Sunday, December 16, 2012

Aimless Reading: The W's, Part 26.8 (William Carlos Williams)

William Carlos Williams: Man and Poet
Williams, William Carlos
William Carlos Williams: Man and Poet

Given to me by my friend, S. We'd gone to college together and afterwards belonged to a writer's group that I have written about previously. After the writer's group broke up, we remained friends. We both taught at downtrodden Catholic high schools in Manhattan, he at Rice up in Harlem, I at LaSalle down in the East Village. He'd started a chess team up there and invited me to do the same. I did, and before long we were bringing our students together for matches.

Later, he went to graduate school at City College, first as a writing student, then as a PhD student. His first child came along and disrupted his dissertation plans. A few years later, when I was working towards a not-to-be-completed PhD myself, he gave me this book, saying he thought I would put it to better use than he.

We lost contact for a long time. I had probably last talked to him seven or eight years ago before I ran into him at a party near New Haven this past summer. It was a happy reunion. We've started playing Scrabble on our iPhones. We often send messages during the games and occasionally delve a little deeper via email.

I don't remember how much of this I ever read. It used to sit next to the Paul Mariani biography of WCW on my shelf, which, like most other biographies, I read only in part before putting it down. I don't know why I bother even to start biographies. I rarely finish them, and I seldom enjoy the even the one's that I do finish. Just give me a well-organized Wikipedia entry and I am satisfied.

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