Beerspit Night and Cursing: The Correspondence of Charles Bukowski & Sheri Martinelli 1960-1967

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Why We Feel Lonely & Alienated - Charles Bukowski's "The Crunch"

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Editorial: Black Sparrow Press, Number 80 of copies. Edited by Steven Moore.

Judging from His Verse – The Curator

Includes an introduction, appendices, plus index. Oh yeah, beware the person who says they're sane in a sick society. In the Heart of the Sea Nathaniel Philbrick Sarah borrowed this from Paul Pihl and I picked it up off the kitchen counter early one morning, settled into a bath, and read straight through this tale of shipwrecked survivors eating the dead and casting lots to see who will die next. This is the story of the whaling ship Essex, which left Nantucket in and was eventually struck and sunk by an angry sperm whale in the Pacific.

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This unprecedented attack became the basis for Moby Dick. I'm a sucker for survival literature and this is as good as any introduction to the genre, but the really strange tidbit here concerns the scientific study of starvation conducted by the US government on "volunteer" subjects, all of whom were conscientious objectors to the WWII draft.

Bukowski, Charles.

This is a very short book wherein the men discuss what drew them to writing, what it means to write, and write write write write write, etc. I tend to think the best writers are writer's writers, but maybe that's because I'm a writer. Vonnegut has always been self-conscious about the act of writing itself often interposing himself between reader and story and Lee Stringer is a former drug addict and street habitant who was redeemed by the act of writing. Both men believe that writing is good for the soul and humanity in general.

If that sounds right to you, this will be a feel-good read. The Most Beautiful Woman in Town by Charles Bukowski At some point in his career, Bukowski sold part of his ass to City Lights, which has put out a few thin volumes of material he wrote in the late s. These laminated editions lack the aesthetic grace of the Black Sparrow series, but the words inside are worth reading. This book is the first of two volumes of short stories, the other being Tales of Ordinary Madness , which were published originally in one volume, the forthright title of which serves as a pretty accurate list of ingredients: Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions and General Tales of Ordinary Madness.

Some of these pieces seem rushed and unedited, initial treatments of material which Buk later revisited and improved upon. I think this is because some of these were written for a weekly column in the defunct LA alternative paper Open City. Aside from these few weak spots unfocused, disjointed , there are a lot of great stories here, with lots of sex, violence, and hilarity--all often in the same story. In contrast, [Swastika] is a dreary contrivance that shows just how bad a writer Buk could have been if he had stuck to formulaic bullshit fiction.

Burroughs edited by Sylvere Lotringer I like reading Burroughs' straight talk better than most of his fiction. This thick book contains all the interviews WSB gave from until his death in minus a bunch included in another excellent book, Report from the Bunker. Wear this book like x-ray specs to see past the veil of polite appearances to the abyssmal core of human nature and power structure manipulation.

Like the advertising people we talked about, I'm concerned with the precise manipulation of word and image to create an action, not to go out and buy Coca-Cola, but to create an alteration in the reader's consciousness" Intuition by Richard Buckminster Fuller Fuller is famous for likening earth to a ship, the idea being that one needs to conserve as much as possible on a ship because resources are obviously limited. The problem with most people is they act as though resources on Earth are limitless that's right, I'm talking to you, moron with the Ford Excursion.

Charles Bukowski

This epic metaphysical free verse poem describing the role of intuition in human development was written in on the occasion of the launch of Fuller's sailboat Intuition, "the epitome of design competence. Selver This play by Czech nationalist Karel Capek coined the term robot, which in the play refers to humanoid but soulless workers built to order by a company which values progress for its own sake above the sustainability of the human race. Sound familiar? Capek was an intellectual and philosopher, so the play's action is rather stylized and the characetrs themselves come off as somewhat robotic, uttering dialogue meant more to stimulate thought about subtleties of economics, metaphysics, civilization, and progress rather than simply entertain. This would probably be good book club discussion fodder. One line which really struck me, spoken by Berman, the managing director of the robot factory, who attempts to justify having manufactured the means by which humanity inevitably perishes: " Our fault, of course it isn't Do you suppose that the manager controls the output?

It's the demand that controls the output.

The whole world wanted to have its Robots. Good lord, we just rode along on this avalanche of demand, and kept chattering the while about engineering, about the social problem, about progress, about lots of interesting things. As if that kind of gossip would somehow guide us aright on our rolling course. In the meanwhile, everything was being hurried along by its own weight, faster, faster, and faster. And every wretched, paltry, niggling order [for more Robots] added its bit to the avalanche. That's how it was, my lads It occurs to me that the nearest corollary in our present situation to the robots in the play is the automobile--a laborsaving device which threatens complete destruction of human life on earth.

Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo This is another re-read for me, recently recommended by Howard Zinn , and also because I recently broke my wrist and have my thumb in a cast--I figured reading this would keep me from feeling sorry for myself. The strategy worked. Maybe it was overkill. The first part of the book offers vivid and idyllic recollections of simpler times growing up in Colorado, written in an economic and evocative style similar to Bukowski's Ham on Rye, which personalizes the main character, Joe Bonham. Once established as sympathetic and basically innocent, Joe meditates on the futility of war and rages in his mind against all, like himself, who give up their freedom like sheep for the ruling elite, which itself somehow never suffers in the wars it creates.

The novel, often banned, ends with this fiery warning to recruiters and draft boards of future conflicts: " We are men of peace who work and we want no quarrel. But if you destroy our peace if you take away our work if you try to range us one against the other we will know what to do. If you tell us to make the world safe for democracy we will take you seriously and by god and by Christ we will make it so.

We will use the guns you force upon us we will use them to defend our very lives and the menace to our lives does not lie on the other side of a nomansland that was set apart without our consent it lies within our own boundaries here and now we have seen it and we know it You plan the wars you masters of men plan the wars and point the way and we will point the gun "