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Ole 7: Two Incredible Pieces, One a Review of Ginsberg

Ole 7: Two Incredible Pieces, One a Review of Ginsberg

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Charles Bukowski has two great (really incredible) pieces in OLE 7, published in 1967.

The first piece is six paragraphs that seem like an excerpt from a letter from Bukowski to Blazek. It’s another one of his critiques of the poetry scene at that moment. All lines are classic, but here’s a sample:

“Art is a bottle of Whiskey., a ride down the Ganges, a good night’s sleep, a white dog. But where are you going to find it?”

The second piece is a review of Allen Ginsberg's “Empty Mirror: Early Poems”.

I’m not sure why in 1967 Bukowski is reviewing a book that was published in 1961, but the essay is landmark. For all the criticism Bukowski threw at Ginsberg for his non-writing life, he never put down his writing like he did with the other Beats. I don’t remember where I read it, but I know he once praised HOWL as a monumental event.

In this essay, Bukowski provides plenty of hard knocks here and there about Ginsberg’s approach, but overall praises the man. Although it may not sum it up, this to me seems like high praise from Bukowski on Ginsberg:

“yet he’s better to have around than not to have around. If I throw little mudballs at him it is because I can’t be bothered with that cat in the Jewish Delicatessen. Allen is some kind of blessed pickle down in a fat jar full of hail and yellow seeds. You’d want to buy it but you’d end up buying something else.”

Some really great Bukowski writing.

Box 29

This copy has a lot of foxing but is in solid condition. Like an old deli menu.

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