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|July 23, 1984
I await your judgment of the enclosed.
In the meantime, I trust Joey will find a
way to spend the money you’ve found in here
(re: Poetry sale) – not quite enough for medication,
but more than sufficient for a bean and cole –
slaw dinner in Blackwater Bills’, which is bound
to make medication unnecessary anyway.
I regret I somehow did not receive my July
Atlantic (got June late, and then August), since
somebody told me awhile back you have a poem in it.
If it’s handy for you to send a photocopy,
I’d love to see the poem…if not, I’ll see
it when (if) the subscription people respond
to my complaint.
At Kathleen Anderson’s [–NORTON] request, sent what I now
have at the manuscript-to-be. Am trying
to EXPECT NOTHING!
Editorial note about this letter: The poem enclosed with this letter is “The Name.” This is the poem as McNair sent it, deciding to keep it this way despite the concerns Hall voices in the following letter:
Read The Name (published version from The Town of No)
A note from McNair about this letter: In my dual reprint, The Town of No & My Brother Running, I changed the poem to the version below, which deletes line 10 (“including his”). I made the change because I found that this line, with which I meant to refer to the woman’s husband, confused readers. Besides, I wanted to emphasize the poem’s main drama, between the woman and her daughter:
Read The Name (published version from The Town of No & My Brother Running)