Love, H: The Letters of Helene Dorn and Hettie Jones
Hettie Jones is the author of numerous books, including her memoir of the Beat scene How I Became Hettie Jones; the poetry collection Drive; and the young adult Big Star Fallin’ Mama: Five Women in Black Music. She has published in many newspapers and magazines, including the Village Voice, Global City Review, and Ploughshares. She currently teaches in the Graduate Writing Program at The New School, the 92nd Street Y, and the Lower Eastside Girls Club, and she previously taught at several colleges and universities in New York and elsewhere. Jones lives in New York City.
Helene’s health is deteriorating; she’s depressed, “too many moves.” She stops washing hair, describes “fucked up living quarters.” Narrative describes worldwide antiwar protests. Helene “just half moved in, to library “like a trip to China.” New York City mayor allows rally, no march. Hettie stands on numb feet, describes rally, will war now make students have complaints? Helene writes that since she doesn’t “have many years left,” no space for new books, Cipro harder on body than bacteria, sends rice to Bush “give to Iraq, please don’t bomb.” Hettie writes long story about driving in snow to an upstate reading. Her Rita Marley book done, Hettie visits. Helene develops infected sore on foot, unable to walk, and psoriasis on scalp. Writes story of alcoholic tramp she fed in Burlington. Chan tells Hettie, “You can’t fix [Helene].” Hettie sends Helene books to distract her and says, “If I couldn’t fix, at least I could entertain.”