The Body in the Square [undated poem]


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Huh. That one didn't feel like Bukowski to me until the "bayonets into the sea" part. And what is a "graze-point Stroebel" ? Stroebel is a family surname ?


"The law is wrong; I am right"
Over 5000 posts
Thanks, No.6! It must be another 'graze-point Stroebel', the poem's talking about then.
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Where is it from?
It was tucked away inside an original script of Barfly that I bought from Scott Harrison. I'm guessing that Scott stuck it in there for me to find.

It seems vaguely familiar, but I can't place it. The way his name is at the end of the poem would indicate that it was xeroxed from a magazine appearance.

If I had to guess when it was written, I'd say maybe late 60's / early 70's. But I'm not basing that on anything other than my gut reaction, so I could be completely wrong. I'll email Scott to see if he has any info.


Founding member
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If I had to guess when it was written, I'd say maybe late 60's / early 70's.
I was just looking at this again, and it doesn't match any of the typewriter samples, so dating it from this is difficult. I'm assuming the magazine typeset it. If they didn't, and that's just a copy of the manuscript, it's a much later poem, likely done on the computer (look at the 'g' - it isn't a typewriter font).

But I think your gut is right, it doesn't read like a later poem. And the occasional line/stanza indentation is something he left behind, for the most part, after a certain point.

All apropos of nothing, I suppose.


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Over 1000 posts
Very interesting poem.

I'd guess sometime in the 60's too, maybe 65-70 ... some unnamed and undated war was a theme in quite a few of his early poems. You can feel the Hemingway-influence there.


Over 1000 posts
Where is it from?
It seems that this poem was published in Open City No. 8, June 23-29, 1967 on page 9. The usual NoaDOM column ("god knows I am not too hippy, ...", collected in More Notes) was on page 5:

Body S.jpg


I bet David has this issue of Open City and can confirm that The Body in the Square is really there.

P.S. Yes, the source is John Martin Collection of Charles Bukowski Periodicals, so don't say he never did anything good for this forum. ;))