Barbara Fry wrote poetry too (1 Viewer)

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
HV,
I apologize if you found my reply condescending. It was not meant that way and I don't believe that it reads that way, but if you read it as trying to talk down to you, I apologize.

As far as correcting the history of Barbara Fry, this is the best place to do it. I'm only saying that as other people here have tried to correct Sounes and have been rebuffed. If he said it, it is 100% true to him and you will never convince him of anything else.

Do a Google search on "Bukowski" & "Fry" and most likely you will see that this forum is in the top three finds.

This is the place to tell your families side and balance it out with the Sounes version of your family history.

Bill
 

Gerard K H Love

Appreciate your friends
Great, I won the bet. Human Vultures is going to be our friend. Welcome to the forum. Tell us a little more about yourself, like where you went to get your Masters Degree, or do you have a Doctorate.
About Bill, I've gotten that same impression of him but do not be confused by his intensity about things. He is a beloved member here and is all around a good person.
I agree, the story of Barbara's death in India must be greatly exaggerated.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
About Bill, I've gotten that same impression of him but do not be confused by his intensity about things. He is a beloved member here and is all around a good person.

Yes, I can be a bit of an ass. I try not to, but somehow it always comes through as if I'm being a dick. I have never quite figured out what I do to make people think this, but it is a fact. This is why, whenever I need someone to like me, I send my wife. She is a people person.

Bill
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
HV,

Thanks for explaining yourself. I think many of us assumed you were angry and hurt by the criticisms of the poem because you discussed it in the same post as the inaccuracies about Barbara Fry's biography, about which you are obviously angry and hurt. I'm guessing some of that emotion leaked from one subject into the other, in our minds if not yours. I can imagine how cool it would be to find poems by your grandmother discussed online. I think we all get that. I wish my grandmother wrote and published poems. All she did was comb her long gray hair and eat toast with butter and jelly on it while staring out the window of an ancient brick building in Chicago. Anyway, you'll find the people here are friendly and generous, and will be eager to help you in your research. The tough part for you will be to maintain objectivity, given the family connection. Blood is thicker than water, as they say. Good luck.

ps: Bill is a good guy and a fountain of knowledge on Bukowski and the small press. He's passionate is all.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
...and it is important to set the record straight, whether it is done here or not. If the written history is inaccurate, we would gladly correct it. I cannot imagine the hurt that it would cause my family if outright lies were hoisted on the public as truth. This forum is all about getting to the truth about Bukowski and in relation to that, we need to know the truth about Barbara.

Barbara Fry is indeed mysterious. She was very hard to research. Even the spelling of her last name is uncertain. I have seen it spelled FRY and FRYE. I heard that some members of her family spell it one way and others spell it another.

However we get the correct info (whether on this forum or in a book), I'd LOVE to read it and am eager to learn. I would LOVE to correct the biographers, especially Sounes.

Bill
 

cirerita

Founding member
But Bill, how can you possibly correct Sounes? Even with empirical info, factual data, etc., at hand, how could you possibly change his mind? :D
 

mjp

Founding member
In the poem above, she's talking about her family land in Texas. ...I believe the poem is about her move to L.A., with a romantic line dedicated to Bukowski.
You know, I have to say, knowing that certainly makes the poem read differently to me.

I'm hoping to contact Sounes and figure out where he got the info. on her life after Bukowski.
He emails from [email protected] - that's not exactly a top secret address, so I don't see any harm in posting it.

Don't expect him to take kindly to you contradicting anything he's written.
 
Hello everyone. Well, I just had a weekend visit home to the family. They aren't fond of the forum... but I'll get them to warm up. If anything, this will be an enormous help and support system.

It's OK, Bill. As you can see... I have difficulty with that as well. As all of you bore witness to, people tend to think I'm pissed more often than I actually am. Ah, well. I try.

Some of that might be attributed to youthful angst. I doubt I'm as accomplished as many of you are. I graduate in about one month with an undergrad degree in Philosophy and Literature.

My focus in Philosophy is Existentialism.
My focus in Literature is high modernism, and contemporary theory. Out of the beats, my favorite poet was probably Snyder. I've only recently been delving into Bukowski- because I've only recently discovered my Grandmother's involvement with him. Talk about mysterious, right? To think I would be let in on something like that a little sooner.

I'm applying to graduate programs as we speak, but will take a one year hiatus from academia (after this research is done) in order to work in Japan for a bit. Looks like teaching English will never escape my blood line. After Japan, I'll pursue a PhD in either philosophy or a rhetoric, multi-cultural department. I love philosophy... to death... but sometimes a degree outside of the traditional canon is less stifling and more customized.

Please, tell me more about yourselves. It would probably help ease the situation with my family.
 
Ah, yes...

The correct spelling of her name is Frye. For some reason, she took off the "e" as one of her pen names. I know she had more than one pen name, as well, and I'm trying to scrounge them up.

Random, fun fact:

This is just an account retold by my family, so I cannot currently claim its absolute veracity... but I can definitely see it happening, with a very big grin (maybe if I peek around I can find records of it somewhere, but probably not).

One of the last straws she had with Bukowski occurred when she bought him a car so he could find work. What he actually ended up doing was drinking and writing in the vehicle. Basically, he trashed it and slept in it like another house. She supposedly opened the door and had to clean out bottles and hundreds of crumpled poems and illegible writings.
 
wow! thanks much for joining the forum. we all love hearing the untold stories of buk. your innput is much appreciated. me, i'm just a buk entheusiast and collector. that's my story. please stick around and tell us more...
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Probably because we have been a bit tough on Barbara (well, maybe very tough), but in our defense, we have only heard one version of the story. We are hungry for the other side of this story.

Billl
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
HV,

I can understand your family being not pleased with the forum, and I can understand your (possibly unconscious) anger. Families do not like having negative publicity about one of their members. I think they all feel shamed by whatever comes out. I've seen it with other subjects besides Barbara Frye. I went to a reading where an author (Linda Crew) discussed a new book she had just published, a historical novel about a religious cult in Oregon circa 1900, and three family members of one of the main characters, a young woman seduced by the cult leader, showed up. They were hopping mad, shaking with rage, and they apparently had not read the book, nor did they want to -- they were angry that more publicity had come out on the hundred year old case involving their ancestor. They ripped into Crew, and she handled it well. Basically, they didn't want her or anyone writing anything about their ancestor. I myself am doing research on a literary figure from 100 years ago and have seen how much anger and suspicion remains in her family, her descendents. They are still seething about the negative publicity surrounding her, as are many people in her home town. Perhaps what is troubling to your family is the connection with Bukowski, and not that Barbara Frye was an author in her own right. He's a controversial figure, unconventional, and that might be the source of discomfort. Anyway, glad you are working through this as you are.

Who are we? I'm a published poet and short story writer, have an MA in English.
 
[...] My focus in Philosophy is Existentialism.

Are you more into 20th century-existentialism (Sartre, Camus) or 19th century (Nietzsche, Kirkegaard) ?


[...] I've only recently been delving into Bukowski [...]
Since you like modern literature, you may come to like him as well. His literary qualities are outstanding.
I guess, you've read 'Post Office' as one of the first, right?


[...] tell me more about yourselves.

Basically, I'm what was called a 'slacker' in the early 90s.

That's because Plato has claimed, one should do - and ONLY this - what one can do BEST. In my case, this is sitting around in a café, getting invited to enormous amounts of wine and acting depressive but ubercool. So that's what I do.

Beside that, I'm a fan of Charles Bukowski. As you may have guessed.
 
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Rekrab

Usually wrong.
By the way, I need to correct myself. When I said that Barbara Fry was not a great poet -- that's something I really can't say, based soley on reading a single poem. I should have said she's not known as a great poet, or isn't a famous poet, or doesn't seem to have been an important poet, or whatever. But she could be far better than that one poem suggests. I was assuming a lot from very little evidence.
 

Gerard K H Love

Appreciate your friends
Maybe the family didn't like the corgi, or this one either.

About the car. I have seen many cars full of bottles and crumpled up wads of paper. That's what some people do with their cars. At least Bukowski was writing poetry in his.

By the way, thank you, and I hope you are getting good grades. I have two kids in college and you have to love kids in college.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
I don't drink alcohol in mine (although Delaware has no open container law, so passengers can drink while the car is in motion, so long as the driver is not drinking!), but I drive for a living, so I spend about 30 hours a week in mine. The inside of it looks like a dump.

Bill
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Take some photos for us Bill. For posterity. My wife once broke into Tom Waits' old Cadillac when it was parked on a side street by the Tropicana Hotel. Gathered up old cigarette butts, Fritos bags -- anything for a souvenir. Which reminds me, I should do something with the two pieces I wrote about Waits in the 80s. All I need is lots and lots of time for typing.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Now that would make a cool photo book. Snapshots of a bunch of poets and editors (from this Forum, naturally ... we're an exclusive club, right?), in their trash strewn rides. What does that remind me of?
 

mjp

Founding member
Nah, only one famous picture would come out of it and there would be arguments over who really took it for the next 30 years...
 
Are you more into 20th century-existentialism (Sartre, Camus) or 19th century (Nietzsche, Kirkegaard) ?

Basically, I'm what was called a 'slacker' in the early 90s.

That's because Plato has claimed, one should do - and ONLY this - what one can do BEST.
Don't get me started on Plato... I probably have more beef with him than I do with Sounes. Oh, and I do 19th century Existentialism, and have a strange knack for cryptic Germans... Actually, the first thing I've ever read by Bukowski was a collection of poetry called "Love is a Dog from Hell." Sometimes I'll blow some money at the bookstore by closing my eyes and randomly selecting something. That happened to be it (this must have been about a year or two ago...) I really enjoyed it... but simply haven't read enough of his massive amount of work in order to declare him one of my favorites. Right now I'm focusing on the biographers. You're right, soon I'll be picking up Post Office.

Well, I don't even have a car to fuck up. Now that is bum, haha. I'm glad for it... it's one less thing to worry about.

My family isn't fond of the forum, generally speaking, as the method for purveying personal information about our history. They prefer that I would do so academically, which I understand... that's why it's become an academic project. However, Rekrab is right. I seem to be stepping on everyone's toes by digging in the past. It makes people uncomfortable. For now, I must work within their respected limits; ultimately, my allegiance is to the people I love. But I do hate being told not to do something... that really irks me. I'd be happy to keep this thread going, though, and post any relevant material I find about my grandmother and Bukowski (the corrections will have to come later, when all of my relations are content).

Even I can't find her poetry. That's why I was so grateful to see the one posted above. We have some of her art work, but I don't know where her poems, journals, or letters are. It will take a little time.
 
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mjp

Founding member
My family isn't fond of the forum, generally speaking, as the method for purveying personal information about our history.
As you have made abundantly clear. No need to repeat it again. The third time is the charm. We get it.

So write it up in some academic journal somewhere where it will be read by your family and about a dozen other people and be done with it. Problem solved. History repaired!

The only problem is, millions of people have read Bukowski's descriptions of your grandmother in his books, the biographies, etc., and they will not ever see your important and serious dissertation.

This is all so comical anyway, the overzealous and paranoid "protection" of a figure of such minor importance. I know, everyone loves their grandmother, and to you she is a maverick and a genius. So is everyone else's grandmother. If yours hadn't briefly married Bukowski, no one outside your family would know her name.

So tell your disapproving, tightass family to lighten up. They aren't protecting the honor of the Queen of England here.

Besides, if the story is ever published anywhere, it will end up here in one form or another. Where people can actually see it. I would think that's what you would want. Instead you are pissing all over your best outlet for the truth.
 
Whoa mjp. You seem to be awfully irritated about finding out the truth about someone completely unimportant to you. For now I'll just talk about what you guys really want to hear- her involvement with Bukowski. Why are you shitting yourself about the rest if, evidently, it only matters to me?

It's not entirely about protecting my grandmother's honor, either (if it were about that, then I obviously would have complete ignorance of what Bukowski wrote). It's more complicated than that. It's about something else, something which I wouldn't expect others to understand, because it is our own issue. Do not assume. It's not your place to tell them to lighten up, because you simply don't know.

As far as academia is concerned... it takes more time. It's not instant gratification. I need that time in order to work it out with them.
 
A note on things; and it really is not important whether I (or any of us, from my position) ever learn what you might have to say or not. I've found, that at the end of it all, what one should have allegiance to is truth. If you prefer to have allegiance to family, that's fine, and ultimately, it's your choice.

My experience has also taught me that doing so typically shows little or no allegiance to truth.

You've unexpectedly been genetically linked to someone who was closely linked to a writer many hold dear. And that's your lot, and no one else's, to do with as you see best.
 
Thanks, Purple.

I believe the truth will come in time (a relatively short time), and I believe I can do so in a manner that doesn't alienate the people I care for. It would be utterly selfish of me to act now, against everyone's wishes, when I've only begun to talk with them about this. But you're right- the truth is often more painful. Since it does, really, only matter for us, it would somewhat destroy the point if not even my family cares for the pursuit.
 
I believe the truth will come in time (a relatively short time), and I believe I can do so in a manner that doesn't alienate the people I care for.

Good luck with that as I think they are conflicting aims. When you get two or more different versions of an event, which are you going to take as correct -- not wishing to alienate any of the 'witnesses'?
 
None of us are in disagreement about the events. I'm afraid that's not the issue. Regardless, thanks for the advice. We're a small, tight knit bunch and most of us are dead. There really aren't a whole lot of available opposing accounts- and I don't even have an acquaintance with anyone who gave up the info. to the biographers. Probably long distant relatives-which would explain the half-truths.
 
Hah. Well, what I meant was that... we are not a big family (Those who could have promised more progeny died- I don't even have first cousins), so there really aren't a bunch of personalities or opinions to satisfy. Amongst ourselves, we aren't fighting about what the truth is, but about what to do with it.
 
I'd like to go all in, but for now I've got to check.

And, in response to some other comments...

I really have no idea whether or not she was a genius or a great poet. Your guess is as good as mine. She was kind of a Maverick, though (a word I've come to hate ever since Palin said it a trillion times). She was strange from the moment she was born... but you're right- she would be unknown if she hadn't been associated with Bukowski. As unknown as the rest of us, participating under screen names in a forum dedicated to someone else's greatness.
 
Soune's biography does seem to have the most detailed, and accurate, account of her so far. It just misses the mark in a couple of places... whether he is approachable or correctable in the end, I suppose... doesn't necessarily matter. As many of you have reported, he doesn't take well to criticism. If there is published counter-evidence, then that will be enough to satisfy me. Like I mentioned previously, I would like to discuss the truth here, but if and when the time is right. Please don't take offense to that. I'm straddling a thin line here. What I'd really like to know is where Soune's got his information from. That's the creepy part.

Out of curiosity, what have you all tried to correct previously?
 

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