The Disease of Existence (1 Viewer)

Yes, I know that this one was collected in Come on In!, but this seems to most appropriate place to post this. One version below is from The New Censorship, Vol 4. No 2 and the other is collected posthumously.

The Disease of Existence

dark, dark, dark.
insanity tides the moon.
this motion is constant.

once, I imagined, that
in my old age
there would be
peace.
not this,
this insufferable
relentless
pressure.

humanity brings me
this
as in the beginning.
I was not born to be
with these
yet here I am
with only death to
comfort me
but not quite
for in death
they
might be there
too.

so there's no chance
of total
hope,
just this waiting
among them,
sitting here
tonight
caught
fixed,
the hours, the years,
this minute
mutilated with and
before
me.
___________________________________________________________________

The Disease of Existence

dark, dark, dark.
humanity's shadow
shrouds the moon.
the process is
eternal.

once, I imagined that
in my old age
there would be
peace.
but not this:
dark humanity's
insufferable
relentless
presence.

humanity claws
at me
as persitently
now
as in the
beginning.
I was not born to be
one with them
yet here I am
with only
the thought
of death
and that final
separation
to comfort me.

so there's no chance,
no
hope,
just this waiting,
sitting here
tonight
surrounded
unsure
caught
transfixed,
the hours, the years,
this minute,
mutilated.
 
It's easy enough to look up the Come on in! version to see which is which, but to be clear, these lines tell the tale:

dark, dark, dark.
insanity tides the moon.
this motion is constant.

Is from New Censorship

while

dark, dark, dark.
humanity's shadow
shrouds the moon.
the process is
eternal.

Is from Come on In! (what a horrible title for a Buk book. I would have titled it Go the Fuck Away).

"insanity tides the moon" has likely never been spoken or written other than in this poem.

"humanity's shadow shrouds the moon" is a cliched, hackneyed rewrite.
 

PhillyDave

“The essential doesn't change.” Beckett
Very ineresting. Getting to know Buk's work more intimately, especially through this forum & site, i'm astounded by the difference in some of the original works as compared to the published pieces. Rhetorically speaking, if the originals are so good, then why tamper with them? And why mess/edit with the material after Buk's death? Wouldn't it be more interesting to read his work warts and all, even with the full knowledge that's what you're reading?
 

mjp

Founding member
why mess/edit with the material after Buk's death?
Because he can't complain from the grave? That's my guess.

We have examples (Women) of Martin fouling up Bukowski's work, but Bukowski caught him and made him remove his "improvements." One school of thought is that with Bukowski out of the picture, Martin was free to "improve" his work.

The only other explanation is garden variety sloppiness and disregard for the work. I had some correspondence with the person who set they type for most Black Sparrow books, and she intimated that in the later years some of the typesetters didn't have the utmost respect or care for the work they were doing.

But the responsibility to make sure they're doing their god damn job lies on the shoulders of the publisher, doesn't it. Also a rhetorical question.

I don't see any other options. Either it's Martin's deliberate meddling, or his neglect. Both are equally destructive and tragic, so it doesn't really matter which it was.
 
The uncollected manuscript pages are a gem, indeed. But I like to hold things in my hand, and I've used the database to cull out those publications with at least 2-3 unpublished poems to flesh out my collection and to compare those that are published with those versions in BSP editions. Yes, there is a clear correlation of "change" in the posthumous BSP versions relative to those in small press that is less clear in pre 1994 small press versions relative to BSP versions. But I haven't noted any great preponderance of typos in the posthumous BSP books; it's mainly editing. I'm rather tired of talking about it. I only offer the occasional comparison for academic purposes. I've got better things to do than to bitch about editing.

Who the hell am I kidding? It's awful. It's destruction of art. A felony in my book. If I went into the Louvre and defaced a painting, would that be a felony? What if I did that to a poem in my office and then published it?
 

mjp

Founding member
Here's an easter egg for you: http://bukowski.net/comparisons/

I didn't intend for those to be on the bukowski.net site, but they may as well live here. It's a topic of discussion.


If this kind of thing offends your sensibilities, and you are one of those charming, quirky characters who believe that Mr. Martin is infallible like the Pope or Michael Jordan, I suggest you go start your own web site about what a great man he is. Somewhere else.
 

Erik

If u don't know the poetry u don't know Bukowski
Founding member
ugh.
painful.
horrible.
the pettiness.

gets my blood pumping every time.

good work getting this documented!
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
As usual, you don't need the dates or places of publication to detect the original from the "edited" version.
 

mjp

Founding member
I had technical help with the comparison function, though I don't know if that person necessarily wants a shout out in these contentious times.
 
HOLY FUCK!

How in the hell are you going to have the BALLS to change "I am a competent being." into "I am a competent and satisfied human being." ????

One thing that made Buk's writing interesting and unique was his tremendous sense of being DIS-satisfied with humanity and the general mis-arrangement and absurdity of the social structure.
 
That comparison link shows a lot thought MJP and ??.
Thanks for the velvet sledgehammer

This is just bad

Manuscript:​
the man at the table across from you has a head like an
elephant.

What Matters Most:​
the man at the table across from you​
has watery blue eyes and​
a head like an elephant.​

What are watery blue eyes and why add that???
 

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