The Poetry of
Jack Scott


Dec 13


While going through my previous writings and deciding which of those I might want to include in this Automythology, I am confronted with some contradictions and the threat of redundancy. I realize that I have told some of the same stories before at different times in different ways. I resist the idea of rewriting them to adapt them to my current points of view. And I don’t want to blend them in such a way that would homogenize them. Though they seem to be the same stories, they are different things. They have become different memories however clearly and strongly I may remember them as having originated in the same source experiences.

So, even though I have contradicted myself once already in Capes by keeping my father in his grocery store, I’m going to include previous writings intact. In fact, at that time my uncle Raymond was running my father’s grocery store for him, while my father was then working as a car salesman for the Brown Thawley Chrysler Plymouth Agency. My father did not buy Mark a “cheap, old car”, but instead let him have the use of a loaner from the car agency. There, you see, the content of this paragraph doesn’t make the slightest bit of difference any more than it matters where Mark got the car. My point is that in the fabric of this storytelling I am going to include a good many things exactly as they were when they were written. And I shall be including fresh writing hot off the pen (computer, actually).

I can remember my life only vaguely as a Lifeline, unless I work hard at it, going through endless revisions, additions, subtractions . . . Sometimes, looking back my life seems short and simple. At other times I get lost in the infinite detail. Memories beget memories. Chronology is an exam for which I am unprepared no matter how hard I studied.

I’ve given my thought to what this is supposed to be, what is my intention for it. It is not an autobiography for that’s an undertaking hardly worth the effort of writing, much less reading. And it would be just too much work. There are vast areas of my past I do not remember. Others are vague or hazy. I’m going to focus on those things that seem clearly recalled and worth, at least to me, the recollection. You might think of this as a draft of something that will not be written. It will seem to be a series of non sequiturs. Seem, hell. My only plan is to write whatever I damn please and to include past writing as I feel it suits me. There will be no order, no organization, no chronology. My only plan is that each segment of the chaos will stand on its own two feet.

I’m deliberately going to include some fiction because maybe someone will read it and I don’t know where the hell else to put it. I don’t plan to tell you which is fiction and which is fact because frankly it doesn’t matter and when one is dealing with memory they often turn out to be the same thing. This is an experiment in that maybe I will learn what I am doing simply by the act of doing it.

I was into doing collages once upon a time. I clipped images from magazines, books. Thousands of them. One of my passions that came on totally, then when it was spent joined the ether. I was OCD about collecting them and filing them and OCD about trimming absolutely all the distracting material surrounding them. With scissors and razor blades I very neatly, precisely and thoroughly removed all these pictures from their “frames”. This freed them; this rescued them. It feels like something like that might happen here with the memories of the experiences I am collecting. I smell the scent of freedom.

I don’t mean to be misogynous or curmudgeonly about this. In all humility, if you find you are reading something that bores you or that you don’t like please stop reading and turn to something else or turn away altogether. I don’t mind offending you if our philosophies or attitudes are incompatable, but it is not my wish to bore you.


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