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Between the Buttons

“My story begins with some unfamiliar handwriting on an envelope.” That was

the first line of a piece I wrote called “Casting for ’60,” published January 9, 1969, and also of Ray Johnson’s appropriation of the piece—the first paragraph, or first 452 words—for a collage he made titled I’d Love to Turn You On, dated 1969. The words are handprinted inside the form of a lightbulb. A collage under the last sentence of the text includes a put-down of Harold Rosenberg—“Looks Old Timey/Eccentric and/Chinese-Modern/To me today”—attributed to William T. Wiley. Underneath that, Ray wrote a kind of p.s. to his appropriation of my text: “Dear Sir: We love your dangerous dance critic sister Jill Johnston—New York Correspondence School.” The last I heard from Ray personally—and I was never a correspondent in his Correspondence School (for the reason that Ray scared me)—was sometime after November 22,

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