song for sadists without a place to sit down

mjp

Founding member
Not exactly unpublished, but this only appeared in It Catches My Heart In Its Hands, so it may not be widely known. By special request of forum user HenryChinaski.

And it turns out the title of this is incorrect in the database...go figure (fixed in the new database - as many things will have to be).

My copy of It Catches My Heart In Its Hands is a former library copy, in case you're wondering why there are pencil marks on the pages. Note that a helpful student corrected the misprint of the word "sperm" on the second page.

song1.jpg


song2.jpg
 

HenryChinaski

Founding member
Thanks so much for this.
You're my hero...hahahahah

This has to be the greatest poem of all time. Theres just something about it, the age, I dunno what it is. Ever since I heard the recording of Buk reading it from 70 Minutes In Hell, God, I just fell in love with it.
 

cirerita

Founding member
wow, this makes me remember the day I laid my hands on the unspoiled copy held at the UCSB. a beauty!
 

mjp

Founding member
I love this fucked up old library copy - it's not intimidating to handle, so you can get into it. Most of the older, rare books that I have are less than perfect copies, and I prefer them that way. Leave the pristine examples in the museums. I want to handle the books and read them without feeling like I'm holding a fragile stack of hundred dollar bills that I have to flip through with a tweezers and white gloves.

Besides, I couldn't afford the pristine copies even if I did want them. ;)
 

mjp

Founding member
I'm usually not one to care much about acquiring the book itself - when they are expensive like these - I'm more interested in the words. But the old letterpressed stuff is different. It just feels different, and actually reads differently if that makes any sense.

There's a whole involved field of typography that's fallen somewhat by the wayside since computers have come into prominence. But the way something is presented on the page has a lot to do with your reading experience. And when you're laying that type in letter by letter, you usually take the time to make sure things are well planned out in advance.

I think of what the Webb's went through printing these books, and The Outsider magazine - very few (if any) people would do that today.

There's a long plea for subscriptions in one of the Outsider mags, and in it Jon Webb details why they need the money for a press with a motor --- in other words, they printed most of this early stuff on a treadle press. If you're unfamiliar with the term, a treadle press is powered by the operator's feet and legs, similar to old sewing machines you might have seen.

The mind boggles.
 

cirerita

Founding member
the stories B wrote and explained at length in letters and interviews about the way the Webbs worked are both hilarious and astounding.

a pity he ended up writing them off in one of his columns.
 

mjp

Founding member
I think there was some bitterness there after a while. He wrote in a letter to Scott Harrison that he felt the Webb's problems were mostly self-inflicted (I'll try to find the quote). He says in the letter that he has not expressed that feeling to anyone else before.

There are also letters where it's apparent that he is shopping for a place for them to move into in Los Angeles (he mentions having to find a place with a door wide enough to get their press through), and I think he felt a little put out by such errand-boy work.

But he had a history of biting the hand that fed him, and my impression is that he was only loyal to a fault to John Martin. Everyone else who was close to him he eventually pissed off somehow, intentionally or not.
 

mjp

Founding member
He wrote in a letter to Scott Harrison that he felt the Webb's problems were mostly self-inflicted (I'll try to find the quote).
Found it.

On July 25th, 1993 Bukowski writes, "On the Webbs, near the end I began to back off from them a little. They did beautiful work, they sacrificed and slaved, they promoted me when I was nobody. But I got the feeling that many of the tragedies they claimed were either invented or exaggerated...the picture I began to get of them was no way near the one I had of them from the begining..You are the first one I have mentioned this bit to, but I want you to understand."
 
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