Buk Intro to "Anthology of L.A. Poets"

#1
No news of this in a search, so here goes:

A FOREWARD TO THESE POEMS

I was born in 1920 and brought to this city (Los Angeles) at the age of 2 and have lived most of my life here. I feel that I am qualified enough to speak of this city and, pehaps, upon poetry.

There have certainly been enough anthologies and there are too many poets and few enough readers---the fault, I believe, of the poets. Poetry has long been an in-game, a snob game, a game of puzzles and incantations. It still is, and most of its practitioners operate comfortably as professors in our safe and stale universities. We have a professor or 2 or 3 in this book---exceptions, believe us.

That poets can only live and produce in certain cities---New York, San Francisco, Paris, or that these cities have more ability to sustain, accent and enliven poetry is just another order of garbage to be fed to the hogs. It is time that we brought poetry down to the ground and that the best of it might be given credit for existing wherever it exists---for instance, here in Los Angeles.

You know, I can't think of another city that takes more mockery than Los Angeles. It is the unloved city, it is the target. We contain Hollywood---and, in a sense, Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm. . .we are corn. We are mistakes. We are tourists. We are the lonely drunks of a Saturday night sitting for hours over a warming beer, watching nudie dancers we can never possess.

Los Angeles is also Main Street and E. 5th. and East L.A. and Watts. Los Angeles has its poor and its real, and Los Angeles has it poets, some of them pretty damn good. We'd like to think that we have gathered most of the pretty damned good ones here in this book. Of course, somebody is going to holler. That's one of the reasons we put this book together, to hear some hollering. Los Angeles is also Pasadena, Long Beach, Irvine---anyplace you can get to within an hour drive or two. Technically, no; spiritually, yes. We have included 2 or 3 'spiritual yeses'.

I think it's important to know that a writer can live and die anywhere. I think it's important to know that a writer can live in Los Angeles for a lifetime without ever having visited Grauman's Chinese or The Wax Museum or Barney's Beanery or Disneyland, or without ever having attended a Tournament of Roses Parade. I think it's important to know that a man or woman, writer or not, can find more isolation in Los Angeles than in Boise, Idaho. Or, all things being fair, he can with a telephone (if he has a telephone) have 19 people over drinking and talking with him within an hour and a half. I have bummed the cities and I know this---the great facility of Los Angeles is that one can be alone if he wishes or he can be in a crowd if he wishes. No other city seems to allow this double choice as well. This is a fairly wonderful miracle, especially if one is a writer.

Cities are no more than dwellings, places of business. streets, cars, people---people set down somewhere into all the agony and trouble and love and frustration and death and dullness and treachery and hope that they can get into. I must admit that I have gained a love for Los Angeles that forces me again and again to return to it once I have left. Someday there will even be songs about Los Angeles if the smog doesn't get us first.

The true Angelo also has a certain sophistication---he minds his own damned business. This is often mistaken for coldness but if you have ever lived in New York City or Chicago, you know what coldness is.

It's hard to find good poets anywhere. Our search here hasn't been easy. Very little good poetry is being written anywhere. Yet there are people, young and old, male and female who have been doing it quietly---if a bit desperately---here in L.A. We'd like to think that we have chosen the best. But mistakes are made; omissions are easy This isn't a bible, it's a tentative gathering. It's a city of poets and here are some of them. I think you'll find power here, and clarity and humour, and feeling enough.

Now let the hollerers holler.

See you at ZODY'S.

-Charles Bukowski
4/11/72
Los Angeles
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Over 5000 posts
#2
Thanks a lot for posting this intro, PS! I've never read it before...
 
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poptop

Over 500 posts
#4
"I think it's important to know that a man or woman, writer or not, can find more isolation in Los Angeles than in Boise, Idaho."

O god is this true... with its endless urban sprawl... is one of the loneliest cities in the world until you make friends - and that can sometimes take forever... pitiful, dreadful if you're used to rubbing shins with the daily crush of humanity.

ZODY'S was the Walmart of its day, carrying odds and ends of every sort including furniture. It was a chain of stores dotting many LA communities and was everywhere with its cheap, blue-collar goods - now long gone and forgotten into commercial oblivion.

Thanks to Purple Stickpin for typing or scanning in Buk's intro. Had never seen it until now, and I enjoyed Buk's attitude and every word. He put LA on the map of not only American poetry but world-class poetry.
 

Gerard K H Love

Appreciate your friends
Over 5000 posts
#6
It's even funnier today that he said, "See you at ZODY'S." I'm surprised they made all the way to 1986.

I liked his discription of LA and what it is and what it contains(Irvine Long Beach Disney Land). I know most people who live there and way out here (70 plus miles east) share that sense of belonging. As he says----anyplace you can get to within an hour drive or two. Technically, no; spiritually, yes. We have included 2 or 3 'spiritual yeses'.
 
#8
There's a good poem in this anthology that I don't believe is published elsewhere: "29 CHILLED GRAPES." It's pretty long, though, and since I have been typing this stuff in, I'll either have to be very bored or very drunk to post it (neither bodes well for good presentation, however). The typing's not so bad; it's trying to go gently on the binding, which requires either multiple closings and partial openings, or typing with one hand. Quite a bugger, don't you know.
 

zobraks

Moderator
Over 1000 posts
#9
LA poets (Anthology).jpg


Here's an interesting picture related to the anthology. I tried to figure out who's who and failed miserably (I don't have the anthology).
See if you can guess who the poets in this picture are.

LA poets (Anthology) - numeracija.jpg


1) Mrs. Ubiquitous (she signed the photo as usual, that woman would sign anything that comes into her sight)
2) some minor poet
3) A.D. Winans?
4) Gerald Locklin
5) A.D. Winans clone?
6) Nelson Cherry (aka Neeli Cherkovski)
7) John "The Rapist" Thomas
8) some poetess
9) ???
10) Art Garfunkel lookalike
11) ? (John Bennett?)
12) a sexy poetess
13) another poetess (maybe not so sexy but probably a good poetess nevertheless)
14) Gerry Locklin's twin brother
15) some rich guy from the beach cottage (presumably Steve Richmond)
16) beats me

Now, could someone who has this book post the list of the poets represented (or, even better, the table of contents), please.
 

Johannes

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
#12
Great pic! Never seen before. Thx for sharing.

I think one of the two heavy 'stache guys could be Ron Koertge (?) if Ron Koertge was in the Anthology(?) ... the one below Locklin with the sunglasses on his head (?) ... or Jack Hirschman. He was in the Anthology and seems a 'stachebro too.

Neeli has some major hipster swag going, pants are on fire, glasses and beard lit. Could the balding guy with the glasses in the center be Paul Vangelisti? John Thomas (if that's him) looks like a cowboy redneck.

The real question is how did they manage to organize this meeting when Doodle and Facebook weren't even invented?
 

zobraks

Moderator
Over 1000 posts
#14
You're welcome.

The real question is how did they manage to organize this meeting when Doodle and Facebook weren't even invented?
They had that telephone thingie. :D

I think one of the two heavy 'stache guys could be Ron Koertge (?)
I think Koertge isn't in the photo. Here's how he looked in 1975:
Ron Koertge.jpg


... the one below Locklin with the sunglasses on his head (?)
Number 5 (check/click the spoiler in my previous post) is most probably A.D. Winans:

Winans.jpg


Could the balding guy with the glasses in the center be Paul Vangelisti?
Number 10? Could be.
Here's Vangelisti some 40 years later:

Paul Vangelisti.png


John Thomas (if that's him)
Number 7 is John Thomas for sure.

Neeli has some major hipster swag going
And he kept playing a hip cat (check the beret) in this photo with Jack Hirschman:

Hirschman & Neeli.jpg

No one in the Anthology photo looks like Hirschman to me. That remarkable nose...
 
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#15
Now, could someone who has this book post the list of the poets represented (or, even better, the table of contents), please.
There is no real TOC, just a list of poets. I suppose that I could leaf through my copy, but as it is a bit brittle, hopefully this list will suffice:

William Pillin
Gerda Penfold
Jack Hirschman
Buk
Holly Prado
Robert Peters
Rosella Pace
Charles Stetler
Linda King
A.P. Russo
Neeli Cherry
Gerald Lockin
Steve Richmond
Ronald Koertge
Ameen Alwan
Paul Vangelisti
Stuart Z. Perkoff (gotta be sure that Z is in there as there must have been thousands of Stuart Perkoff's active in the L.A. Poetry scene.) :rolleyes:
John Thomas
 
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