the crunch - in it's many forms

A lot of Bukowskis 'new' work has been edited rather dubiously...i.e. taking out swearing, changing a line here or there, replacing guttural words with more learned...

What do you make of this? Bukowski has become such a lucrative industry...they are just churning the shit out...butchered by their own editing!

Here is one example:

the crunch

too much too little

too fat
too thin
or nobody.

laughter or
tears

haters
lovers

strangers with faces like
the backs of
thumb tacks

armies running through
streets of blood
waving winebottles
bayoneting and fucking
virgins.

an old guy in a cheap room
with a photograph of M. Monroe.

there is a loneliness in this world so great
that you can see it in the slow movement of
the hands of a clock

people so tired
mutilated
either by love or no love.

people just are not good to each other
one on one.

the rich are not good to the rich
the poor are not good to the poor.

we are afraid.

our educational system tells us
that we can all be
big-ass winners

it hasn't told us
about the gutters
or the suicides.

or the terror of one person
aching in one place
alone

untouched
unspoken to

watering a plant.

people are not good to each other.
people are not good to each other.
people are not good to each other.

I suppose they never will be.
I don't ask them to be.

but sometimes I think about
it.

the beads will swing
the clouds will cloud
and the killer will behead the child
like taking a bite out of an ice cream cone.

too much
too little

too fat
too thin
or nobody

more haters than lovers.

people are not good to each other.
perhaps if they were
our deaths would not be so sad.

meanwhile I look at young girls
stems
flowers of chance.

there must be a way.

surely there must be a way that we have not yet
though of.

who put this brain inside of me?

it cries
it demands
it says that there is a chance.

it will not say
"no."

from LOVE IS A DOG FROM HELL 1977
the crunch (2)

too much
too little
or too late

too fat
too thin
or too bad

laughter or
tears
or immaculate
unconcern

haters
lovers

armies running through streets of pain
waving wine bottles
bayoneting and fucking everyone

or an old guy in a cheap quiet room
with a photograph of Marilyn Monroe.

there is a loneliness in this world so great
that you can see it in the slow movement of
a clock's hands.

there is a loneliness in this world so great
that you can see it in blinking neon
in Vegas, in Baltimore, in Munich.

people are tired
strafed by life
mutilated either by lover or no
love.

we don't need new governments
new revolutions
we don't need new men
new women
we don't need new ways
we just need to care.

people are not good to each other
one on one.
people are just not good to each other.

we are afraid.
we think that hatred signifies
strength.
that punishment is
love.

what we need is less false education
what we need are fewer rules
fewer police
and more good teachers.

we forget the terror of one person
aching in one room
alone
unkissed
untouched
cut off
watering a plant alone
without a telephone that would never
ring
anyway.

people are not good to each other
people are not good to each other
people are not good to each other

and the beads swing and the clouds obscure
and dogs piss upon rose bushes
the killer beheads the child like taking a bite
out of an ice cream cone
while the ocean comes in and goes out
in and out
in the thrall of a senseless moon.

and people are not good to each other.



From What matters most is how well you walk through the fire
Why the changes? How deep does the editing go?
just curious

:eek:
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
This poem has been altered quite a bit! The original version is so much better than the altered "mutant" version. I wonder who did it. Was it Buk who made the other version at some point? Would John Martin really change a Buk poem that much? Maybe it`s legit to change a word here and there in the editorial proces but this is ridiculous! It`s certainly not the same poem anymore - only a sligthly related mutant." People are not good to each other" - indeed, and that goes for poems also it seems...
 

chronic

old and in the way
I dunno... the changes are so extensive that I suspect Bukowski may have reworked the poem at some point. I can't imagine any "professional" editor making such extreme changes. If Bukowski did rework the poem, I suppose the real question would be which version was the original. My guess would be the version from "Love is a Dog from Hell."
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Looks like the place to see it in the original-as-first-typed version is in Second Coming:

The Crunch
Love is a Dog From Hell - pg. 162 - 1977

The Crunch
Second Coming. Vol. 5 No. 1 - 1977

the crunch (2)
what matters most is how well you walk through the fire - pg. 312 - 1999
 
That was strange and I agree that I do not think a professional editor would make those changes because it changes the tone and opinion of the entire poem. I wonder what the reason for re-working the words would have been?
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Looks like the place to see it in the original-as-first-typed version is in Second Coming:
I've just read the Second Coming version of The Crunch and it's quite different from the ones in Love Is A Dog From Hell and What Matters Most... .
So there are three versions of the same poem! Strange that he altered the poem twice. So, which one is the original? The one in Love Is A Dog... or the one in Second Coming? Which version was written first and which book was printed first (in the same year!)?...
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Here's the Second Coming version of The Crunch. So now we have all three versions in this thread.

Too much
too little
or not enough

too fat
too thin
or nobody

laughter or
tears
or immaculate
non-concern

haters
lovers

armies running through streets of blood
wawing winebottles
bayoneting and fucking virgins

or an old guy in a cheap room
with a photograph of Marilyn Monroe

many old guys in cheap rooms without
any photograpfs at all

many old women rubbing rosaries
when they'd prefer to be rubbing cocks

there is a loneliness in this world so great
that you can see it in the slow movements of
the hands of a clock

there is a loneliness in this world so great
that you can see it blinking in neon signs
in Vegas, in Baltimore, in Munich

there are people so tired
so straffed
so mutilated by love or no
love
that buying a bargain can of tuna
in a supermarket
is their greatest moment
their greatest victory

we don't need new governments
new revolutions
we don't need new men
new women
we don't need new ways
wife-swaps
waterbeds
good Columbian
coke
water pipes
dildoes
rubbers with corkscrew stems
watches that give you the date

people are not good to each other
one on one.
Marx be damned
the sin is not the totality of certain systems.
Christianity be damned
the sin is not the killing of a God.

people are just not good to each other.

we are afraid
we think that hatred means strenght
we think that New York City is the greatest
city in America.

what we need is less brilliance
what we need is less instruction

what we need are less poets
what we need are less Bukowskies
what we need are less Billy Grahams

what we need is more
beer
a typist
more finches
more green-eyed whores who don't eat your heart
like a vitamin pill

we don't think about the terror of one person
aching in one place

alone
untouched
unspoken to
watering a plant
being without a telephone that will never
ring
because there is'nt one.

more haters than lovers

slices of doom like taffeta

people are not good to each other
people are not good to each other
people are not good to each other

and the beads swing and the clouds cloud
and the dogs piss upon the roses
and the killer beheads the child like taking a bite
out of an ice cream cone
and the ocean comes in and out
in and out
under the direction of a senseless moon

and people are not good to each other.
- this version is very different from the other two. Which one is best?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
So, which one is the original?
The version in the small press mag is what he originally typed, corrected and sent out.

When those were collected for the Black Sparrow books the poems were reworked. We've discussed and wondered and speculated as to who made the bulk of the changes, but only Martin could answer that now.

But the magazine versions are always the closest to what he originally wrote. Of course to add confusion to the mix, there are poems with different manuscript versions, sometimes typed years apart, so he definitely reworked and reused poems.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Thanks for the info, mjp! Do you remember other poems which have been so radically reworked as The Crunch?
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
You bet I'm not. :D It's great stuff! - and it was quite a surprise to find that very different first version of The Crunch...
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
"What we need is less Bukowskies" - what's that? - an expression of self-knowledge? :D
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Do you remember other poems which have been so radically reworked as The Crunch?
Not offhand. Sometime in the next million years I'll get the rest of the manuscripts up on the site and finish the database work and we'll be able to compare some of these.

Of course, he changed the titles sometimes too. To throw us off the trail, I'm sure. ;)
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
That's great. That makes it so much easier to compare the different versions line by line.
Thanks, mjp...
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Funny, I just noticed that The Pleasures of the Damned uses the older Love is a Dog From Hell version of the crunch, rather than the abomination that Martin wrote included in What Matters Most Is How Well You Walk Through The Fire.
 
J

javier

"they are just churning the shit out...butchered by their own editing!"
They? You mean the widow, she's got the copyrights of his work, right? That's the problem some some old guys marry younger bimbos, when they die the only thing that matters is money.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
If I had to place a bet on who was doing the heavyhanded editing, it wouldn't be Linda Lee.
 

1fsh2fsh

I think that I think too much
Founding member
Well Javier. I'm sure glad that you cleared all of that up for us. Great insight. Now go away.
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
Bear in mind that this is the guy who writes idiot Haiku and doesn't "understand" the end of Pulp.
 

number6horse

okyoutwopixiesoutyougo
Javier - I don't know you and I haven't read most of your posts, but I have to offer some advice here. As your post count climbs above and beyond the already impressive 11, please think twice about referring to Linda as THE WIDOW. It comes off not only as rude, but somehow inside and too-hip-for-the-room. Please drop it. Nobody is impressed.

This is a forum of Bukowski fans who not only value his work, but respect the fact that at the end of his life, he signed over the copyrights to the one person who mattered most to him. Her name was Linda Lee Bukowski.
 
I would hate to believe that the second or (third party) party would virtually re-write the poem - let's just believe, all three versions were his work?!
 

mjp

Your Host
Moderator
Founding member
let's just believe, all three versions were his work?!
Good idea. Let's ignore the butchery of his work and go dance in the sunshine.

---

javier can't answer anymore, he's gone to sleep. As it turns out he was also caraculo (banned), Zavvier (banned) and justaquestion. From Cataluna, Barcelona. Further proof that nothing good ever came from Spain!
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Jezuz! So, this was the fourth time he signed up after having been kicked out 2-3 times before? That's just so crazy, to keep coming back to a forum that does'nt want you around. Thank God, we're rid of him.
 
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