Screams From the Balcony

Screams From the Balcony by Charles Bukowski Page B

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Authors: Charles Bukowski
church with a hangover, so instead I mailed them what I had made in my room among the beer-cans, and, lo, they accepted it and played it over the air. Jack Hirschman’s wife runs the literary and drama end of KPFK. Anyhow, when the thing finally came on over the radio…at 11:15 p.m…. I was drunk and did not hear it, but somebody retaped it off the radio and I was able to hear it afterward. [* * *]
    Bukowski had three poems in El Corno Emplumado no. 7 (July 1963), published in Mexico City. He had previously appeared in no. 3 .
    [To John William Corrington]
    July [22], 1963
    shd. change ribbon but I am too tired— Mutiny editors are correct: I am a bastard: would rather kiss the king’s ass than change a ribbon.
    Heard from Jon. His spirits seem high, which does me good, as I would hate him to bite into the book and get this bad taste in his mouth…. Got copy #7 of El Corno . They seem to be falling off from a good start. Of course, I can’t read Spanish or Mexican either, so it doesn’t help my broad-minded eye. I got to figure that what I can’t read isn’t any good. That’s how flies get fat. [* * *]
    [To Jon and Louise Webb]
    July [28], 1963
    [* * *] In case you decide to send a copy of the book to Jack Hirschman for review for L.A. Times , his address is 10543 Bradbury Rd., Los Angeles, Calif. I know, I broke all rules and went there for dinner once, drunk. He thinks Creeley is God and Robert Frost ¾s God but then he teaches at a University and therefore some of this is understandable. They see the underside softside of the wing. But he may have ordered the book anyway, and we may be in trouble, but I kind of like trouble sometimes—I mean, in my rather long foreword to Sherman’s book (out July 21st, I believe), along with other ramblings, I take to task Karl Shapiro for writing a misleading introduction to Jack Hirschman’s book. Names are not mentioned but, I guess, rather obvious. And at the dinner I told Jack that the introduction was bad but he told me that the book would have never been published without it, that there was only one good poem in there. Which might have been modesty but let’s not pick at bones. This is the trouble with getting involved with literary talk; soon you are covered with slime and haggle, and creation is forgotten, So far, I have often forgotten creation because of drink or gamble or plain forget, but so far, very little shit-paddle has stopped me and I hope I remain as lucky.
    When I took this woman home today she showed me a collection of the early poems of Ernie Hem. Out of the Little Review etc., but although most of them were not very good, they were not very bad either, and there was one poem in there…after the style of Ger. Stein and you can see how much this woman did affect him, which we all know but which we tend to forget after Hem and Stein are both gone and Hem more or less remains. However, these poems are encouraging to any young (or old) writer to show that something almost can come out of almost nothing. It is simply buttoning a button right and knowing how to open a door. It is easy as hell, really, it is so easy that almost nobody can do it. [* * *]
    [To Jon and Louise Webb]
    August 6, 1963
    [* * *] Then there’s the bush down there, the same bush with orange blossoms forever, and the old man down there poking in his wooden mailbox. He must be a writer or a madman; he keeps looking in there as if some long-limbed thing sheathed in nylon is going to take him back to the full bright dream. I’m hungry. It’s good to be hungry when you can afford to eat. Right now, I can afford. I like crab. You can get a big crab down at one of the stores for around 80 cents and it takes you all day to eat him and you don’t feel very sorry for the crab. That makes it nice. Although they say they boil them alive? But they boil me every time I walk out the door. Swosh. sure. I’m lucky to have a rented door to walk out of.

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