boat they stood by the gangplank and Olivia said some things until I turned - not as instantaneously as my 'beau moment' demanded - and climbed the tinny ramp to cross the foyer and the square and the empty streets to the Gare Centrale.

My 100 watt bulb is surrounded by sleeping moths, soft brown stenciled wings.

Oct 15


We're having a beautiful fall; there's one tree down the street on which each leaf is both red and gold, the colors shading into one another from the stem outward - with its black branches, this tree is a kind of new miracle every time I walk by it.

I am taking the film course now; and it's possibly the best course I've ever had. It is taught by Peter Harcourt, a young man just back from years of study in England. He's lovely. A small man with brown hair and a soft brown moustache, warm brown eyes; a sort of childish tilted smile. He stands in front of his class and just talks - he looks at notes, "No, they're pompous," and doesn't lecture from them but says whatever floats to the top of his mind - usually good. It's not his brilliance as an intellect, but his spontaneity, his warmth, his arrogance complicated by his sense of humor, his enthusiasm for films - and his tilted smile.

Another young teacher is [Kerry] McSweeney in Victorian lit - he looks like a rather stupid high school basketball player - big and gentle with round brown eyes and a cowlick. This is his first year teaching, I think, but he's very good. He seems still to be able to respond to what he teaches and he's obviously intelligent.

17 October


Rain, red leaves on the sidewalk brilliant under a film of water, mist between the trees in MacDonald Park. Individual trees by the lake cut elegantly into the soft wet furry sky. Chandeliers, turquoise-blue wallpaper in the doctors' houses fringing the park, white fanlights, stained glass, black iron knockers. Burlap curtains over students' second floor windows. Walls furred over with ivy; Liz Robinson in boots and bluejeans hesitating outside a door on West Street. I've been walking as I used to in first year, looking into windows, stealing flowers, eating a chocolate bar.

24 October

The old anxiety is so strong this fall. I seem not to have grown at all.

30 October

This morning I spoke for over an hour on Tennyson's thinking in In Memoriam, relation to Kant's transcendental illusion; use of science as new imaginative compost, neuroticism of his love for Hallam, his lack of negative capability, ambiguity present in his use of Hallam's death, first as an emotional centre for his life and second as a formula manipulated rhetorically. I spoke to a large extent off the cuff and did some thinking as I spoke. When I finished I was exhausted. No one had interrupted. McSweeney said, "That was very good - quite brilliant." And all day I've been happy with a sense of capability: I can do English and succeeded this time in thinking, working, with great concentration and effectiveness at the same time as speaking. I am more articulate in speaking than I used to be.

Sunday November 26


It's been a good Sunday afternoon - Greg and I took Krista out into the country to wander in a nearby game preserve with moss, ferns, glacial rocks, and beavers. Krista [Maeots] is a new friend - she's editor of the Journal this year and I've gotten to know her during film classes as well as when I bring in film reviews. We've made friendly gestures for some time. I'm glad to know her because she's a remarkable person, especially remarkable as a girl. When she left high school in Calgary she worked as a reporter for the Calgary Herald for two years. This year she's finishing a BA in political science and English. She's blond, blue-eyed, and looks fourteen - she nearly always goes to classes and parties in bluejeans and cowboy boots. Her voice is a husky little whisper - no one would guess how capable she is. She too hitchhiked east by herself, from Calgary, this summer!

[undated letter]

Among my papers I found a journal note written I think when I was seventeen. It described a scene like this: I was studying by lamplight, actually daydreaming when you came in and asked, "Are you studying or are you writing a letter?" "Studying." "But you weren't thinking of studies were you?" "No." "You had that look on your face. Don't look that way - yes, do look that way, it's you. It's just that when you look that way I feel as tho' it's me sitting there."

3 December


My face has changed in the last three years. People who knew me before I went to Europe don't always know it. There I am at the bottom of the mirror, like a fish lying on the bottom of a round-sided jar: face with hair falling down on either side, circles around my eyes (hard, adult eyes, like round stones). It has a large, raw look about it, aggressive when still, or stony and resistant, rather blunt: strong but not warm. When I smile the effect is different, there's an eyebrow-raised shift in the contours so that my long sullen cheeks bunch up under my eyes.

7 December

Mad Murray at the Cine-Guild meeting in her green knit dress, across the table from me showing me the green in her eye, standing at an office doorway with the overhead light making her hair brassy, coming downstairs with me after having left the cream out in the English lounge, both of us laughing as we walked over the stiff frozen grass and sliding on the black surface of the sidewalks after a freezing rain.

Harcourt's arm along the side of mine during a segment of Diary of a Chambermaid this afternoon, moments when I was at ease during my presentation this afternoon, the feeling of euphoria afterwards because it had gone well. Outcroppings of arrogance from time to time - about being able to think or write, or play, or speak as well as, the better.

11 December

For our last (Christmas) class, Harcourt showed The Golden Coach with Anna Magnani as Columbine - solid face, hard round eyes, incredulous scraping voice, "Ferdinand, sit down!" and a laugh like stones bumping down an incline - a landslide. "Do you miss them?" "A leetle." Harcourt rising from the waves of seats as the lights come on, peer at him over the tops of my knees, the audience has been close for nearly two hours, it's been funny, we've been aware of each other's laughs and comments, we're slow to leave but I hurry because I haven't anything to say - just jump up to look at my bottom in the mirror and go down the Ellis Hall steps in pointed-toed leaps. Stars brilliant, turquoise blue sky, cold, Steve behind, then across the street, where's Harcourt, leap across sidewalks, God someone's watching, runs across the street, Harcourt I feel as though I wish I had a very good friend. What would you do? Not talk; run to the park or jump over cracks like these, here between the parked cars and the frozen Chemistry Building grass, both feel as I do, know it.

Saturday evening

[undated letter]

In film class last Thursday I had to lead the class discussion. Peter Harcourt talked me into it - he's had a student do it once before but we don't usually like to because the class is large and rather intimidatingly intelligent. The film I was to discuss was Bunuel's Diary of a Chambermaid, a rather complex ambiguous film - I think Peter was pleased with the discussion because a few people spoke (my friends!) who don't usually say anything. The best part was picking up momentum and losing shyness.

Don't forget the Christmas pudding recipe.

Saturday Dec 16


I've been wanting to tell you about the apartment at 40 Clergy East - the winter atmosphere which is really very pleasant - on the first landing, two cats' dishes - when either of them hear the rattle of the cat food in the saucers they drop from the second landing like missiles, and there's usually a funny contest between them to see who'll eat at one of the bowls while the other is ignored. Music coming from the first floor - my lauds, or jazz or folk-rock or The Creation - from Greg's record player which is constantly on while he works. When he recognizes my uneven clumping on the stairs he usually whistles to make sure and then comes out to hug me hello - shortly afterwards Michel comes downstairs to make coffee or get one of his many snacks or show Greg something queer he's found in one of their politics texts - he says "bonjour" always (and on the telephone, "âllo," asserting his Frenchness) and likes to sit down across the table in the kitchen while the kettle boils to talk about politics to Greg, or people and his experiences in Mexico to me. If it's early afternoon we all hang around until 1:30 p.m. and listen for the thump of the mail as it's tossed inside the door downstairs. Michel always gets a letter or two, every day, and his Montreal newspaper. Greg gets things from universities and I usually end up with library notices.

Meanwhile Cat is sleeping on the radiator in Greg's room, or if it's sunny, on the wide windowsill beside his desk. Petercat comes in hungry, mieuws until he's fed, and then goes to sleep in Olivia's old red armchair in the hall. Greg's two rooms are tidy - large bed flat on the floor under a very low-silled window, covered with a red woven thing. Many books, sound of typing or else of pots scraping in the kitchen as somebody cooks, with a speaker from the phonograph led in for company. Smells of all kinds - a lot of oatmeal smells when Greg cooks and baked potato smells when Michel cooks.

Wednesday February 21, Ottawa

Back at the big house on Monkland Avenue, having an aperitif before dinner, while Neil talks expansively about the fall of the Liberals - he was there the night it happened, as he's advising Sharp and spends his days in conference with the hysterical politicians trying to see how to save the party - funny stories, worries, prejudices, opinions. I feel left out in a family so political, because I've not a shred of political feeling. But this crisis has resemblances to a novel: here's Sharp, finance minister and maybe the next Prime Minister - that walking cadaver! - surrounded by an entourage who've staked their next two months' salary and maybe future, on Sharp remaining a candidate. Threats of his resignation? But the money contributed! All these people from Vancouver! From Halifax! And the field mustn't be left open to Trudeau! That Trudeau! Suddenly Canadian politics are dramatic, and the line-up for the visitors' gallery at the House is like a line-up for a football game. Red headlines for newspapers for three days now. The house full of newspapers, Diefenbaker on television with his wattles quivering with glee. We'll have to be sure to catch that newscast. Not me.

I hitchhiked here last Saturday morning from Kingston - a bright morning with clean snow - but didn't remember to check for the temperature. It seemed very cold, and although the sun was beautiful, there was a high wind drifting snow across the hill overlooking Kingston - but I soon had one short ride, then a quarter mile walk, then another short walk, a ride from two hippy-looking friendly people whose baby couldn't, wouldn't, take her eyes off me the whole time I was in the car.

Then a thin blond boy in a St Remy Motors towtruck, who told me of his ambition to climb from garage mechanic to high school shop teacher: "Some people can stay on that Dupont job, not me. I don't know if I can make it. It's a long way to climb." Then a little man with a brown goatee and wire rims, a red-cheeked kindly look - an Austrian, thirty years in Canada, who'd come over as a young man when Canada was advertised as the land of jobs for everyone - still had a heavy accent, broken speech with incongruously colloquial expressions mixed with 'mit's and 'und's. His back seat was covered with a blanket and full of knobs - he was a Raleigh traveler like the Raleigh men who used to visit us. He talked about the families that still invite salesmen to stay for dinner - said they're decreasing. I remember liking it when Father invited the Fuller and Raleigh men for meals - they were strangers and therefore glamorous. And like Jack Arnold they had stories. He drove at forty miles an hour and I was glad because the countryside was brilliant and my feet - poked between brown bottles toward the heater ­ were warming.

When he let me off where he turned into a lane, I had to walk down a winding stretch. There weren't many cars. A snowplow looked as though it would have stopped for me. There was a typically decrepit Eastern Ontario farm beside the road, but the sunlight was so white and the air so clear that every building, every tree, every nail out of place and every bit of bark stood out - perfectly defined and beautiful, black and white in a stern composition with blue sky, a rotting old yellow school bus. I wanted to take a picture. (More of that later.)

Eventually another car stopped - a long faced English-looking French Canadian with the back of his car full of ice-fishing gear. He became quite friendly after a while, when he discovered that I was interested in fishing and not a hussy after all, not visibly anyway. He went a little out of his way to take me to the other side of Smith Falls. There was another wait, shivering, in the usual medium-town wasteland of boarded-up drive-in shacks, trucker restaurants, service stations with tattered banners snapping desolately, dirty banks of snow.

The car that stopped was a family - an Evangelical-looking couple with two children and a white haired neighbour with Mrs Hamm's graciousness. They were going to Ottawa - so we went on through the beautiful afternoon - trees, fences, clean banks of snow all look beautiful to me after being Kingston-bound so long. The neighbour talked about her growing up in Estevan, her problems with getting nurses' training in the 30s - I told her about you - I'm really proud of you and I brag about you - also because she reminded me of you, with her warmth and intelligence.

When we got to Ottawa I was full of the trip - I always become very fond of Canada when I hitchhike, its diversity, the good-intentioned friendly people, the sense of all these lives so different and all so important to their owners. When I shut up at last Greg told me the wind chill temperature out there was - 30o, but I didn't believe it - I know what 30 below is like.

10 March


I never talk about Viet Nam, and it has permeated my apolitical amoral world and makes me avoid newscasts, avoid America, refuse to talk or think about the war, leaf quickly past the front pages and past photographs in magazines. My room has its images of serenity and is itself my image of style as serenity but there are no pictures of Viet Nam in it. Tonight The Way It Is showed "Last Reflections on a War," Beryl Fox's film made as a tribute to Bernard Fall. Fall's wife read a letter he had written from Viet Nam. Beryl Fox made a brief statement, "Bernard Fall was my friend. He taught me ..." Her long neck, her fragile small face, her fine fragile features, her exact, slow enunciation. My emotion is ambiguous - tears only at the addition of a folksong and images of riverboats, happiness. The thought that 'one' must be accountable for the most serious error of all modern life and something like fear at the risk so barely imagined - not quite fear because so easily put out of mind. And of course surprise and envy, or envious hope, because this young beautiful woman person made the film, saw and listened and made this of it. The war must negate all our adjustments to our selves and our lives, metaphysical or vocational and even petty-personal, but there seems no way to see it either as a challenge for which even the most demanding readjustments (going to Viet Nam) could be answers. Nothing is right - not forgetting it or remembering it; certainly not guilt. Forgetting or remembering, there's guilt. The emotion either of helplessness or of a desire for helplessness - which?

26 March

Pale sun, warmth like real spring this afternoon.

Mad sitting on the bed hunched over her papers with her hair twisted back and her face in profile alternately soft and dogged (the square lower lip), Ted Lloyd silent and uncomfortable in his chair, harried eyes behind the beard. Michael Fox looking up and smiling over the contradictions of his hooked nose, pointed chin, and little easy mouth. A Marx seminar at my place. David Polluck looking scrubbed, like a small boy who's just had his hair smoothed down and his collar straightened, with fat little boy thighs and a look of immense hopeful friendliness. April is the last month I'll belong to this university.

Michel in his red plaid bathrobe open to the middle of his hairy plump chest, across the breakfast table talking about determinism in that pale sunlight that had already begun early this morning.

Frodo is back in the Shire: it is 2:45 a.m.

[undated letter]

The last few weeks of exams very quite bad. I didn't work very hard, but in spite of it, I would wake up at 5 or 6 a.m. with my heart pounding, thinking of what I still had to do. I wrote one exam on May 1, having already written five of them, then another on the 2nd, then spent the 3rd and 4th fleeing by reading a novel, feeling intensely anxious and guilty because I knew I should be studying, then spent the 5th writing a philosophy essay that had been due on the 4th, and rushed it to the professor's house by 10 p.m. in first draft, then studied for a philosophy comprehensive exam that I wrote from 2 to 5 on Monday May 6, then rushed straight to the law office for an interview.

Oh yes, on Saturday night I'd gone babysitting for the Coxes, one of Greg's very young political science professors. On Sunday Mrs Cox had phoned to say that a law professor who was visiting them might have a job for me and would I speak to him. So ol' Hugh Lawford got onto the phone and arranged to see me right after my exam. He's a good looking man, about forty, very defensive but uncomfortably intelligent - he started off by asking whether there was anything I wanted to know; I asked if I could start in two weeks. He looked surprised. He asked if I could type and then sat me down to prove it - the typewriter was an electric one and the keys were spaced differently from my little portable. Moreover I had stage fright and my hand was shaking violently. I goofed of course, couldn't even copy the first line correctly. Then he announced that he hadn't really been testing my typing at all, really only whether I watched carefully and noticed the details since accuracy was essential to his sort of work etc. As it happened I had noticed the detail but my typewriter ran away from me and I'd made a mistake that made it look as if I hadn't.

He asked me about languages, since the job includes researching in other languages - I said French, German, and enough Italian and Spanish to make it out. So he got me some Portuguese to read, which I managed. Then he got out a bundle of papers and said "I'm deluged with applications for this job" and began counting them, "One, two, eight," commenting about their qualifications as he went. "What makes you think I should hire you rather than these?" I said, "It would save you interviewing them all." He said "I have interviewed them all, my dear." Then he asked if he could take me anywhere on his way home. As he dropped me off at Greg's place on Clergy Street, I said "Should I leave you a temporary address?" and he said "I don't think I have anything to say to you - just show up on Monday morning in two weeks."

28 Maitland St, 6th June

Harcourt tonight showed Culloden to a group of friends - I went in my Bill McGee pants, black sweater, black shawl, black scarf, toreador shoes. Harcourt spoke to me in the hall, sitting on a bench, with his hair shiny - I wanted to touch it and him. He said "We have our best conversations in halls. A kind of charge builds up the times between these few conversations." He didn't look at me as he spoke. I wanted to put my arms around him.

[July] Sunday morning

Dream: a white shape growing larger coming to the surface of the water along a beach, swimming up like a fish - became a boat drawn up on the beach, beautifully constructed with a metal plate under the prow, pointed outward. Across the water a long thin line of ground, island or shore, trees, groups of people in twos or threes staring across toward us, facing forward in a line, men hanging by their necks from low branches of the trees, profile toward us. We were to cross toward them, we didn't want to, we were there among the people who had now turned toward us, someone told us we were to stand hip to hip and dance, we ground quietly along as he told us to, and I noticed that the faces were similar, white, plain, quiet, individual but all undistinguished, a blond with thin eyebrows. All had shadows around the eyes, lips strongly outlined, I realized they were dead.

Later a long Viking ship seemed drawn up along the flank of our dancing group. The sound of arrows - I realized that the dead were flying into position on the ship as long shining wire rigging, individually. I knew that I would also become one of the wires, felt myself fly through the air and saw the rigging around me bright as tinsel in a pattern of very strong thin wires - not as an actual rigging but as a web that covered the ship from stern to prow in a complex pattern of peaks - but I think only lengthwise - the pattern was not so much that of peaks but of strings in a many-stringed musical instrument with a high bridge.


So Tuesday - it has occurred to me for the first time that I might make the journal work, or rather that I might make it a work for myself - disciplined work that I do against myself but for something.

Wednesday, last day of July

A high wind, the water is roaring under the soft steady scratching of leaves outside the window of my room. Coffee yogourt half frozen, Greg in the next room reading before he sleeps. In the living room, black table and chairs, a jar of dill on the table showing brighter green at the bottom through the glass and water. Mad was here since Saturday night, with Pierre Léger, his ugly face with the long nose, his mouth in profile, the row of stitches under his eye looking like ashes or cancer, his thin hair flat and stiff over his ears - stains like milk stains on his bellbottoms, smart rust brown jacket elegantly cut long, yellow large collared shirt and Madeleine's printed blue and purple scarf as cravat. The smile, the smell of decay, his thin long legs, round shoulders, flat square bottom. Mad wrote "And in the morning he knew how to move me although I had to keep my eyes closed because of that face." Going away, this afternoon, Pierre kissed me ritualistically front, side, opposite side - while Mad came around and kissed my neck, twice, smiling like the da Vinci St John the Baptist when I turned. I've put on the wall one of the Gauguin prints Mad gave me this afternoon (with Laura Nyro singing) with "I like you so much and I've hardly seen you at all. I'm not going to come like this again." - A dark brown girl sitting naked in a blue chair, legs crossed, arms along the sides of the chair, face forward. She's shaped like Mad, there's a monkey at her feet which is a Mad-object and not one of mine.

30 William St, Saturday

I stopped to see Greg one evening when I was living with Arnold and noticed a pocketbook he was reading lying on his bed, sat down and began to read it. Pornography - spankings, voyeurism, master-servant, three-at-a-time, all in powdered wigs in some French chateau. Effective - I was bottom-warmed and giggling when Greg came in, and I said something like "Look what I found!" "For Christ's sake!" he shouted with so much humiliation and pain in his voice that I realized what I had done in abandoning him sexually; I realized it with complete surprise - I was shocked at my own tactlessness and touched by Greg, as I'm always touched, stricken a little, when he really feels pain; he does it so simply, without any self dramatization.

The morning in summer when I heard on the radio that Robert Kennedy had been shot and was in critical condition - I was in the big chair at 28 Maitland, morning light coming off the lake through the window. Greg came in; I said "Listen." He sat on the arm of the chair and listened in silence. Then his big heavy body went rigid and he began to cry. I put my arms around him and he lay against me heavily, leaning into me without any reserve. I held him and felt his tears on my neck, feeling great tenderness for him, but no grief of my own.

Then one night Greg said "We aren't young anymore" - because of Kennedy, the South, Viet Nam: he said it so honestly, so sadly, that I respected him and honoured him - felt a little as though he were the priest dispatching a terrible, necessary, ritual; self-elected, brave enough to choose and pronounce the ceremony of recognition.

Agee in a letter to Father Flye, 28 June 1938: "This may simply mean that he who moves beyond the safety of the rules finds himself inevitably in the 'tragedy' of the 'human situation,' which rules have been built to avoid or anaesthetize, and which must be undertaken without anaesthetic; but I am suspicious of laying pity and grief and sadness to such a general, fatal source rather than to a source for which I am personally responsible."