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FrancEyE, Snaggletooth In Ocean Park: Selected Poem 1940-1996

FrancEyE, Snaggletooth In Ocean Park: Selected Poem 1940-1996

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I’m not aware of Frances Dean Smith, known as the poet FrancEyE beginning in the mid-1960s, ever wrote a memoir, but she did leave us this collection of poems.

Frances may not have been the love of his life, but she was probably the most important woman in his life. She gave birth to Bukowski’s only child, Marina Louise Bukowski, on September 7, 1964.

Bukowski was dumbfounded at first. She was 41 years old and he thought it impossible she (or he) could possibly conceive a child. At first he was scared and overwhelmed by the prospect. He was making significant inroads in the poetry journals and his second book from LouJon Press was in the works.

But Bukowski, perhaps because of the era, immediately proposed that the two get married. That was not part of Frances’ plan. She had just completed her divorce from Wray Smith on the East Coast, with whom she had four daughters. Frances moved to California in 1963, leaving her daughters with their father.

Any fears Bukowski had of being a father melted away when he first saw Marina. She immediately became the apple of his eye, writing about her frequently in his letters and continued to do so for many years. Frances was a free spirit, always being carried with the wind and bringing Marina along. Perhaps it was a commune for the summer or staying with a friend in San Francisco for 6 months, but FrancEye was always on the move.

It saddened Bukowski when Marina was away, and he expressed in letters that when she was gone. He wrote he Marina letters and called her on the phone frequently. He was in pure joy when she was back in town for periods of time so he could spend time with her.

There’s a poem where Frances disciplines Marina in a rather harsh way, but Bukowski makes no judgement in the poems. And in real life, despite her wanderlust, Bukowski seemed to have a high degree of trust in Frances to care for their child. He truly had respect for her as a mother and was not critical of her in letters.

Of course, there was the time he wrote a poem that referred to her as Snaggle-Tooth (One for Old Snaggle-Tooth, 1977], but as you can see by the title of this chapbook, rather than being offended she embraced it.

In skimming through this chapbook, I se no references to Bukowski, but there are at least three about Marina:
Love Poem to My Daughter
My Jealous Rages –to my year-old daughter, Marina
For All Those Friends Who Keep Asking Me If My Daughter’s Going to be a Writer.

This is a rare chapbook published by the Sacred Beverage Press. I have not seen any other copy on the market.

 This copy is in Very Good ++ condition, with some lighter stains on the front cover and some darker, more pronounced stains on the back. The interior pages are clean and the perfect binding is holding up.

Box 28

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