Typed letter signed (“Leonard”) to Marianne Ihlen ("My Darling Marianne") with autograph annotations, New York, 8 November 1964.

One page, 276 x 215mm.

Writing from New York after turning in his Beautiful Losers manuscript to Viking, he contemplates waiting, poetry, and the sexual mores of the city. “I’m in a hotel room waiting for an answer. It is curious, but I always seem to be in some public room waiting for an answer. The Reading Tour [for Flowers for Hitler] is over. I don’t think there has ever been a nation which has been bombarded with so much news about poetry for a week of its existence—newspaper, tv, radio, movies—all the power of the mass media focused on—poetry! I am famous and empty. I’ve come to New York to begin the whole process again, to turn over some blackened pages and seek approval. But something in me has changed, something has frozen over—I don’t care too much how people take me or my work, and I find a sharp axe in my hand.”

On the “sexual atmosphere” of New York, which he calls "confusing": “Men and women are at work on each other with razors. All eyes are wild with betrayals suffered or performed. I can survive alone here, I could be a great loner, but I do not want to exist in combat, I want to live with a true love.”

They have been apart for a month, and though the relationship has been fraught, he tells her, "I want you to be with me. If you can't, I want you to tell me that you can't. I'll be in New York another week or so, waiting for your letter."

By descent from Marianne Ihlen.
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