John Edward Williams was an American author, editor and professor. He was best known for his novels Stoner (1965) and Augustus (1972).The latter won a U.S. National Book Award.
Williams was raised in northeast Texas. His grandparents were farmers; his stepfather was a janitor in a post office. Despite a talent for writing and acting, Williams flunked out of a local junior college after his first year. He worked with newspapers and radio stations in the Southwest for a year, then reluctantly joined the war effort by enlisting in the United States Army Air Forces early in 1942, spending two and a half years as a sergeant in India and Burma. During his enlistment, he ... more »
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A Benediction Of The Air
In every presence there is absence.
When we're together, the spaces between
Threaten to enclose our bodies
And isolate our spirits.
The mirror reflects what we are not,
And we wonder if our mate
Suspects a fatal misreading
Of our original text,
Not to mention the dreaded subtext.
Reality, we fear, mocks appearance.
Or is trapped in a hall of mirrors
Where infinite regress prevents
A grateful egress. That is,
We can never know the meaning
Of being two-in-one,
Or if we are one-in-two.
What-I-Am is grieved at What-I'm-Not.