Five Points, Vol. 1 No. 1

Fall 1996

From Louis Simpson: “When you’re writing, you really don’t know what you’re doing. You don’t know how it’s going to come out. If you think you know, you may write a bad poem.”

Sample Content

Rick Bass
The Perfect Day

I’ve come home from three weeks in India: swung by the house for a couple of days to kiss Elizabeth and Mary Katherine, then down to Durango, where Dennis has picked me up. We’ll meet with the students at Betty’s ranch and then head into the mountains­­—into new mountains, the Weminuche, where there have also been some good rumors of grizzlies over the last several years. Dennis’ Salt Lake-based Round River Conservation Studies students will run vegetation plots to try and further define the diversity that’s out there. It’s good work, the perfect mix of leg and heart with computer-work. There’s not enough funding in the Forest Service or the Fish & Wildlife Service to get this done. So Dennis and all are doing it.

I’m supposed to talk to the students for a few days about writing. God help them if they are expecting anything tangible or concrete. Why not talk about dreams, or underwater farts? It’s all secondary and insignificant to living a life, to moving with force and passion across the face of the earth. These students, with their six-weeks’ beards and their scabbed knees, should talk to me about living, rather than me to them about writing. But it gives me an excuse to be in a new part of the country, and to hang out with Dennis.