Illustration of "Screams from the Balcony" (1 Viewer)

The comments are pretty interesting too.

Check out this one:

As you probably ascertained from things I've mentioned over at NSS, I used to edit a little 'zine out of San Jose,CA. for over 10 years called EAT POOP! Buk being a fave of mine, I early on published a poem that he had sent to a friend of mine that had never been published (for me a coup in itself). I then sent a copy of the ish of EP! to Hank to see what might transpire (Feb. 1992). I received the following letter & poem, which I shared with my readers & am now sharing here.

Hello Nothin',
Thanks for your magazine. What more can I say? I get lots of magazines & letters & manuscripts & photos of women's bodies. I get threats. I get praise. I get dullness. I get garlands of self-pity. I get a mass & a mess of stuff. I can't respond to all of these. I can't smooth & soothe all of these. I can't flagellate them. There's not enough of me. I got toothaches, flat tires, the falling shit of darkness, etc., just like anybody else. Please understand, I am an isolationist but not a prick. Well, not always a prick
You asked for something. (did I forget to mention that above, er, oh - NØ) It is a poem (enclosed) If you don't like it, it means your balls are tangled in your shorts & it's cutting off the blood supply to your brain. S.A.E. enclosed for your usage. & of course, if you do like the poem, it means that you are a fine fellow, acute, & riveted to the flow of the gods.
EAT POOP!, eh? Can you back that up? I don't use calendars, I just ask somebody,"Is it March or Mayhem?" There may be flies on some of you guys but there're vultures on me.


In search of the hero

I never met him, even in the alley. I make out the form that has battered me to the ground, but it's no good. It was nothing but a half-brained ape.

In print, for a while, it was Hemingway, then I noticed that his writing was writing itself, he was not writing it.

In drinking, it was nobody. I opened & closed the bar, others gave it a try but they came & left, they had neither the thirst nor the gamble nor the suicidal bent. I stayed on that stool for 5 years waiting for a drinking companion. Hundreds came & left. They died, quit, vanished. I ordered more drinks, then I left to drink in the rooms with the only companion I had met...

In sex. I began quite late & being fully rested I gave it a roaring bang, learning more from each & applying it in all its fullsome aspects, awakening in new bed after new bed & back in some old ones...looking out the window & seeing my car parked outside...& remembering that there was another to do that day & maybe another that night.

Dinners, lunches, wines, walks in the park, walks along the sea, sometimes meeting a brother, a son, an x-husband & once, a husband. I knew of nobody who was doing as many bodies as I & drinking as hard at the same time. I was doing it all & I was penniless & stupid & almost without reason. To return now & then to my tiny dirty court after long absences to find wild notes under my door & in my mailbox.

I couldn't handle them all & some became enraged, attacked my automobile, broke into the premises, destroyed everything, the female hurricanes from hell.

& to have the phones ringing throughout all time, curses, wails, hangups, re-rings, threats of love, threats of death, & if I took the phone off the hook...soon the sound of a racing motor, the screeching of brakes & a rock through the window.

3 times there were attempted murders against me. & I was old & ugly, worse than poor, often even without toilet paper & I was only giving the game half a try...

But, I mean, I knew of nobody like me around.

I was my own hero. Crazed, true.

I remember once after a rock crashed through my window & I heard the car roaring off, sex-worn

It breaks off there. Interesting poem, and uncollected as yet, isn't it?

Now am I crazy or what, I rememberd that letter from 'Reach for the Sun' but didn't remember the name 'EAT POOP' ... And sure enough, checking the database it tells me, that "In search of the hero" appeared in the " Nihilistic Review vol. 1 no. 1, 1991" ... this seems much closer to the name, I remember. I don't have the book now, can't check. Could anybody verify this?

Was the "Nihilistic Review" originally titled "EAT POOP"? But why is he quoting the other title then? Or did B. use the exact same words in two letters?

Okay, got the Book. In "Reach for the Sun" it reads:

[To Maxwell Gaddis]
March 23, 1991 11:1 3 PM
I could be unappreciative and self-centered but a "cock-sucker," I ain't.
(See your last letter or your grandma's dirty underwear). But, I took a
second sighting on your babbling and figured, in manner or speech, you
were just coming on as a so-called tough to impress me.
I am not impressed. It's a dangerous word,
baby, that one, and if you use it against somebody standing in the same
room with you there is a good chance you are going to get your lights
turned out. So be careful. Unless you are a black belt man. Then still be
careful"”anybody can be had.

On your calendar and letter, I might have gotten them. I just didn't jump
through the hoop, lala. I get lots of calendars and letters, and manuscripts,
and photos of parts of women's bodies. I get threats, I get praise, I get
dullness, I get garlands of self-pity, I get a mass and a mess of stuff. I can't
respond to all these. I can't smooth and soothe all these, I can't flagellate
them. There's not enough of me. I get toothaches, flat tires, the falling shit
of darkness, etc., just like anybody else. Please understand, I am an isolationist
but not a prick. Well, not always a prick.
You asked for something. It is a poem (enclosed). If you don't like it it
means that your balls are tangled in your shorts and it's cutting off the
blood supply to your brain. S.E.A. enclosed for your usage. And, of course,
if you do like the poem it means that you are a fine fellow, acute, and riveted
to the flow of the gods.
The Nihilistic Review , eh?
Can you back that?
I don't use calendars. I just ask somebody, is this March or mayhem?
There may be flies on some of you guys but there's vultures on me.


I don't get it.
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Maybe he had a form letter that he slightly altered and sent out because... "I get lots of calendars and letters, and manuscripts, and photos of parts of women's bodies. I get threats, I get praise, I get dullness, I get garlands of self-pity, I get a mass and a mess of stuff. I can't
respond to all these."
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EAt Poop! and The Nihilistic Review are different mags for sure. Maybe Cooney fucked it up on this one when editing the book -which I doubt- or perhaps it was B. himself and that stock letter... who knows?
But this letter sounds very idiosyncratic to me. Imagine someone sending out a form letter like this to 40 different people sending him unwanted shit ... containing phrases like "the falling shit of darkness" ;)

This would have to be one truly work of art, then.
To hell with Cage and Bukowski. Artsy wankers. ;)

There's only 24 hours in a day and 8 of those are spent with the lights out, so it wouldn't surprise me one bit if he prepared a letter to send out then modified it slightly each time.

The falling shit of darkness indeed :)
Hehe, you caught me fast. I didn't want John Cage to jump in again.

(for all: I edited my post, removing some name dropping, but ROC was quicker).
He was using the computer by March of 1991, so I assume he had a few stock cut and paste items, and this is probably one of them.

For someone who got as much mail as he did, it would be crazy not to have a few stock reply letters. I would think that's one of the main benefits of the computer to someone who answers a lot of mail.
FWIW - I also had money on Denis of Cork to win The Belmont Stakes that year.
Boo-hoo :(

Thanks for posting that - enjoyed the artwork and the poem.
Scream From The Balcony

You are right, of course, that the 'tone' of the illustration is inspired by Robert Crumb. Another fine artist and a personal favourite of mine.

If you read my post, you will see that I intended to airmail the original directly to Buk, c/o Black Sparrow Press; a plan which was wholly scuppered when I read reports that he had died.

The illustration was undertaken on 15/03/94 (as signed). I believe it was a Sunday night but I do not recall. I did not learn of Bukowski's demise - on March 9th - until the following week.

As to the poem - form letter or otherwise - and the fanzine in which it was originally printed, you would need to speak to the editor.

- ib
Thanks, roni.

Nathan Nothin' - the guy who posted the poem on my site, by way of a comment, and who edited 'Eat Poop!' - is a personal friend of mine.

I have no idea whether Buk operated a form letter, or not, or as to what degree he might have personalized the same if that was the case. Then again, that Bukowski might have been regularly using a computer back then is something which didn't occur to me either.

The illustration to the Blazek poem from 1965 was undertaken in one sitting. If you look closely, you will see I miscredited him as 'Balzek' in the margins. By the time I finished it I was quite drunk.

Anyway. When I realized Bukowski would never receive it, it remained in my 'private' collection for a few years. I eventually published it as an accompanying piece to my own poems and prose, in 1997. In a strictly limited run. In those days, still, I had no access to DTP, so the whole thing was put together in as crude a fashion as photocopying dictated.
Actually. It is quite fitting that the whole thing was eventually done on the cheap. Given Blazek's proprietership of Open Skull Press out in Sacramento.

The site I run now - SiBLINGSHOT ON THE BLEACHERS - has a very scattergun approach. I would liken it to a garage sale, where nothing has any more of a value than the rest. It catalogues my continuing fascination with music; poetry; prose; and anything else which grabs my attention on any day of the week. In no particular order.

The only constant is my being there. To jab in the stick and rummage around in the soup.

Thanks for picking up on it, Johannes. And putting it up here.

This picture reminds me of this one (portraying Albert Camus):


Assuredly not the same readings, but they both looked very absorbed.


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That's an amazing resemblance - thanks for the pics !

EDIT: I am now thinking of the old KISS song "Strutter", but substituting "Strummer" in the chorus. I should seek help for these habits.
Nihilistic Review and Eat Poop

i read with amusement the nearly identical letter sent to both Eat Poop and my Magazine the Nihilistic Review. i am maxwell gaddis and at first thought someone had stolen my letter and tweaked it a bit. i then recalled that buk had definitely converted to computer composition by then and remembered how many letters he told me he got. we became somewhat close as pen pals toward the end. he told me of letters from axel rose and other rockers who wanted to be seen with him for publicity but he never truly connected with the type of music etc that rose and others got away with. it took a few form like letters between us before he let down his guard. he saw that i really wanted nothing but to soak in his philosophy. he was simple at times and complex others. and then he died. i have a lot of unpublished letters from him that probably should be 'outed' as his off duty works were usually works of art as well.
no, i had quite a few of his lesser known works. he usually not only wrote the poetry but within each poem was his own critique of what he had written. i am currently at somewhat of a disadvantage as i am in process of (1) buying and (2) moving, to cape coral florida. most of my paperwork is packed and buried under hundreds of boxes. but i might have a couple copies of the magazine handy somewhere in which would be some of his other works. i will look around and if i find something i will post. i will also check back from time to time to see what is happening. have you ever had the opportunity to see HBO's special called 'best hotel on skidrow'? if not you should try to find access to it. bukowski narrates it and we spoke of it often. i even made a trip to the hotel which if memory serves was called the Madison in LA. i met a few of the principals in the film and was told others had already died.


i found the entire poem 'in search of the hero' . it goes about 8 pages in the manner he typed it. if anyone wants to see it, i will copy it to pdf and send it or if better, i can post it here.

let me know. i will look for more
Yes please!!!
If you look around HERE you will find quite a few other unpublished pomes as well
Sibling Shot--I don't know if you still check out this site, but your drawing is really superb. Have you thought of doing more Bukowski illustrations?
Nihilistic Review 'in search of the hero'

there should be a complete version here. not sure if i uploaded it properly. if not, i will keep trying

maxwell gaddis

Mod Edit: Corrected the order of the pages of the attached file.


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Thanks a lot!
- First we had the short story, "Absence of the Hero", and now the poem, "In Search of the Hero". I wonder if the hero will ever show up. :)
That's right, Roni! There seems to be lots of missing people out there, but never the ones you would like to be missing.
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