July 7, 2014
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August 5, 2011
July 27, 2011
July 16, 2011
It’s always a pleasure to get a handwritten letter from my pal, Jim Lampe. –TW
After several weeks of sitting around, staring at this large stack of stationary, I have finally found a few things worth mentioning in a letter.
But first, the essentials.
How are you?
Anything new to speak of in the Creative Writing Dept.? Not that any of your coursework needs revision; I always found your instruction the most thoughtful!
…wondering if you haven’t yet reverted to any old-age methods–shackles and chains–as I would more likely have to do with any unfortunate students of mine.
I have just finished Murakani’s “Sputnik Sweetheart,” a wonderfully brief novel that astoundingly captures love and loss in two hundred pages. This is what resonates with me, though. Murakani mentions that the word “sputnik” literally translates to “companion.” Yet it is merely a small chunk of metal coasting along the outermost rim of our world. How tragic is that?
This makes sense for the story, though. Two lovers, making passes at one another, coming in or out of contact, always looking back. A great meditation on longing…
On the flip side, I have also been reading “Revenge of the Lawn,” by Brautigan. Not sure if you have read it, and, more specifically, the short story entitled, “Homage to the San Francisco YMCA.” It is quite possibly profound. A wealthy young man replaces the plumbing in his house with poetry…
As for me, I am beginning a short story about a man who travels to Hollywood, South Carolina to appraise an antique pen. Needless to say, the pen follows him everywhere and nearly ruins his life, or does.
I hope all is well with you, your family, and your infamous cats.
February 2, 2011
I received this delightful letter today from Jim Lampe. It is always good to know that your students are continuing to write after they graduate. Here, Jim describes his process and his progress with writing and with life. –TW
How are you??
If my calculations are right, it’s been too long. The last time I wrote to you, it was 110 [degrees] farenheit, and I had to keep a fan trained on the paper to keep the ink
from ink from running in the humidity. [see what happens when you spend all day in a cubicle?? My brain is a looped piece of tape.] I had just started my insurance practice with New York Life, and hadn’t written a damn.
Fortunately, I’m writing again, with more air in my lungs than I can honestly handle. I will tell you one thing for sure: Brautigan was the best name you ever dropped! I have gotten in a routine of writing down a chapter from “Trout Fishing” word for word every Sunday evening. This month, I have produced about fifteen new poems, fifteen of which I am pleased about.
As far as my business practice goes, things are booming! I’m now up to a net worth of –55 dollars! (Such success is hardly even noted in the concept of the American Dream.)
I hope all is well in Northern Ohio this winter.
Please wear a coat–
P. S. I was going to send you a letter with a golden rooster on it, but I lost the paper.
May 31, 2009
I received a very brief message from my friend Kevin, who is a Composition major at Miami U. The letter contained remarks from the Composition Chair of the university…–Jim
Remember that cycle of poems you sent me? The ones which I used for my recital. I’m just letting you know that the poems won me a scholarship from the music department. As it turns out, the music department was quite impressed that both the music for the concert and the lyrics were supplied by students, and wanted to offer their sincere admiration for the artwork.
Thanks for the money!! When you come back to Cincinnati, I’ll buy you a beer or two…