Help decipher "Voices" from Burning (1 Viewer)

thebluesman

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I've read and reread this poem, page 223 in Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame, and I want to know what the hell he is talking about.

Shed some light?
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
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well, I have a few thoughts & guesses...
the last stanza is jean paul sartre.
in the seventh stanza, capote said that Buk just typewrites, but I'm not sure who N.C. is.
the sixth stanza, Buk often said he did a "Hemingway" with Post Office. E.H.
the rest, I dunno...not one of my favourites.
 

the only good poet

One retreat after another without peace.
i think N.C. is neal cassidy. somewhere else, possibly in a letter and/or column in NOTES, buk said that kerouac had killed cassidy by pumping up his image. is the last stanza(9) really sartre or genet?
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
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I thought Genet, too, given the prison references. but the coming to america, communism comments, I'd bet satre.I could be mistaken.

i think N.C. is neal cassidy. somewhere else, possibly in a letter and/or column in NOTES, buk said that kerouac had killed cassidy by pumping up his image.
kerouac...right. yes, you're right. and he's talking about the town and the city, not post office. right.
I'll catch on one of these days...
 

the only good poet

One retreat after another without peace.
I thought Genet, too, given the prison references. but the coming to america, communism comments, I'd bet satre.I could be mistaken.

genet did visit america, albeit, illegally, after being refused a visa because of "sexual deviancy." i know he was politically active and wrote a foreword for a book entitled soledad brother: the letters of george jackson. i'd bet my next pay packet it was genet...which is saying much.
 

the only good poet

One retreat after another without peace.
from what i've read sartre liked his women. i think the novel of which buk speaks is genet's a thiefs journal. for some unaccountable reason kenneth rexroth comes to mind while reading the 8th stanza.
 
Are we sure?

> capote said that Buk just typewrites, but I'm not sure who N.C. is.
the sixth stanza.<

With all respect my Canuck brother(ontario here)
I'm 99.99% sure the typewriter allusion was to Kerouac not Bukowski.
If I recall the question was to Capote what to you think of Kerouacs writing (after On the Road) and the response was thats not writing its typing.

There is a great short storey about Buk meeting Neil Cassidy in a bar and having N.C take him for a ride. Someone else more knowledgable than I on th elist (and there are many) can possibly shed some light on the meetings veracity

Interesting that while Buk was not part of the beat cult, he chronicles the last act of the man who may been the catalyst for the group ususally associated with Beat writing.
Even more interesting if the story is false...why write it?
Go Leafs
 

hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
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Founding member
no offence taken...I sort of retracted my comments on that particular stanza in earlier posts...
 

the only good poet

One retreat after another without peace.
who is buk parodying in the 5th? what about that one in the early home recordings - don't remember the title; used to make me wince: "spooks, sparks spindles..." gloriously bad...i suspect it was only half a send up...?
 
There is a great short storey about Buk meeting Neil Cassidy in a bar and having N.C take him for a ride. Someone else more knowledgable than I on th elist (and there are many) can possibly shed some light on the meetings veracity

Interesting that while Buk was not part of the beat cult, he chronicles the last act of the man who may been the catalyst for the group ususally associated with Beat writing.
Even more interesting if the story is false...why write it?
Go Leafs

I think Jimmy Snerp has it right. Whether true or not, Buk did write a piece after Cassady died that appeared in Open City or the Free Press"”whatever publication he was writing for in '68"”and I recollect parts of it, hot off the press at the time, as one of the columns that stayed with me because it was a feeling piece, a low-keyed mood piece without B's usual comic blustering... more subdued as B felt something whistful at Neal's passing. In his own way, B was writing his own tribute to Cassady and contributing to Beat lore, but as an outsider.

The piece was about that car ride. Buk wrote with affection though he hardly knew Neal except for this one and memorable event. He's describing the car ride... the doing whatever the hell was happening in the moment, to celebrate some of the spontanious wildness the Beats were known for"”or at least Cassady was. B seemed surprised to have run into Cassady in the first place... B was riding with The Legend.

The strange irony is that here was *B*, not a Beat writer himself, writing one of the best tributes that Cassady would ever have"”and the reader could tell that even B himself knew it. It was like the gods had intervened to give *him* the job instead of the Beats, perhaps because he represented more of what they stood for, without trying, than they did. (Laughing to himself: "You're asking *me* to write this tribute?") Then he gets over the surprise of it and does it...beautifully. The gods were right: no one could have done better. It was *B* writing the postscript to the Beat Movement. It was the irony of it all. The tender irony.

Best wishes, Poptop
 
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hoochmonkey9

Art should be its own hammer.
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Founding member
Buk's Cassady tribute is in Notes of a Dirty Old Man...and you're right, it's glowing.

back to biz...my vote is for Burroughs in stanza 5.
maybe the yelling at the lions in the zoo stanza is Ginsberg. I don't know much about Rexroth, other than he was associated with the beats, so it could definately be him. reading poems to zoo animals and recording it seems a very beat thing to do.


ok, I think the lion reading poet is Michael McClure. apparently he had a thing for animals and wtote nonsensical poems about animals. lots of onomatapeia (sp?).
 
i think N.C. is neal cassidy. somewhere else, possibly in a letter and/or column in NOTES, buk said that kerouac had killed cassidy by pumping up his image.

I remember reading the same thing, and I would agree with B. that Kerouac projected his own idealized and unfulfilled wild-man image onto Cassady and Cassady was trapped in this straightjacket for the rest of his all-too-short life...terrible. From that standpoint, it was good that Neal died young, to get out from under the elephantine weight of it. While the Beats were intellectuals, some with overt or covert homosexual urges (not a judgement from me, okay?), Neal was the primal male, bursting with vitality...bold, courageous, the un-intellectual. He was everything that Kerouac thought he wasn't himself, and to me Kerouac never had that primeval maleness in his core but would return home to momma, after it was all said and done, only to drink himself to death. What a waste of a great talent...and in a better world it would have been better that Kerouac owned those qualities himself rather than create a myth out of a man he considered his friend. "Friends don't let friends create myths."... I loved some of Kerouac's writings, but the long thrill of the ride of life lost its magic on him, while Bukowski rode it out to the very end. B was like the power of a forrest fire compared to the brilliant flair of a match and then a sudden, terrifying, and empty darkness. I could use a drink about now.

Poptop
 

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