"I found this atomic stockpile" (1 Viewer)


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A really interesting poem re. who "reworked" Bukowski's poems. It was first published in 1972 and then finally collected in The Pleasures of the Damned as "My atomic stockpile" with a few minor changes, of course. :D

I was just typing up "after the sandstorm" (as published in Sifting...) and the ending was different from the one I remembered. And sure enough, I took a look at the original version ("Kenyon Review, after the sandstorm," published in Wormwood Review in the 80s) and I saw the ending I remembered. As in most cases, the mag version is superior to the book one.

I'm beginning to think most poems -if not all- were reworked for book publication.
I'm beginning to think most poems -if not all- were reworked for book publication.

That should be easy to check. Those of us who have some of the various mags could compare the poems there with the collected versions.
If "only" a relatively small amount (50-100?) of the poems were reworked, then we could create a list. Maybe some kinda pattern would show up, f.ex. as to what kinda content was reworked ("porn" perhaps?), and maybe Buk/Martin reworked poems more in some years than others. Stuff like that...
I think this would be really valuable to know. I don't doubt Buk reworked his own stuff, just as I don't doubt Martin reworked stuff as well. It would be fantastic to see originals vs. reworked...as I've said before, the crunch, one of my all time favorites, blew my doors off when I read the original version compared to the book versions.

It would be great to know who changed what...then, of course, we'd be forced to wonder why...
It may be impossible to ever know, unless Martin wants to talk about it at some point. But he seems uninterested in writing anything about the history of BSP or Bukowski.

We have examples of manuscripts with big chunks of poems recycled or poems reworked and reused under different titles, so we know that once he started sending out carbons and keeping the originals, he worked out of that stockpile that he kept, maybe when the words weren't flowing as he would have liked.

But we also know for sure that Martin made many changes, and we can probably be pretty confident that something like sandstorm was not changed by Bukowski, at least the version in Sifting.

But the only way to really know any of this for sure would be to see the manuscripts they worked from for the books.
Martin might be uninterested in writing the history of BSP -though a Canadian prof. is doing so- but he has talked about it at length. I think I quoted in some old thread what he said about those reworked poems. J. Smith -Art, Survival and So Forth- interviewed him for his dissertation/book, and he asked Martin about those weird changes. As always, Martin said it was Bukowski the one who changed the poems.

As you guys say, this discussion will get us nowhere fast until someone compares the MSS poems against the poems published in the books. But I felt like posting something about "my atomic stockpile" as it's the only poem I can think of now where B. openly says he reworks rejected poems and sends them out again. Yeah, he said that in a lot of letters, but in a poem???
One of the weird thing is, that he also reworked published poems like "The Crunch", not just the rejected ones...
It would be interesting to find out how many "mag version" poems were reworked into "book version" and make a list of them. Unless they run into several hundreds of poems, of course. Then the task would become unmanageable...
Oh, I would think that it easily runs into the hundreds. Just those with changed titles. ;)

It's a difficult thing to track without comparing the complete poems. If we ever have a database of the text of the poems these kinds of comparisons could be somewhat easier, but it would be a difficult database to compile. Not technically difficult, but humanly difficult. Meaning that most people transcribe mistakes or omissions into the poems when they type them out. You can see examples of that all over the web on those poem sites.

But a non-perfectionist could compile it. Of course the more mistakes it contains, the less valid the comparisons are.

Blah blah blah.

Jesus, I bore myself sometimes, I can only image how you poor bastards feel.
I dream a magical realm where scans of original manuscripts are side-by-side with the mag version then the book version(s)...man, talk about a pipe dream...but I don't know...the way they're putting everything online, this dream of paperless business, etc.--who knows what 50 years might bring...
I dream a magical realm where scans of original manuscripts are side-by-side with the mag version then the book version(s)...man, talk about a pipe dream...
The publisher(s) will never do that. We'd have to do it ourselves, and I'm quite sure Ecco would have an issue with anyone presenting the published text of a large portion of work.

But you never know. If it's not publicly accessible, it could be done. Not for everything, but for the 1000+ manuscripts we have scans of, anyway.


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