Jim Haynes newsletters

Newsletter No. 47
Packages for Poland
5 February 1982
   

portrait of Jim Haynes by Abderazak Berraman
J.H.before recent haircut
by one of my students Abderazak Berraman

 
portrait of Jesper Haynes,  photograph © Martin Lehberger
Jesper Haynes
(a recent photo taken by Martin Lehberger in parc de Montsouris)

 

As most of you surely know by now, I journeyed to Poland this past October with two friends, Katherine Hilliard and Dan Topolski. We rented a car in Frankfurt after the Book Fair, filled it with sugar, rice, coffee, flour, etc etc and drove to Warsaw. Our trip coincided with the annual Jazz Jamboree. We three had a wonderful time. It was both Katherine's and my first visit, but Dan had already been a number of times. (Dan's father is Feliks Topolski, an internationally known painter. Feliks was born in Poland but lives now, like Dan, in London.) Not only does Dan speak same Polish, he also knows his way around Warsaw. We had lots of names of people to contact and we did manage to meet most of them. Also the Jazz Jamboree made it easy for us to establish friendships. Therefore after ten days I feel we three must know at least half Warsaw.

The 'climate' in October was warm in every sense of the word. Everyone was -full of hope and optimism for the future. Alas since the 13th of December, this has all changed for the worse. It is sad, so very sad. But we must help, we must do something.

With this newsletter I wish to solicit your financial assistance to help send food and medicine to the many friends we made there. I have already sent a number of packages as well as some money. The last two packages posted just last week cost 116 francs. Since then I have learned that the Swedish post office does not charge postage for packages to Poland.

Henceforth all packages will be sent by Cecilia Jackson in Stockholm. Cecilia, who has been a recent visitor here in atelier A2, has volunteered to organize this for us. Another dear friend in Stockholm, my ex-wife Viveka Wallmark, agrees to help too. If you wish to contribute. you can give it to me or send it direct to Viveka Wallmark in Stockholm.

In order to get the packages on their way, I have given Cecilia 500 francs. I would like to send at least this sum to Stockholm every week if at all possible.

In order to help raise this sum, I plan to organize a series of fund-raising "events" in my atelier every Friday night. Your support would be greatly appreciated. For example, I have a Betamax videocassette machine. A friend copied Wajda's "Man of Iron" and "Man of Marble" off BBC-TV for me. I cannot "charge" anyone money to see these films, but I think that it would be fair to ask a contribution of say 20 francs. I also propose to give a reading from my new book, Everything Is! - Soft Manifestos for Our Time. I insist that you telephone before arriving because my small atelier cannot hold many people. With only 20 people giving 20 francs each, this is 400 francs that could be sent to Stockholm for Cecilia and Viveka to purchase items for our friends.

There will be a large donation jar on permanent display in my kitchen should you wish to help. If you would like to "adopt" someone in Poland, I can give you the names and addresses of many wonderful individuals. (50 francs collected on first day in the kitchen

When we were in Warsaw in October, 100 francs (or 20 dollars) produced on the "unofficial" exchange more than 6,000 zlotys - which is an average monthly wage. I understand that 20 dollars will now get 16,000 or more. Things are difficult, so every little bit helps. (A friend organizes a two ton truck - Paris to Warsaw - next week. Call me for details)

Since newsletter No.46, written in November, lots of things have happened. As always my life is full to over-flowing. In the past few days I have drafted four new newsletters, so not sure how much I can cram into this one. One is concerned with my wish to launch a new magazine which will deal with friends, those who have passed thru A2, those who have lingered here. The contents will be supplied by you and it will be sent to you. A crazy idea I know, but why not do it. No title yet, so send me your suggestions as well as possible items for the first issue. Judith Malina has already send me some pages from her diary which are delightful. And Sarah Bean has sent me a new "story" as well as a five page typed report cum letter.

Let me have drawings and photographs too...

(Judith Malina and Julian Beck dine here tonight, 7-II, Elaine Cohen cooks)

 

I have also drafted a newsletter dealing with my homage to Henry Miller book, which Handshake Editions is publishing, and a proposed party I plan to organize in June to commemorate the second anniversary of Henry's death. Then there is a proposed newsletter that would introduce "my son", Jesper Haynes to friends in America. (He is here now visiting me and Paris, and departs next week to live in New York City for a few months. He is a photographer and seeks a part-time job as well as accommodation. Any help you can give him would be greatly appreciated.) Jesper will be 20 in February. He is an excellent fellow.

Handshake Editions will celebrate its second birthday the 29th of February. You can help us celebrate by ordering some Handshake titles for your own enjoyment and while you are at it, order some for your friends. In 1982 we plan to publish a collection of Judith Malina's poetry, a new collection of Sarah Bean's "stories", Lynne Tillman's Wierd Fucks, my own More Romance, Less Romanticism, as well as the magazine mentioned above. Plus plus plus!!!

A2 Sunday dinners continue. Cathy Sroufe and Martha Rose Shulman have been collaborating to produce feasts that out-do Maxim's in pure joy and ecstasy. Hooray for them! Lucky us!

Cathy and I plan to produce a dance theatre production for the Edinburgh Festival based upon my book, Everything Is! and music by Vangelis Papathanasiou. It is still early days, but we hope my old theatre, the Traverse, will co-operate with us and co-produce. Wish us luck! I do not know if you know Vangelis' music or not, but it is wonderful... and so is he!

My plans -For '82 are still up in the air, but hopefully it will include the following: the Cannes Film Festival (May), fly to America in June to be with my papa in Louisiana, home again to Paris in July to help Cathy prepare for Edinburgh, then August in Edinburgh, Sept again in Paris, October in Frank-Furt for another Book Fair, and home again to begin another year with the university of Paris. And somehow spend some time in Amsterdam with Videoheads and friends and maybe if the situation in Poland is better, to attend another Warsaw Jazz Jamboree. A sweetheart of a lady, Monica McCarthy, is trying to keep a bookshop in Paris a-float, and I am helping her. It is called Trilby's (18 rue Franklin, 75016 Paris, tel:520- 4049), so pass and buy a book or two from her. I will read from Everything Is! there on Saturday night at 8:30, the l3th of February. Come if you can. Tickets are 20 francs.

Someone once said that I looked like Robert Louis Stevenson. A few days ago, a dear friend in London, Brian Butterworth, sent me Stevenson's essay, "An Apology for Idlers". I must say I felt I could have written the same essay (albeit not as well), so similar are our views... Allow me to quote at random: "Books are good enough in their own way, but they are a mighty bloodless substitute for life.. . And if a man reads very hard, as the old anecdote reminds us, he will have little time for thought... Suffice it to say this: if a lad does not learn in the streets, it is because he has no faculty of learning... Extreme busyness, whether at school or college, kirk or market, is a symptom of deficient vitality and a faculty for idleness implies a catholic appetite and a strong sense of personal identity... Perpetual devotion to what a man calls his business is only to be sustained by perpetual neglect of many other things... There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy... A happy man or woman is a better thing to find than a five pound note. He or she is a radiating focus of goodwill and their entrance into a room is as though another candle had been lighted..." etc etc Thank you, Brian, and thank you RLS!

Ali just passed and reminded me to listen to his new radio program, "Lazzi Jazz: Sir AU. and Jason Weiss, Radio Ivre 88.8", Tuesdays, 11am to 2pm. I am pleased to report as well that Ali has more or less legalized his situation in France with political refugee status. Good!

 

Paula Klein, Martin Lehberger, and I are the current permanent residents here at atelier A2. But, as always, lots of visitors: from Amsterdam Jack Moore, Bill Levy, Antje Postma (who took some beautiful photographs from Stuttgart; Paula's beautiful sister, Mercedes and two angels, Anne Koch and Mirjam Butz; from Stockholm Kajsa Von Hofsten, Åsa Tolgraven, Mattias Malmberg (who gave me a great haircut); Lina and Marita Gatte (from Göteborg); and oh so many other delightful earthlings. It is great to have friends visiting, so when are you coming?

0K, we are almost at the end of another newsletter. And of course lots more to report, but let it be for now. Enough is enough. So until next time, send me your news, good cheer, love & hugs... 0h yes, today's birthdays: Bill Burroughs, Miche Lamy, Cathy Chazan, Betsy Erickson, Charlotte Rampling, and the late Bob Marley... Tomorrow, the 6th of Feb: Laura Lashnits, Lucy Hooberman (who will be 23 I think), Francois Truffaut (who will be 50), Ronald Regan. and Zsa Zsa Gabor (who will be 63 maybe)... 0h we really are at the end now... Happy birthday friends! I hope we are all here next year at this time. Don't press the button, Ron...

I loves ya!
Jim

 

P.S. Thanks to you, Petra, for your wonderful songs. I love the cassette you sent me.

 

portrait of Petra Lugtenburg, photograph ©Jesper Haynes
(Photo of Petra Lugtenburg by Jesper Haynes)
Jim Haynes
5 February 1982

Atelier A-2,
83 rue de la tombe Issoire,
75014 Paris

 

 

 

Jim Haynes' newsletter