Poor Pound - ouch!

cirerita

Founding member
poem1993-02-13-right_rear.jpg
 

Erik

If u don't know the poetry u don't know Bukowski
Founding member
Ouch indeed.
Horrible ending.
Hurts just as much every time.>:((
 

mjp

Founding member
I am late to the party, obviously.
We didn't tell you about the party because we didn't want you there. We figured you'd get the message, but we underestimated the depth of your cluelessness.

Bottom line is you bring everyone down and we're tired up cleaning up your wine cooler puke. That's the story.
 

PhillyDave

“The essential doesn't change.” Beckett
man, oh man. I will cease to be amazed at what has happened to Buk's work. I need to re-read his stuff published prior to his death especially the material from the manuscripts section. mjp- can't thank you enough for posting the original stuff. The way his work has been tampered with will never make sense to me. Seems like some of his stuff has gotten it right in the rear.
 
holy shit. I feel like this should be on the front page of the L.A. Times...this should be against the law. god damn it.
 

mjp

Founding member
Stuff like this thread and this are just the tip of the iceberg.

Every posthumously published collection (starting with Bone Palace Ballet) has been "edited" like this example. Some less so, some, virtually every poem. Breaking it down on a poem by poem basis is almost pointless, and frankly, the task becomes depressing if you get too far in to it.

If you think it's outrageous, egregious, devious and disrespectful, I agree.

But there are those who disagree. They disagree because pointing out this literary rape quite naturally casts Saint John Martin in a bad light, and they don't appreciate that. So in an attempt to protect his feelings, they excuse the destruction of half of Bukowski's collected poetry output.

Seems idiotic to defend or excuse something like that, but like I said, everyone doesn't agree.
 

Skygazer

And in the end...
It sounds as though this didn't just occur with John Martin at Black Sparrow, but also subsequently at Ecco Press if they didn't reinstate, where possible the original work? did John Martin do this with other poets? and is it still common practice? It's awful.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
[...] at Ecco Press if they didn't reinstate, where possible the original work? [...]

I get the impression Ecco doesn't even read the stuff they reprint -- they just duplicate the Black Sparrow Press text verbatim -- but that's just a guess and I could be wrong. Are they even aware of the editing changes that were made, and do they care? I doubt it. Now if the bad editing became common knowledge and they were made to look bad, perhaps they would fix it.
 
I think it should become common knowledge. The example above is so egregious, it pisses me off. The Buk poem is brilliant, and it has a few solid lines that contain Buk's simple yet magnificent gravity, while the edited version is lifeless, drab and makes very little sense. "Rape," as MJP put it, seems like the appropriate term.
How does Linda Lee feel about this?
I'm sure she understands what Martin did for Buk's career, and I'm sure she is duly grateful, but this legacy is forever.
All posthumous collections should carry a disclaimer. jesus. who would have thought that this could happen to a writer of Bukowski's caliber after his death.
Buk said it himself (paraphrasing) "Do you think Hemingway or Camus had this problem?"
I recall a few letters written by Buk: one to Martin saying basically, "I know you must think I'm an idiot..." It had to do with J.M. pushing Buk to stop submitting to certain mags. Another letter to a friend detailing how Martin must think that he (Buk) can't write.
I think Martin really did feel to a certain extent that somehow he was smarter than Hank, and that he had the right to change lines in Buk's work to suit his own tastes.
 
Obviously another stupid question from the guy somebody loves to blame for that pile of wine cooler puke - a blatant lie, because I only puke my coolers in the toilet, where the view is like infinite. :?: Roni said my posts were too long and I've tightened up my delivery. Should be a sign of progress. If I were you I wouldn't give up on me. As Talib Kweli once said, the fire's in your eyes but the flames need fanning (paraphrase). My original question was about where did the second version of this poem appear, because the original post did not say. This leads to the second question, and I haven't searched every thread but I've certainly read a few on this topic. The second question is whether this mandate for tweasing the spark out of poetry is coming from harper-collins, rather than martin? Harper-Collins being, yknow, big and ... er ... cumbersome. Maybe the chain of causality has more links than than the legend of zelda ...

signed,
clueless in michigan
 

PhillyDave

“The essential doesn't change.” Beckett
Two titles that made me laugh with confusion and frustration were dirty poem switched to vulgar poem. Dirty and vulgar are two different things, just a dumb ass, unnecessary title switch. The other is the last one posted. zero was changed to ground zero. Huh???
 

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Moderator
Founding member
...where did the second version of this poem appear, because the original post did not say

The second version is the poem published in The Flash of Lightning Behind the Mountain.

... is [..] this mandate for tweasing the spark out of poetry is coming from harper-collins, rather than martin?

The posthumous collections realised so far by both Black Sparrow Press and ecco have all proudly stated 'edited by John Martin'.
 

Skygazer

And in the end...
You can understand the necessity for editing in novels (by the author, ideally) Encouraging a tighter, leaner body of work, but for poetry, where presumably everyone word was chosen to have a specific impact, well it just seems like an arrogant act of vandalism to me, and very disrespectful.
 

mjp

Founding member
From where did the above poem born again come?
The second version is the poem published in The Flash of Lightning Behind the Mountain.

Just to be clear, these changes come from Black Sparrow Press, and they come primarily after Bukowski's death.

Whether Martin made the changes himself (which I assume in the case of removing references to drinking and madness) or allowed them to happen through laziness or neglect, his name is on the books as editor, so he is ultimately responsible.
 

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
A poem for Ezra? Watch this! Let's just drop Ezra, the subject of his poem, and keep his mother's womb thingie. . . o_0o
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
The difference between the two versions of the poem is grotesque. I don't think I'll ever read in any of the posthumous collections again. If I did, I would keep wondering how much of each poem has been deleted by the "deletor"...er...editor, I mean.
 
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I feel like if I ever met John martin I'd want to punch him in the face but at the same time probably wouldn't as I should be thankful for his contribution to bukowski's success and the faith he showed in him. that said I find this outrageous, it is a heinous act that needs more negative publicity rather then going on ignored and unnoticed it makes me feel sick. definitely looking for pre-death editions of his work from now on ... but where to get them? I'm not that internet savvy and live in england were most bookshops are chain stores with no doubt editted editions of bukowski, if any as most don't stock him. another crime in my opinion. but back to the post topic, the point of an artists work is it his, and for good or bad, or ugly for that matter, better or worse, it should be left as it was, as his.
 

mjp

Founding member
definitely looking for pre-death editions of his work from now on ... but where to get them? I'm not that internet savvy...
Can you click a link?

Every book on that page that's underlined is still available from Amazon, no matter what sort of god-forsaken backwater you live in.

1997 is when the meddling took hold. If you want to steer clear of it, stick to things published in 1996 and earlier.
 

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Moderator
Founding member
And just to be clear, new editions of older collections have not been altered as far as we know;
ie. a brand new ecco copy of Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame contains the same poems as the 1974 edition.

But as mjp has explained, 1997's Bone Palace Ballet and the collections that followed may be lacking something.
 

d gray

tried to do his best but could not
Founding member
it's so twisted that a person who did so much to promote and champion bukowski
would do so much to ruin and downgrade the quality of his work.

i just don't get it...
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
I think Martin just never understood how good a writer Buk was. He didn't see the genius there. I doubt Martin knew that he was ruining the poems. He thought he was tidying up and improving. He was a good business man but a bad editor. His one brilliant move was publishing and promotion Buk early on. After that, the money rolled in forever.
 

d gray

tried to do his best but could not
Founding member
but isn't that why he contacted him in the first place - he read his stuff and thought he was a modern day
walt whitman?

maybe he was just biding his time til he could "tidy up and improve it" after that uppity writer
was gone.

and shame on the widow if she has any idea what's happened.
 

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
I think that John Martin could see how original and important Bukowski was, but the problem is that he censored his work, stuff referring to sex, alcohol, faith, certain emotions, which he personally considered extreme or shameful. He sanitized his poems. Unfortunately, he often didn't even get the full meaning of what he was reading and often removed the essential. That is what's so shitty. Once, you know that, it becomes difficult to read Bukowski's words, without thinking of the process it's been through. It is not simply edited, but wrongly interpreted in so many cases.
 
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