Wednesday, December 2, 2020


Shirley Burns Brennan (you can see and feel the Irish ancestry) kept the last name Martinelli from her brief marriage to the abstract painter Ezio Martinelli. Her life credentials are staggering for someone barely remembered: muse and mistress to Ezra Pound during his residency at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital just begins things. Martinelli is a key figure throughout Anais Nin’s Diaries, and William Gaddis drew his character Esme from Martinelli for his greatest work The Recognitions. She will begin a long correspondence with Charles Bukowski in 1960 which may be one of the best things that ever happened to him, since Martinelli is her own, dedicated and tough. She pushes H.D. at him; he pushes back with Jeffers love. They both meet nicely over Pound. For awhile I found Martinelli’s letters cryptic and taut with hipster talk, but she will grow on you, she’s good for you. Bukowski remains.

[ BA ]

Black Sparrow Press
2  0 0  1