For several years, Jack was posting some writing on the website Deviant Art, a popular site for artists of all types: https://www.deviantart.com/
He went by the name screwball, if you’re interested in looking over his page: https://www.deviantart.com/screwball He wrote this during that time.
1961-63. Boston. I fancied myself a writer and humdinger of a poet.
Five lady nursing students I went in and out of romance with all lived together in an apartment in Brookline. Their parties included all manner of pointee headed types from Harvard, MIT, and Boston University.
Christmas, 1962, they had an enormous party at their apartment. I composed a booklet poem to them with a chapter for each. A Christmas present.
I was overpleased with myself. The piece was about on a par with a lot of the young poet work you see on DA. The girls properly ohhhhed and ahhhhed and the booklet passed around to anyone at the party who wanted to look at it.
Late that evening a lady I’d been admiring from afar most of the night came into the kitchen while I was making a drink. She was a senior, an English Major attending the University of Texas, but home for the holidays.
“I’d like to talk to you about that poem.”
I swelled up like a stuffed frog, expecting the praise people had heaped on me all evening. “Yeah?” I preened.
“It really isn’t good.” She was kind, not vicious. “You needed to work on a lot more before you put it out for everyone to see. They’ll think less of you for what you did.”
I don’t recall my response. I do recall my shame, a few weeks later when the immortal words had simmered long enough to become trash. I still appreciate what that woman did.
There’s something analogous to DA in this incident. It’s one of the reasons I like DA.