A Poem For The Swingers, A Poem For The Playgirls Of The Universe

So what happened to this poem after 12-24-74? The published version in Open All Night changes "it appears in their walk/in their eyes/in their laughter and in their/gentleness". The published version is "in their laughter and in their/gentle hearts."

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mjp

Founding member
So what happened to this poem after 12-24-74?
John Martin happened to it.

Unfortunately, since the most obvious and horrible examples of his hack "editing" are apparent in the posthumous books, I have come to almost completely disregard them as Bukowski poetry. I can't read a poem out of any of them now without wondering how it has been - I'll say it again - raped.

It turns my stomach to think of that paperclip salesman sitting up in Santa Rosa, rewriting Bukowski's poems. "Finally, he's out of the way! Now I can MAKE THESE POEMS GREAT!"

You can say that's exaggeration or hyperbole, but the evidence increasingly points to just such a scenario.

By the way, this might be a good time to say that I had correspondence with the primary typesetter for the Black Sparrow books during the heyday of the press, and she said that she copied verbatim the pages she was given to work from. Which is what you would expect from a typesetter. That's their job. If you change too many things, or make too many mistakes you quickly become an ex-typesetter.

So the ridiculous fantasy that Martin liked to perpetuate - "The typist sometimes throws something in" - is exactly what it appears to be: bullshit.
 
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