McNair to Hall: December 29, 1978


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December 29, 1978

Dear Don,

I have finally finished typing the “book-book,” as you
once called it, and I am scared as hell. All the time I was typing
it, I was convinced no one had written a book this good. Now, I am
convinced it is no good at all.

In my off-moments, I think that section 2’s “porno poems,”
through which I recall the wildly male-chauvinist world of
adolescence, are not the right thing. And then I begin to think
that these and some of my other earlier poems are not tight enough
in their form. It gets worse.

Help! Please let me know what you think! Could it be that
a miracle has occurred, and I am done?

Yours in desperation,


A note from McNair about this letter: The “porno poems” of paragraph, referred to elsewhere as “dirty poems,” are two off-color poems leftover from my chapbook, intended to reflect the hormonal explosion of teenhood. They weren’t very good, and as I created more poems for my full-length book, I finally dispensed with them.