Frances Ha

27 July 2013
1:52 pm

T. —

I started out the day writing postcards. Took Bloom to the vet, which is an adventure in and of itself. She was quite displeased. On the way home from the farmer’s market, Andrew passed The Better Beverage Company down the street, which always seems to be closed when we pass it. Today, it was open. He came home with stories, and I asked if we could turn around and go right back out again.

We bought some milky oolong that the owner Dave had opened up and told us to smell with our eyes closed. He seemed happier to discuss immortality and the authenticity of art before getting down to talk about tea. And even when I asked him how to steep it, he said There are no specifics. No one is an expert on tea but you. I mean, he was an expert on tea. But he thinks that the best tea is made the way that you discover you like it.

He asked me what I did, and I told him, haltingly, and admitted that I’m trying to take it a day at a time. When I start to think of what I could do with this degree, and what could make money, I feel very boxed in and limited. And then the anxiety. He said, You need to go see Frances Ha. I thought she was an oracle. I was already saying yes before I realized he meant a movie. Then we watched the previous, and thought — yes, this is more than appropriate.

You seem in a bit of a funk, if you don’t mind me saying? I only say that because I think I am in one, and I like the long-distance solidarity. What are you working on so late? I can’t get myself to start working until the late afternoon at least. It’s really annoying.


Jack, I am not sure of the full meaning of this story or if it is necessary to tell it to you. I am not even sure if it is about sacrifice, bravery, just plain luck and/or poetry. Sometimes experiences are greater than any poem. Nothing can fully contain them. There is no syntax. The syntax is the water under the boat that carries you from one side of the river to the other. It has been 40 years. Some things, some things so large, carry you forever.

Or maybe this is just a story about books. Real books that do real things like put the key in the lock and open the door. Here’s the Church, open the door, and here’s the … I am not sure where the story ends. I am not sure, either, where the poem begins or ends. Based on present evidence, I would suggest never.


Nothing says that poetry won’t drive you to squalor. Or a big love gone way sad. The last big joke on the makers is that the poems, those silly, enormous things, go way beyond whatever was us. Eternity — those poems — has nothing of you in it. The rearview mirror is a joke. The clarity of what was left behind is mere gossip. The mirror is covered with tinfoil.

As you say, Jack, only poems talk to poems.

— from After Language: Letters to Jack Spicer by Stephen Vincent


I like the quote in the comments of that Youtube video:

A Quote from Oasis’ Noel Gallagher: “I went to see Ryan Adams in Manchester… So he’s playing away and he just does ‘Wonderwall’ right in the middle of the set. The fucking place went silent. It was so beautiful. I was just like, ‘Fucking Jesus Christ what a fucking song!’ Afterwards, I told him, ‘You can have that song, man, because we could never quite get it right.’

Good morning,


One thought on “Frances Ha

  1. • I’ve been hearing good things about Frances Ha. I hope to watch it someday when it becomes available somewhere.
    • I like Ryan Adams’ version of Wonderwall and have heard that story before (re: Gallagher giving away the song) from someone who was an Oasis fan. I love it when someone does an amazing cover of a song I know so well, and it’s even better when the artist who made the original approves of the derivative work.

    • About me: well, see latest letter I suppose.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s