I think Bukowski was extra motivated in this correspondence because Sheri Martinelli was Ezra Pounds x-mistress. Motivated to show his genius skills and probably motivated to pick her up too 8-)
I always liked this book. It's true, it's hard to read because of the trying to convince each other of their geniuses and Martinellis experimental writing style, yet it's very early Bukowski, he writes her in a way he's writing nowhere else and Martinelli has some interesting pieces in it too, imo.
I still about half believe that Don't Try, Bukowskis motto and the words on his gravestone, might have come out of this correspondence. Coined by Martinelli btw. Can't prove it of course. But I remember her writing about young black kids in jail who say "don't try, man ... if you haffa try ..." and Bukowski praising this letter and being in awe.
Should dig the quote up. Maybe I'll reread the book and see how I like it now. Has been a while.