I must’ve been in a good mood; I liked everybody’s writing, surprisingly including John Elliott’s. Chomu’s publishing his Dying to Read. John is getting his wish of another book published before he dies. I like people to get what they want.
Jacqui (Knowles)’ writing from her second novel was much more involving as she invested her politicians with human depravity as the group had previously suggested.
I read an extract from ‘the book’ in which Johnny realises perspective while freeing himself from a past love on his way to primary school; delights in the differences of meaning found in a word; refuses to obey his own unconscious man but agrees the latter may act unilaterally in any emergency; from consorting with other children and thinking about it, sorts out the difference between realising what one already knows and knowing what one didn’t already know (which Jacqui likened to Rumsfield’s unknown unknowns) the while engaging in telepathic communication he tries pinning down to his man’s spiritual facilitating. It was quite a short extract. John carped of course. He hates my writing.
Apart from recognising and chatting with Mary, a founder member, and thanking her for giving our group house room in her bookshop, Langton’s, the big event was the return of the prodigal, Jan, another founder member, who’s a spiritualist and went significantly cold and shaking over a glass of water while contacting the dead at a psychic seminar, such is the power of imagination. Her writing’s much better and there’s no reason a cool rational approach to the phenomenon shouldn’t result in a novel readers might easily suspend disbelief for and get a frisson from. I dilated on my own attempt to contact Betty Clark, of CORRESPONDENCE, which felt like reaching out my arm across the intervening four hundred miles from Sheen to Scotland and, not finding her where I expected her to be, feeling about a bit, but she was nowhere to be found on the face of the earth. Where was she? I didn’t, however, deduce she was dead though I shortly after phoned a friend who told me she was. That was a black night though it was I who’d told her to die as per our unconscious agreement that I’d tell her when in return for her becoming a published writer. Such was her conceit of consciousness I knew she’d read through everything I wrote on the two postcards I’d sent and that though she wouldn’t understand the instruction her unconscious would. Even so, I was desolate, sitting under a light while around was the blackness of night and who knows what ravening beasts.
I took everybody’s samples away with me if only to recycle them as I did say. Nobody took mine. John always makes a point of returning his copy. Since I’d never read theirs again, I did recycle them, keeping a useful paper clip.
Everybody’s name at the meeting began with J. Further: two Johns, a Jan and a Jac(k) and a condition of membership would seem to apply.