Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Workers polish a snow sculpture ahead of the annual
Harbin (China) International Ice and Snow Festival


wearing the collar

I live with a lady and four cats
and some days we all get

some days I have trouble with
one of the

other days I have trouble with
two of the

other days,

some days I have trouble with
all four of the

and the

ten eyes looking at me
as if I were a dog.


C H A R L E S     B U K O W S K I

"A large number of the poems published in the posthumous collections,
especially beginning with What Matters Most Is How Well You Walk Through
the Fire (1999), differ — sometimes radically so — from the manuscript version
of the very same poems. In an attempt to rescue Bukowski's genuine voice and style,
the poems in this volume are faithful reproductions of the original manuscripts. If a
given manuscript could not be found, then the appropriate magazine version was
used; literary magazine editors made very few changes — if any — even printing 
Bukowski's unintended typographical mistakes. The sources below indicate which
version is being used for each poem as well as its date of publication."

"Poems flagged as uncollected have previously appeared in small press magazine
only, but given their obscure nature and limited print runs — 200 or 300 copies, if that — 
it is almost as if they were never actually published. Likewise, while some of the poems printed
in this collection have appeared in previous Black Sparrow Press and Ecco volumes of
poetry, the versions made available here have never been published before. This book, 
then, is a collection of new poetry and prose by Charles Bukowski."

For a poet like Charles Bukowski, who certainly didn't begin his writing career with the
likes of Ecco Press, or even Black Sparrow Press, I have highlighted above an astonishing
statement by the editor Debritto, diminishing the very world where Charles Bukowski made 
his name and reputation: the small press magazine and those obscure journals with limited
print runs. His early bread & butter. His charter. His family. If I'm not mistaken, some part of
even the Ecco publishing organization also cut their teeth on publishing a small press journal
and drew authors from its vast underground. Best not to be smug re Bukowski's background.
He could be listening.

[ BA ]