March 30th, 1971
Dear Sinclair: The Sahara is irrigated. Now what? While armies of hippies along the San Andreas fault are down on their knees waiting for a sign. It’s fascinating what stupidities human beings will subject themselves to. I see your ambassador put in a pitch to the junta in Athens for your freedom and repatriation. It wasn’t necessary to continue with bread and water, etc., since you’ve managed to earn points in a way that will make you immortal in the eyes of the hitchhikers of the world. Penniless in Greece? Just punch the next Marine officer in the face in Piraeus harbor, you’ll get arrested and locked up—bingo! You’ve got a roof over your head. I’ll remember that, in case I ever find myself in a harbor town without a peso, standing on a corner with no place to drop anchor.At WDR Cologne they’re producing a three-hour program about the Black Panthers. I’m involved as translator and speaker and get to recite pages of Huey Newton: “We intend, within the confahns of the oppressor state, to stay armed to the teeth for decades! Centuries!…” Howgh.
Another thing: You can do me a favor by not directing all possible people to me. I recently got a letter from Paloma Picasso in her wonderful handwriting, and what does she want? That I write something for her soon-to-be-appearing European(!) literary magazine.
Now think about that. She’s barely 21. Why do you give her ideas like that? Next minute she goes to Christian Lacroix and says: “Monsieur, I’d like to design some jewelry for you. If that’s okay.” The name opens doors and gates, with the result that every week she’s got three or four new things going on, out of which nothing ever materializes. Tell her she should become the mistress of Salvador Dali. Ah, he’s already got one? Then never mind.
Ah — and again you let yourself be committed to an English nuthouse (Why does Annie comply with this shit? Oh no, I see now that this time your dentist committed you — how come? I bet he gets a kickback.) Just so you can write a play in rhymed verse in peace and quiet . . .
Sinclair, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: iambic pentameter is not your friend. And rhymed verse definitely not. Hands off that stuff and write more well-paid filth for Maurice Girodias. Then we’ll eat out of your hand with dog-like ecstasy. A sense of accomplishment you won’t want to miss out on.
I found the letter earlier this year, not long after Carl had died. It was stored in his computer. In 1971 he didn’t have a computer. He must have transcribed the letter sometime after 2007, when he began using one, and when Beiles was already dead. (Beiles died on Nov. 3, 2000.)
What’s puzzling is that the letter is written in German. As Beiles’s friend and publisher Gerard Bellaart points out to me, Beiles read German but not well enough to have understood the letter, and Carl would have known that.
I’m betting that Carl, who wrote and spoke fluent English, translated his letter from an English original possibly to help fill out a book for Milena Verlag, his publisher in Vienna. And I’m betting that the original won’t be found among Beiles’s papers because, given Beiles’s fragile psyche, Carl would not have mailed it.