London Calling


You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.
Jack London (1876-1916)

I bet after London died more than a few dreamers took his words to heart.
No gold rushes in sight, they made their livings on the seas and great lakes.
In mid-western ports they loaded and unloaded raw materials-
in Detroit and on the west bank of the flats.

They came in and out of our lives without us knowing them.
Eating lukewarm stew and never catching a wink.
They wrote many words but never acted on their hunches.

10 July, 1921

Again we find ourselves in Cleveland. We unload in a couple of hours. Then we are off to Milwaukee. I wish we could stretch our legs for a while. Mingle with people. I have done exactly what he said. I work hard and I write 1000 words every day. But I don’t know how much longer I can take it. I miss being on land.

Maybe I will drop everything and head east. I hear you can attend wild parties with affluent people. Find a nice flapper and settle down. But who in the world will want to read about such things?

17 April, 1925

Finished reading The Great Gatsby while drifting aimlessly at sea. Damn you, Fitzgerald! Damn you!

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