What about 'Roll the Dice'?

roni

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Like most of us, I never liked the posthumous collections even way before we came to know, what had happened.

But I did like 'Roll the Dice'.

Now I ask myself: has that been changed too? And where?

Reading it again now, my suspect even starts at the first stanza:
"... otherwise, don't even start." - sounds more like Martin than Hank. To me.

So, in order to get this poem straight for me: does anybody have the manuscript? I haven't seen it yet.
 

mjp

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I haven't seen it either, but What Matters Most is pretty thoroughly Martinized, so I think it's safe to assume that roll the dice is most likely different in the manuscript form.
 

David

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Now I ask myself: has that been changed too? And where?
Yes, I wonder now about EVERYTHING I read now. Which gives one a kind of unpleasant, spooky feeling. Like you want to be quoting Bukowski, not Martin, right? I'm checking everything now against prior versions before I quote anything.
 

mjp

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There's a pretty clear point where the real tampering begins (with the poetry, anyway), and that's with Bone Palace Ballet. The pre 1997 poetry is relatively untouched. Sadly, I don't wonder about the poetry from 1997 on, at this point I simply assume it's been changed.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
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There's still some posthumous collection which I bought that I have'nt read yet. At this point I'm not sure if I even want to read them. They're certainly not on top of my 'books to read' list anymore.
 

Hosh

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I haven't seen it either, but What Matters Most is pretty thoroughly Martinized, so I think it's safe to assume that roll the dice is most likely different in the manuscript form.
MJP sees the future! Give us some tips for Super Bowl wagering, man!
 
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mjp

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It's not really prognostication where what matters most is concerned. They're all Martinized.
 

d gray

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well, at least in the martinized version you won't become an alcoholic or go to hell if you "roll the dice"...
 

PhillyDave

“The essential doesn't change.” Beckett
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I forget (and am too lazy to look it up) but which version did Bono read in Born Into This?
 

PhillyDave

“The essential doesn't change.” Beckett
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When was Roll The Dice written? just wondering. The 90's I'm guessing.
 

mjp

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It's a computer printout, so 1991-1994.

It might be possible - now that we have (a lot) more of the 90s manuscripts - to be a little more specific about the dates based on font use, but so far I've avoided going down that rabbit hole. 91-94 may be specific enough.
 

james

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I have Poems and Plays #4 from spring/summer 1997, featuring Roll the Dice, and it matches the Martinized version MJP posted earlier...
 

mjp

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I have Poems and Plays #4 from spring/summer 1997, featuring Roll the Dice, and it matches the Martinized version MJP posted earlier...
I had a brief email exchange with the editor of Poems and Plays, and he said he used a version Martin sent to him, not one he got from Bukowski.
 

james

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Really? Interesting...so was the guy from Middle Tennessee State University? One of the main reasons I picked up a couple of Poems and Plays (featuring buk) was because MTSU published it, and is my Alma mater...and I still live down the road from the college...
 

mjp

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Yeah, Gaylord Brewer, he emailed from an @mtsu.edu address.

"When Bukowski was dying he sent me some poems—3, maybe—for the first issue of P&P. Years later, when I was writing my book for Twayne/Macmillan, I was in touch with Martin a handful of times, and at my request he sent 3-4 more, which was nice of him. So, yes, those you mention [including "Roll the Dice" -mjp] came from him."
 

james

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Very cool...yea, I know of him at the college....he's in the English Dept...I think.i tried to read his book on Bukowski, but just couldn't get into it...anyone else read his book?
 

mjp

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It's one of those analytical, academic things that try to tell the story of Bukowski's life by quoting his work, as if they take it on faith that everything he wrote was factual. There are a few of those out there, and they're pretty dry reading, and not surprisingly, they get more than a few things wrong.

I suppose it's not necessarily a bad thing that famous authors attract multiple biographers. But it isn't necessarily a good thing when they rely on each other's books to establish "the truth." If that's what they're after. It becomes an echo chamber of myth, inaccuracy and falsehoods.
 
Hello mjp and the rest,

I would be so thankful if you could just give me confirmation that the picture you posted above with the original version is indeed the unedited poem. I need nothing else (not mentioning how much I want to know where it’s from..).

I love that poem more than you would imagine, but have really struggled too much to try and find the un-Martinized version. Could this be the end of my search?

Thank you in advance, sending lots of love from Croatia/Germany:)
 

mjp

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I want to know where it’s from...
It's either from the University of Santa Barbara or the Huntington Museum in Los Angeles. Not sure which, but one of those two.
 
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