Request for Help with the Bateson - Kees collaboration

Subject: Bateson & the American poet Weldon Kees

At about the time the American poet Weldon Kees was promoting Botteghe Oscure, in Jan. 1951, he met Gregory Bateson. Kees eventually worked with Bateson on a number of films. For a biography of Kees, do you know of any Bateson scholar who might entertain some questions about the Kees-Bateson connection?

Weldon Kees' site -


by Weldon Kees

To Gregory Bateson

Light in the cage like burning foil
At noon; and I am caught
With all the other cats that howl
And dance and spit, lashing their tails
When the doctors turn the current on.
The ceiling fries. Waves shimmer from the floor
Where hell spreads thin between the bars.
And then a switch snaps off and it is over
For another day. Close up. Go home.
Calcium chloride, a milligram
Or so, needled into the brain, close to
The infundibulum. Sometimes we sleep for weeks.

From Doctor Edwards: sixteen tests (five women, fourteen men).
Results are far from positive. Static ataxia,
Blood pressure, tapping, visual acuity. A Mrs. Wax
Could not recall a long ride in a Chevrolet
From Jersey to her home in Forest Hills. Fatigue
Reported by a few. These smoky nights
My eyes feel dry and raw; I tire
After twenty hours without sleep. Performance
At a lower ebb. --The lights
Have flickered and gone out.
There is a sound like winter in the streets.

Vide Master,
Muzie, Brown and Parker on the hypoplastic heart.
Culpin stressed the psychogenic origin. DaCosta
Ruled out syphilis. If we follow Raines and Kolb,
We follow Raines and Kolb. --It's only a sort of wound,
From one of the wars, that opens up occasionally.
Signs of desiccation, but very little pain.

I followed Raines and Kolb, in that dark backward,
Seeking a clue; yet in that blackness, hardly a drop
Of blood within me did not shudder. Mouths without hands,
Eyes without light, my tongue dry, intolerable
Thirst. And then we came into that room
Where a world of cats danced, spat, and howled
Upon a burning plate. --And I was home.

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