June 1989 Barthelme (I read some but not all),
cynical, white, bearded, hawk-eyed, attacked
by a throat cancer, changed tense.
He once said:
I have been meaning to speak to you
I have many pages of notes
Now all we have are the notes
and the instructions, but no more quarrels.
It was good to quarrel with Barthelme.
I know it's ridiculous to say that
when you consider I had, personally,
nothing to gain, either way,
whichever way the argument went . . .