Labor Day eve: 2 Sept 74
It is always so grand to hear from you, & to have your loving salutations. I wish I could spend a day with you, a whole day, every month of the year. Tomorrow I return to the grooves of academe, without much enthuse. I find it harder all the time to rehearse the whole history of the art again & again. I am a maker really, not a teacher. And here is the classroom
once more, when I have not succeeded in completing my film project, my Testament, in the swiftly passing summer. I can only hope to shape it in the odd hours of this month in time maybe to send to Ledoux. And it really is a testament, a finality, a farewell; I feel I have nothing more to say (that I can manage in cinema terms) in the medium of film. The frustrations have been overwhelming.
Then there was a month that John Schofill was here with me making me into a film: what he says he is calling Portrait of the Poet as James Broughton. This was challenging, exhilarating, painful, and gratifying. I think it will be a work remarkable when he puts it together; he was able to capture me as poet in a way that I could not do in my own film. But it is, of course, his vision of me, his document; and like all his films it will be amazing' to look at. John is difficult, mathematical, relentless, abstract. But we have been through much together, and I am very touched by his submerged feeling.
Sally, I don't know what to do about the PFMA and Bob Haller's letter. I don't want to tour next spring. I don't want to teach. I want to write. That is what my soul yearns for; not filming, at this time. But I am in a bind. How can I take a semester off and still earn $1000 a month to keep my home & family?
For 6 months? Is there any grant you know of (NEA maybe?) for my writing my memoirs/confessions/history of my times and all of us being geniuses together?
Sally, you said you wanted to buy THIS IS IT when you had the funds. Did I tell you that a print for purchase is only $150?
A documentary of Sally Dixon is the best subject I can think of for a Pittsburgh project.