john thomas (1 Viewer)

Good article indeed.

I didn't post this one when I read it last year because
I believe this is the same news paper who published an interview
with the daughter of John Thomas. It's a disgusting interview
where she is telling the interviewer who here father "really" was.

I only feel the need to read her father's poetry.

Charles Bukowski called him "the best unread poet in America", Thomas apparently being the only person who could actually intimidate him.
If you like John Thomas it is best to NOT read that article. I read it and now refuse to read him. There are two camps out there. Those that believe that he did it and those that believe that he did not. I believe that he was guilty. It casts a whole new light on him and makes it hard to enjoy reading him. I have a friend who, upon reading article was so disgusted that he also got rid of his John Thomas stuff.

I interviewed Thomas the year before he passed away, and he was intimidating for sure... but he was also very supportive and he gave me a lot of his own books, inscribed and all. Both Thomas and P. Long seemed to enjoy a lot the bottle of Spanish red wine I brought over. That might explain a few things.
there's a link to the other articles ponder mentioned at the bottom of the page. very disturbing. this is mentioned near the end -
"He outlived many of his Beat cohorts, and he was friendly, for a time, with Charles Bukowski. Indeed, he capitalized on his colleague"s global fame by selling transcripts of his taped conversations with Bukowski after the writer's death in 1994."
did these show up anywhere?
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Indeed, he capitalized on his colleague"s global fame by selling transcripts of his taped conversations with Bukowski after the writer's death in 1994."
did these show up anywhere?

Bukowski in the Bathtub.
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Change. In any case, try and see if change isn't all I need. As:

1. Write sitting in some other chair, or write standing up, or in a different room; write on the toilet.

2. Write every day; write at unlikely hours.

3. Write while people are here, talking, or with the radio blaring.

4. Write with random tools -- crayon, carpenter's pencil, anything that comes to hand -- and write on random surfaces - -any scrap of paper or cardboard, anything.

5. Write whenever I think of writing, whether the usual impulse is there or not.

6. Always write in a spirit of play.

7. Read nothing, just look at pictures or listen to music. Or --read only the newspaper, or children 's books, anything unlikely and non-literary. Or read only random portions of books.

8. Behave inappropriately. Be difficult.

9. Keep different hours, ridiculous hours.

10. Avoid my friends and at the same time start dropping in on everyone else I know, in alphabetical order.

11. Try to live always in a spirit of play.

Like turning myself upside down and shaking all the change out of my pockets. Learning to play again, renewing my vigor, turning myself on.

© John Thomas
But are you really an artist if you bon't try? And what is art, anyway?


You can't dismiss what his daughter said about him, as unpleasant as it may be. Generally ROC, I agree with the 'art is not the artist' sentiment, but I also agree with Bill, in that it is a sliding scale. At some point the criminal eclipses the artist, and the art is tainted. As it should be.

Don't forget the title of one of Steve Richmond's better books; Hitler Painted Roses.

And Benito Mussolini made the trains run on time.

Etc., etc.
...and Hitler Built the Autobahn

I cannot watch the Naked Gun movies without wishing that someone would cut OJ's head off. His personal life has ruined his art art of being the most amazing actor since Danny Bonaduce...

Pound, Hamsun and Celine were all active Nazi's/fascists and we still read their books because we separate the artist from his work. What makes John Thomas different, I wonder? Is it because abusing your kids is worse than being an active Nazi? I really don't know, but it's an interesting question...
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Well, Allen Ginsberg was a strong and active supporter of NAMBLA.
Didn't really affect me since I was never a fan of his writing, but it didn't really help knowing that he was a ped either.
I do not agree with anything that NAMBLA stands for, but my understanding about the Ginsburg/NAMBLA was that he joined to support their free speech and their right to assemble. Once he made the point that he felt that they had the right to assemble, he quit. I'm still not sure if I think that they have a right to assemble, but he did. So, he could have been a ped, but by his argument, he was not, but was supporting thier right to say that they were, if that makes any sense. And, I'm not excusing him, and I don't really get into most of his writing.

Still, if I really got into his writing, I can imagine that this could really be an issue for me.

The one time I met John Thomas he had a big notebook full of manuscript poems and he was not shy about reading from it. I thought he was a pompous ass (I was no prize myself). That news about his daughter sealed it for me. Interesting article about his early life. I had no idea he was taken seriously by Lipton, or much of anyone besides Bukowski.
The 1967 LA Free Press interview was done by John Thomas. But that was a last minute decision. Lipton was the one supposed to interview B. Maybe Thomas talked Lipton into not doing so, who knows?
Unless the artist is accused and pleads guilty to raping his daughter. Then it makes it tough.
No. Not for me it doesn't.

It's just a question of time.

If the creation is important enough, eventually the man (or monster) takes a back seat.

Think of Wagner.

Thomas may have been just shy of a hack (I wouldn't know) so maybe he'll get the oblivion he deserves. That will be mainly due to the quality of the writing. Not the quality of the man.
In Bukowski in the Bathtub there's an interesting transcript of a conversation between Thomas, Bukowski and Bryan (Open City editor). Thomas was acting like a jerk -deliberately so- and Bryan finally told him: "No one will cry at your funeral," or something along those lines.

The fact that Thomas pleaded guilty and that he agreed to publish those transcripts in Bukowski in the Bathtub -where he seems an arrogant ass- reminds me of the Bukowski interview in Hustler re. "The Fiend" short-story: both Thomas and B. are the way they are, and they do not pretend otherwise.
yeah, but the difference is that bukowski wrote about it and thomas did it - that's a big difference. as far as ginsberg goes, it's probably safe to say that anyone who joins ands supports a bunch of fucknuts like nambla is a pea(nis) in the pod so to speak...
The John Thomas thing is disturbing on a couple counts. One, he was obviously intelligent and gifted, and chose to waste that. Fair enough. It's his to waste. But there's nothing praiseworthy about a writer who choses not to write. It's easy to sit on your ass and eat and read and sleep. Any fool can do that. The big difference between Bukowski and Thomas (aside from genius on Buk's side) is that Bukowski worked at it. He was productive as a writer. The second disturbing aspect is that in some quarters Thomas is held in high regard, like some hero, totally ignoring his ugly crime. I suspect that kind of bad boy worship. It's empty and sick. The whole thing leaves a bad taste.

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