The Birds - Gallows, 1959

Discussion in 'Unpublished and Uncollected' started by cirerita, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. cirerita

    cirerita First 9 Redwood Original

  2. Purple Stickpin

    Purple Stickpin Redwood Original Unholy Ones

    That's really freakin' good. Thanks, cirerita.

    And now I finally put two and two together...
  3. Bukfan

    Bukfan "The law is wrong; I am right" Men of Mayhem Unholy Ones

    It reminds me of the poem, "The Colored Birds"! His second wife? Perhaps it's not meant literally.
    Thanks, Cirerita...
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2013
  4. ROC

    ROC It is what it is Redwood Original Unholy Ones

    Nice one. Thanks Abel

    Where have I read some of those lines before?
  5. LickTheStar

    LickTheStar Sad Flower in the Sand Redwood Original Unholy Ones

    An early piece... thanks for the poem! I like it.
  6. cirerita

    cirerita First 9 Redwood Original

    Bukfan:

    I think it's pretty literal. In Post Office, there's a very funny chapter about Bukowski setting the birds (parakeets) free. Then Barbara comes back home and she really gets mad at him. He's basically saying the same thing in the poem.
  7. roni

    roni Men of Mayhem Unholy Ones

    cool.
    thanks cire!
  8. Johannes

    Johannes First 9 Redwood Original Unholy Ones

    Very interesting. Thanks a lot, cirerita!

    The big question is, though, why would B. afterwards never state that he was married to Jane? Referring to Barbara as his first wife in all his (other) poems, novels and columns? Why why why?
  9. mjp

    mjp Reaper Crew First 9 Men of Mayhem Unholy Ones

    Nice to see. The first line is great, and the last stanza is okay, but the stuff in the middle is a bit...soft, like a lot of his early work. "the clamour of the mind"? Ugh.
  10. Bukfan

    Bukfan "The law is wrong; I am right" Men of Mayhem Unholy Ones

    I see! I was referring to Buk calling Frye his second wife. Perhaps he did'nt mean it literally. It's fairly normal to refer to a long time girlfriend (Jane) as your wife. So, if Jane was his first "wife", then Frye naturally becomes his second wife, although she really was his first lawfully wife.
    Then again, perhaps Buk really was married to Jane, according to the FBI files, but if so, why did'nt he mention it in his letters? It's a bit of a mystery!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2013
  11. Erik

    Erik If u don't know the poetry u don't know Bukowski First 9 Redwood Original Unholy Ones

    Have to agree with you on this one MJ.
    But many thanks C!
    (It just doesn't feel right to write "mjp" somehow. Why is that? The letters seem to have a textual feel/ring to them. They don't work verbally for me. MJ sounds better. Oh well Mikey... ;))
  12. reasonknot

    reasonknot First 9 Prospect

    @the birds,
    im thinking buk really needed something excepted.
    the poem sort of sounds like what he
    knew "they' wanted to here.
    One of those sarcastic poems he used to whip out in the letters.
  13. mjp

    mjp Reaper Crew First 9 Men of Mayhem Unholy Ones

    You can call me whatever you want, just make sure you put Michael Phillips on the checks.
  14. cirerita

    cirerita First 9 Redwood Original

    Looks like the poem was factual after all, and it was written shortly after the divorce:

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2013
  15. I agree with you. whether or not Jane was really his first wife isn't proof positive- he may be referring to her figuratively. It was also his first consummated relationship (aside from the prostitute, reportedly- which isn't much of a relationship), right?

    The difficulty with this poem is its paradoxical simplicity and complexity. It could be interpreted literally, but also very metaphorically. There are five characters:
    Bukowski
    The wife (Frye)
    The Parrot
    The yellow bird
    The green bird

    I think I'll re-read it a couple of times and try to discern whether the characters exist separately (in which case, the interpretation would be more literal), or whether they are layered, corresponding, or representative of one another.

    One of the lines I'm having trouble with is "glittering over a feather."
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2013
  16. cirerita

    cirerita First 9 Redwood Original

    I think B. is talking about the infamous parakeets he set free in Post Office. As he said to Griffith, the poem is factual, and he probably meant everything, including the parakeets and Fry as being his 2nd wife, was factual.
  17. Indeed, that makes more sense than ripping it apart.
  18. HenryChinaski

    HenryChinaski First 9 Redwood Original

    that is one powerful fucking poem. man, i'm truly sorry I took a break from these forums. although something good did come from said break. everything is brand new again!
  19. roni

    roni Men of Mayhem Unholy Ones

    welcome back, HenryChi
  20. Like he said " And as it's viewed again and again special meanings will be found in the lines and scenes that weren't intended by anyone."

    Now back to my scotch. Simplicity.
  21. Joseph K

    Joseph K Prospect

    Not exactly uncollected. A version appears pp160-1 of Pleasures of the Damned. Not marked as "uncollected" there so presumably previously collected before then.

    The final words in the Pleasures version are

    she found me
    glittering over a yellow feather
    seeking out the music
    which she,
    oddly,
    failed to
    hear.

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