Collaboration with Jack Collom
“We get a seat in a booth. All the waitresses know Jack. None of them know me. As a matter of fact, all the cooks know Jack too.
We sit. We gossip. We talk about poetry.
I like thinking of Jack saying, ‘I was reading ______’ s poems and enjoying the hell out of them.’
We eat. I always (always) get a short stack of blueberry pancakes and a side of bacon. Tea. Jack gets coffee, and sometimes bacon. Usually eggs. Some kind of bread. He makes a sandwich with biscuit, butter, bacon, and jelly. I like remembering him scooping butter from the pat onto a knife and then straight into his mouth.
Sometimes we look at the art on the walls. Sometimes a fellow birdwatcher stops by the table to chat about birds with Jack. Sometimes I go into the Dot’s Diner bathroom and wonder why it has two toilets, not in stalls, side by side.
Then Jack reaches for the plastic bag and raises his eyebrows, smiles. ‘Shall we write some poems?’
Yes, we shall. We make up the rules for the writing of two poems and then trade the pads back and forth until each person’s page is more or less full. Jack doesn’t know this, but I usually take the west- facing side of the booth so that I can look out at the mountains while we write.” —Elizabeth Robinson
Featuring letters and facsimile reproductions of the typescript.