The Grand Piano

San Francisco 1975–80

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PART 5

Tom Mandel begins:

Innocence

Of all things of thought, poetry is closest to thought. ó Hannah Arendt

“THE BEST THING about being a writer is writing—doing it.” Thatís Rae talking, though no doubt not her exact words. Itís 1977, early summer I believe, and weíre walking down Market Street near Sanchez where she and Chuck live. Behind us, a great prow of clouds extends from the hill that leads to the Haight, where my place is, and I think itís literature looming over us, listening in. Sunlight pours down on the Safeway across the street; it must be mid-day; weíre walking somewhere to have lunch, probably at the Cafe Flore.

“Next best is to read what you've written to your friends.” Do I agree? I will come to agree over time, certainly, but I don't know about now.




The Grand Piano is an experiment in collective autobiography. Subscribe to all ten volumes or a partial subscription beginning with any volume.