The Death of a Bee... (1962)

cirerita

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Unpublished poem sent to Malanga in 1962. I found this poem during my recent research trip to the States, that is, after I had finished my dissertation. Not a bad poem, certainly better than some of the poems published in the newest Ecco collection.

From Who's Big in the Littles (2009 thesis):
Bukowski submitted a group of poems to Gerard Malanga in 1962 for their publication in Wagner Literary Magazine [...] In a February 1963 letter to Jon Webb, when he was assembling It Catches My Heart in Its Hands, Bukowski mentioned his submission to Malanga; apparently, the nine poems were to be published by Rizzoli in a volume titled An Anthology of Modern American Poems (McCormick: Outsider, 9 Feb. 1963), but the project was cancelled. Similarly to "Murder" / "The Blanket," these poems would endure a long publishing journey before being eventually collected in a book. The nine poems submitted to Malanga were titled thus: "The Bumblebee;" "The Damnation of Recognition;" "Alcatraz;" "The Death of a Bee in the Grass Along Mariposa Ave;" all of them unpublished to date with those titles; "That's Where They Came From," first published in Intransit (1968) and then in The Reater in the late 90s; "It Is Very Good to Know When You Are Done," published in Intransit, and collected in the night torn mad with footsteps (2001); "Poem for Brigitte Bardot," printed in Intransit, The Reater, and finally in the night torn mad with footsteps; "My Real Love in Athens," which appeared in Nadada in 1964 and has not been collected; and "Corrections of Self, Mostly After Whitman," which had already been accepted by Signet when Bukowski sent it to Malanga. Both Nadada and Intransit were co-edited by Malanga, the latter featuring Andy Warhol's artwork on the front cover. This long journey through the "littles" could be taken as a metaphor of Bukowski's own literary career: he would need decades of rejection and acceptance by alternative publications and small presses before being finally acknowledged as a major figure in American letters. Malanga himself would stress his contribution to Bukowski's recognition: "early on, when I was an undergraduate at Wagner College in Staten island, N.Y. ... I was in a position to be one of Buk's earliest supporter/promoters and through the 1960s my endeavors continued where I was able to finally publish his poetry" (Malanga). Malanga would publish Bukowski again in the Transatlantic Review #52 (1975), edited by Joseph F. McCrindle, in a special section of the magazine titled "An Anthology of New American Poetry," where Bukowski appeared alongside Allen Ginsberg, David Ignatow, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and many other well-known authors.
Death of a Bee....jpg
 

Johannes

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This is very interesting because I remember B. complaining several times in his letters that Malanga once stole the line "My feet touch China in the dream" (perhaps not verbatim) from him to use it as his own in his (Malangas) writing.

So maybe that line is in there somewhere?

In the later letter collection (Reach for the Sun, I think) he even writes to Malanga and finishes the letter with: "My feet touch blabla in the Nightmare - Property of C.B." ... or something (don't have the book).

I always wanted to read this "My feet touch China"- poem. From B., that is.
 
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hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
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Always nice to see one of these hidden treasures. Thanks.
 

mjp

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unimbiblic? He's making up words again.

Bee down! Bee down!

I like.
 

cirerita

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I think it's a good poem, and it was in a group of poems which were not at the usual places (UCSB, USC, Tucson, Huntington, etc). And let me tell you this was not the best poem I found this time around. There are much better poems out there. For instance, "The New Yorker" is a hilarious 13 pager about the ads displayed in The New Yorker. B. and John Thomas talk about this poem in Bukowski in the Bathtub.
 

Digney in Burnaby

donkeys live a long time
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This is very interesting because I remember B. complaining several times in his letters that Malanga once stole the line "My feet touch China in the dream" (perhaps not verbatim) from him to use it as his own in his (Malangas) writing.

So maybe that line is in there somewhere?

In the later letter collection (Reach for the Sun, I think) he even writes to Malanga and finishes the letter with: "My feet touch blabla in the Nightmare - Property of C.B." ... or something (don't have the book).

I always wanted to read this "My feet touch China"- poem. From B., that is.
Johannes,
I stumbled across a similar reference to Malanga in the Virgin Selected Letters, Volume 2: 1965-1970: a letter dated Dec. 11, 1966 to Douglas Blazek where Bukowski writes, "...that fucker who lives with Warhol, I forget his name, won't return a batch, and in a recent issue of Tish I fuck recognized he stole one of my lines, used it as a last line to nail down a lousy poem: MY FEET TOUCH CHINA IN THE DREAM. those are my lines babe. although accredited to...Malanga. giz christ, gossip."

I have a book that reprints some of the run for Tish (Tish No. 1-19, Talonbooks, 1975) but seems not to include Malanga. Maybe there's another Tish. There's a lot of shit out there.

(Looking closer at the book I see 1-19 only covers 1961-63. Malanga shows up later? Maybe?)

edit: More checking gets this link to a 1966 Tish with Malanga in it. I see it was edited by Dan McLeod then, future editor of the hippy rag (now entertainment/news rag) the Georgia Straight.
 
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Erik

If u don't know the poetry u don't know Bukowski
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It has that great raw, desperate feel to it,
like one of the drunken letters in Screams.
bee be damned an doomed
I just love it when he misspells a word "an" just leaves it there...
This would never happen with a PC!
How strange to be reading time capsules like this in 2009.
Thanks C.
 

Johannes

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I stumbled across a similar reference to Malanga in the Virgin Selected Letters, Volume 2: 1965-1970: a letter dated Dec. 11, 1966 to Douglas Blazek where Bukowski writes, "...that fucker who lives with Warhol, I forget his name, won't return a batch, and in a recent issue of Tish I fuck recognized he stole one of my lines, used it as a last line to nail down a lousy poem: MY FEET TOUCH CHINA IN THE DREAM. those are my lines babe. although accredited to...Malanga. giz christ, gossip."
That's the one I mean, Digney! Only I forgot that he even mentions the magazine. Thanks for the research.

Maybe some day it'll turn up and then even the one from Malanga. Then we could compare whose feet touch it better, although we probably can guess from here.
 

Bukfan

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It's always interesting to get to read an uncollected Buk poem. Thanks a lot, cirerita!
 
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mjp

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There are much better poems out there. For instance, "The New Yorker" is a hilarious 13 pager about the ads displayed in The New Yorker.
Poems like those should be the bonus tracks in the upcoming 30 volume Definitive and Complete Collected Poems of Bukowski, with Index, Chronology and Two 500 Page Companion Volumes of Manuscript Facsimiles.

Whew, what a title. How are they going to fit that on Amazon?

That little nugget should be hitting the shelves some time in 2044. You'll see.
 

roni

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... the upcoming 30 volume Definitive and Complete Collected Poems of Bukowski, with Index, Chronology and Two 500 Page Companion Volumes of Manuscript Facsimiles.
looking forward to it, baby. looking forward ...
 

LickTheStar

Sad Flower in the Sand
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Thanks for the poem and the information. Amazing to think that these things are scattered all around... Keep up the good work.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
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c., you're like an old prospector coming down from the hills with his skinny burro and his empty canteen, clutching a nugget big as a baseball.
 

cirerita

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This is very interesting because I remember B. complaining several times in his letters that Malanga once stole the line "My feet touch China in the dream" (perhaps not verbatim) from him to use it as his own in his (Malangas) writing.

So maybe that line is in there somewhere?

In the later letter collection (Reach for the Sun, I think) he even writes to Malanga and finishes the letter with: "My feet touch blabla in the Nightmare - Property of C.B." ... or something (don't have the book).

I always wanted to read this "My feet touch China"- poem. From B., that is.
https://bukowski.net/database/detail.php?w=406&Title=a-shooting
 

Johannes

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Ha. Yeah, probably it's this one and I confused it with the Malanga-letter.

Great poem. Coming to think of it, does your asshole-hair turn grey together with the rest? Could some of the elders here please check this for me?
 

Digney in Burnaby

donkeys live a long time
Over 1000 posts
That's the one I mean, Digney! Only I forgot that he even mentions the magazine. Thanks for the research.

Maybe some day it'll turn up and then even the one from Malanga. Then we could compare whose feet touch it better, although we probably can guess from here.
So here's the one by Malanga that uses the Bukowski line. From Tish 36, May 18, 1966.

gerard malanga tish 36 19660518.jpg
 
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