marlene mountain
letter essay
may 1989

don't ask, but tell

dear jan 5/8/89

Love your new word 'mystory'--truly marvelous. It particularizes and personalizes our (women's) story. I would not have thought of herstory as being me. I'm not exactly accepted--that I know of. (A few do.) But it does have meaning, and room for interpretation.

There is a magazine in which we can publish whatever we write and what ever the length. Have you had correspondence with Jane Reichhold? I told her a couple of years ago to get in touch with you. Her magazine 'Mirrors' is unedited. Send what you want camera-ready for her to xerox. It's a grand idea, tho there's the usual junk in it. We can get our renga there (since Hal has quit--a terrible loss). And if there's anything you've written that you'd like printed-- unedited, send it to her. (Overseas $16 for 4 issues, or so much per page.) Hand-written, with drawing, collage--whatever. [And yes I can read your writing just fine.]

Which editor/s is opposed your sending one line haiku? That's ridiculous! I'd love to see you write a (scathing) essay about how haiku has not changed, etc.; your disappointment, etc. For Jane's mag if no one else has the nerve to accept it. Will you give it some thought??? I think you should come back 'on the scene' as a give-em-heck critic--who knows what it's about, because you do. Don't ask, but tell.

Supposedly the form Basho started for renga was to have 6 links, then 12, then 12, then 6--long, short, long, etc. When I write with only one other (more intimate I think), we change long/short by writing to our own link at the end of each section. The way anne and I did, and also with Sato. Adele & I have been using 6/6/6/etc divisions--for the heck of it. No pattern at all with Ruth. (Chef Boyardee is some kind of canned meat & noodles--and that's the ad slogan for it, aimed at kids. Let me know if I need to clarify any of my words.) We can change link lengths anyway that you want--the way we've started, there is not a pattern anyway. So do you just want to write any length?

I outgrew haiku--and I guess I would have quit if I hadn't gotten 'political' (tho I don't like that word anymore). It feels like I've started all over--fun and scary tho it's been over 10 years.

I got my designs from THE GODDESSES AND GODS OF OLD EUROPE by Marija Gimbutas; Univ of Calif Press; 1982; $14.95. Can you get it there? (I could get you a copy if not.) I think you'd truly like the book and the designs on the sculpture & pots--and the information. I used words from the text as titles, even if they didn't completely relate. A continuos pattern would be super. Any colors that you'd want (there were none in the book). Mine are bright purples, reds, oranges, whatever I wanted. She's to put out another one on just the designs. I'm anxious to see it. It was exciting to find an 'M' shape under a handle of a pot. It supposedly stands for goddess. I made it to look like my mountain shape.

embarrassed to be heterosexual in a patriarchal world [m]
if the minister for health was a woman we'd have public mammography
tomorrow [j]
i love us our 'big fat loud feminists' our skinny ones [m]
'herstory' accepted who will listen to mystory [j]


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