I gave him my life, in letters at great length.
He used it up, not badly.
I was “Joe Link,” the archetypical proletarian,
novel after novel.
Me, in real life: my grandfather owned a pub
in Liverpool and my grandmother used to say “shite”
in the most genteel way.
I was 19 in 1940 at UCLA.
The Young Communists, they sang
the “Internationale” like they didn’t mean it.
I left college for the Merchant Marine.
I didn’t want to kill.
Afterward, I went into industry.
Trotsky was our visionary, even dead.
Read Harvey Swados and find out: I led the strikes.
I fought the racism in the Seamens Union of the Pacific
and then was out on my ear.
CLR and myself in Manhattan for a weekend
Connie’s Club, a Caribbean place.
James said, these are two dames
who want to be picked up.
He had one, I had the...

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