Wormwood Review

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Buk wrote the following (Which was used in WR145-146):

MALONE, MALONE
THE DIRTY OLD
CRONE, WE ALL
THROW HIM THE
POETRY
BONE.

--Charles Bukowski
 

chronic

old and in the way
I don't recall any piece by B about MM or WR, though B did always talk about MM in laudatory terms in his correspondence. If you're interested in that, I could try to find the few excerpts I used in the thesis.

That would be great. Thank you.

I checked the letter books and there's not much there, but if you have something not in the books I'd like to see it.

Buk wrote the following (Which was used in WR145-146):

MALONE, MALONE
THE DIRTY OLD
CRONE, WE ALL
THROW HIM THE
POETRY
BONE.

Thanks Bill. I hadn't seen that before.

I could swear that I remember reading comments about WR by Bukowski, but I have no idea where I saw them.
 

cirerita

Founding member
Sure, B did talk about WR in quite a few pieces, but those were articles about the "littles" in general, not just about WR.
"I would place Wormwood on top along with the old Story magazine, The Outsider, Accent, Decade, as a very definite force in the moulding of a lively and meaningful literature"
[4 Apr. 1970 unpub. letter to Malone].
"I pick up the average little and just yawn myself into hopelessness -there are exceptions like Wormwood, Klacto, Outsider but for each of these there are a dozen others, half-heartily done"
[25 July 1968 unpub. letter to Richmond]
"Quietly and without weeping or ranting or bitching or quitting or pausing, or without braggadocio letters (as most do) about being arrested for driving drunk on a bicycle in Pacific Palisades ... Malone has simply gone on and on and compiled an exact and lively talent, issue after issue"
["Upon the Mathematics" 17].
"[Bukowski] said most editors were idiots; they published names, not poems. They looked for the names before they read the poems. He told me the two editors who did not fit into that mold were Jon Webb and Marvin Malone ... [Bukowski] said that Malone was an old-fashioned editor like Whit Burnett, who read every manuscript and answered every letter"
[Visceral 148-49].
"I'd have to place them this way: 1. Ole; 2. Wormwood Review; 3. The Outsider ... All three mentioned magazines print a living and electric literature"
["Who's Big" 9].
 

chronic

old and in the way
Coming soon:

http://wormwoodreview.com/

Still much work to do (though we are considerably further along than what you see here) but will hopefully be up by the end of Summer. It will include high quality scans of all of the covers, a bio of Marvin Malone, a brief history of Wormie by M.M. with comments by Christa Malone, the article "Bukowski Comes to Wormwood" by M.M. with some very good quotes taken from Bukowski's correspondence with Malone... also with comments from Christa, a tentative article or tribute by David Barker (no pressure David... there's still plenty of time) with hopes of getting some other regular contributors to pen a little something for the site, a complete list (with issues and page numbers) of every author to appear in the magazine and plans of eventually upgrading it to a complete TOC/index, the Wormwood Awards and more.

Working on this with Christa is a real pleasure. The lady knows what she is doing.

By the way, most of the items used in the background graphic are from Marvin's desk. 100% authentic, yes siree.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Chronic: It's no longer tentative. I will write something on Marvin & Wormwood. And you are right about Christa. She is class all the way. A fine person and a real human being. Takes after her father.
 

chronic

old and in the way
Just a little update on the WR website for anyone who's interested. I emailed Gerald Locklin, Ann Menebroker (who emailed Phil Weidman), lyn lifshin and Ronald Baatz and all have agreed to write something for the site. Locklin sent me back a fairly long and really enthusiastic response (which will probably appear somewhere on the website). Add David Barker to the mix and we have six of the most frequently published (and most talented) Wormwood poets signed on.

This is going slowly, but I think it's going to be a really good resource once it's ready.
 

mjp

Founding member
You are quickly cornering the market on good Bukowski resource sites. Good work.
 

Bukfan

"The law is wrong; I am right"
Yes, good work, chronic! I look forward to seeing the finished website. Best of luck!
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
It's on my list of stuff to write, and I'm actually working on the list, now that I am officially semi-retired (working as a temp four days a week to pay the huge health care premiums now that I am retired.)
 
Bill Roberts: I'm wondering if you might take the contributions from Locklin, Barker, et al., and, if Christa is willing, put out one final issue of Wormwood Review by Bottle of Smoke Press?

Maybe there is some additional material lying around the Malone book compound that might be included? Just a thought. I know you're swamped and perhaps it might be better to let this lie as it did. For it ended well.

In other news, pending my sending of a check, I will soon become the owner of a full run of Wormwood Review. The rub is that 106/107 was bought out by Locklin long ago, so that one will be a review copy. And a few of my copies have been written in, so I'll need to upgrade those in the near future.

Now, there's something very sacred to me about this. I have no qualms about selling off my Buk collection after I've been diagnosed with some stupid, self-inflicted disease, but somehow, unless the stars align against me and my wife, and we are destitute, I'd like to think of a good place to donate this full run when I'm gone (we have no children, and no real young relatives who might show interest in this - that may change).

Any ideas? I know Wormwod came out of Storrs, CT, but most full runs are not necessarily on the east coast. Well, I'll have to go look back at what Christa said to be sure.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Purple Stickpin: Although Christa may prove me wrong, I doubt there's much in the way of unpublished manuscripts in the Wormwood files, if any. Marvin routinely returned everything he didn't want. In my own case, I don't remember him ever hanging onto any poems, thinking he might want them later. It was always a quick yes or no. Poems rejected by Marvin are another matter -- those I do have. And probably a few that he called close misses. I kept all of his rejection notes (invariably written in red ballpoint), even the envelops.
 
Well, there are still the words that you, and Locklin, Menebroker and the rest have decided to contribute to the website. In the interest of keeping the written word alive, don't you think it would be cool if someone (as good as Bill) might make a 8.5" x 5.5" or, to be faithful to the early issues, 9" x 5 3/4" wraps edition of all of your comments prepared for the website?

I'd be disappointed to see anything associated with Wormwood Review not put on paper. That's where it belongs, even in this day and age. Not that it doesn't belong on the new website, of course. But let's not lose the legacy of Marvin. We could introduce the new website Chronic is working on with an Issue 147 release. How cool would that be?

P.S. - David: those rejection notes, if they are not too personal, would be a fantastic addition. I'm willing to fund this project.
 

chronic

old and in the way
Gerry Locklin wrote me a letter and mentioned the idea of resurrecting WR. I forgot to mention this to Christa, and it is a good idea, but I don't know if anyone really wants to put the time and effort (and money) into it. It would not be something anyone could make a living from and would require quite a bit of time to do. Also, I think Wormwood pretty much reflected Marvin's taste in poetry which is not something that could be replicated.
 
I'm talking about one more issue - one to coincide with the unveiling of the new website. Nothing more. Then, it's over until someone wants to do otherwise.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Hi,
It is a great idea, but Wormwood WAS Marvin Malone. Anyone resurrecting the magazine would be doing it in name only. There is no way to know what Marvin would have accepted and that was what made Wormie great.

I have a Marvin Malone/A. Sypher project coming out pretty soon. Stay tuned. It will be pretty damned cool, I must say.

I would be happy to put a Wormie issue out, but suspect that Christa would want to let it stay as it is. 145/6 was published as the Festschrift issue.

Yes, I have a full run of Wormie and I agree. It needs to be kept together. It stands as an amazing accomplishment; 36 years of a quarterly small press magazine.

Bill Roberts: I'm wondering if you might take the contributions from Locklin, Barker, et al., and, if Christa is willing, put out one final issue of Wormwood Review by Bottle of Smoke Press?
I would probably be willing, but not sure that this could come close to the editorial beauty of Marvin. I think that wormie without Marvin at the helm would be a poor copy. Plus, getting Bukowski would be tough. All unpublished poems were returned by Christa to the Estate following Marvin's death.

In other news, pending my sending of a check, I will soon become the owner of a full run of Wormwood Review. The rub is that 106/107 was bought out by Locklin long ago, so that one will be a review copy.

There are like 6 copies on abe for $45 - $50 a pop. Also, you could contact Water Row to see if he has a copy.

Any ideas? I know Wormwod came out of Storrs, CT, but most full runs are not necessarily on the east coast. Well, I'll have to go look back at what Christa said to be sure.

Are issues #1 & 2 the originals, or one of the 27 copies that were later reprinted and signed by Marvin? My understanding is that #1 & #2 are tough as hell to find. I have never seen a true first of those. I am not sure who, other than SUNY on the East Coast would have a full run. Well, I do, and now so does Purple Stickpin. There could be a few collectors that have a full run, but there are probably not that many sets outside of institutions.

Bill
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not arguing against one last issue ... I think that's a great idea. Maybe poems Marvin rejected, because most of the regulars would have only sent him their best, I imagine, and he took the best of those. Might be cool to include his notes to poets, if Christa would be okay with that. My own notes from him are generally not that personal. Perhaps a few are, but I can edit if needed. I know I kept everything from Marvin, even the damned envelops that contributor copies came in. I was/am proud of every scrap of it. Now finding it all in this madhouse. That could be a problem. Bill would be the natural choice for editor of this last issue. Curious to know what his current Marvin project is all about. And hey, what about a reprint of Marvin's book of poems? That would be cool.
 

Jason

Founding member
bospress.net said:
My understanding is that #1 & #2 are tough as hell to find. I have never seen a true first of those. I am not sure who, other than SUNY on the East Coast would have a full run. Well, I do, and now so does Purple Stickpin. There could be a few collectors that have a full run, but there are probably not that many sets outside of institutions.

I have a full run that includes the Malone facsimiles of #1 and #2 and an original of #2. I've never been able to find a copy #1...

I think there's also an issue or two that feature illustrations by 'Greenshoot' [Jim Lowell]...
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Curious to know what his current Marvin project is all about. And hey, what about a reprint of Marvin's book of poems? That would be cool.

You guys will be the first to see the new Malone/Sypher project (If that is a hint).

Reprinting Marvin's book would be somewhat easy, but would take a little dedication. I have the original woodcuts here, on loan, from that book, so the woodcuts could be reproduced. Also, the book was printed letterpress in 2 colors (the numbers were printed in red and the text in black (the woodcuts were in blue, I believe), so that would be easy. I see no reason that a young publisher could not reprint this, with Christa's permission, of course.

The book was stapled at the left edge and then glued, perfect bound style, in wraps.

If someone decided to reprint and republish this, I would be willing to do the hardback edition at a "friend of the press" price.

Bill
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
"the new Malone/Sypher project (If that is a hint)."

I'll guess that it's uncollected Malone poems and art, maybe also essays. Stuff that wasn't in his book of poems. This will be good.
 
The new website is going to have a few great quotes from letters Bukowski wrote to my father. Also, here is a terrific inscription from Buk to MHM on a patron copy of Wormwood 95:

Bukish951.jpg
 
Not to stir the pot too much (I have mucho coming from you, to be sure!), but that particular piece of Buk's/Wormwood's has, over the years, created quite a controversy. I bought a copy of #95 on ebay under the assumption by both seller and myself that this was actually signed by Buk.

Seems the reproduced signature on Dog Fight led many people to think it was an original signature (such were the good printing methods, I suppose!).

Once I got it, I could tell it was not actually signed, but the seller insisted (and he is a good, reputable seller to be sure). In any case, it took the reason of one great collector (and human being) here to explain to the seller that it was not really a signature. As much as I love and respect Marvin's work, adding that signature had rather unforeseen, and shall we say, somewhat adverse consequences. Apparently this has been an issue more than once on issue #95. No doubt Marvin had no idea how much signed Buk works would escalate in the coming decades.

But hey; wonderful stuff, and I got it all worked out. Even got a discount on a signed hardback of the '76 NYG w/ Ann Menebroker as a result.
 
I'm not referring to the printed page, John. See the inside cover, to the left of the page! And by the way, my father often printed poets' signatures or handwritten poems to personalize the work.
 

Digney in Burnaby

donkeys live a long time
It pays to keep plugging in names at various sites. AskewPoetryJournal has eleven uploads of the late Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel reading. She had many poems in WR. I'd love to get one last copy of WR, especially if it included some more Wilma. She's gorgeous.
Brian Pratt
Burnaby, BC, Canada
 

mjp

Founding member
Mother Road published a Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel collection in the 90's: A Prince Albert Wind. I was blown away when I read it, not having known her work before that. She was a great poet. I'll have to dig up that book and read it again. I didn't realize she'd been in Wormwood, but it makes sense.
 
Yes, Wilma Elizabeth was a regular in Wormwood--a wonderful poet! I corresponded with here long after WR ended.

But just to set the record straight, there is no further Wormwood material lying around the house. After issue #144, I returned all submitted manuscripts to their owners. The Wormwood archive itself--including 35+ years of manuscripts, correspondence, issue paste-ups, financial records, contributor index, and so on--was donated to the Poetry/Rare Books Collection at SUNY Buffalo (where Michael Basinski is the curator).
 

Digney in Burnaby

donkeys live a long time
Amongst other times there were two WR chapbooks of her poems: "Flowers in a Tin Can" (1982), WR # 86 and "A Girl From Buttonwillow" (1990) WR # 118-119. The second chapbook also includes "the start of a annotated bibliography for Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel" by Marvin Malone.

I remember stumbling across A Prince Albert Wind down in Seattle a few years ago. Snapped it up as I had already had A Primer For Buford and Sister Vayda's Song.
 
I'm not referring to the printed page, John. See the inside cover, to the left of the page! And by the way, my father often printed poets' signatures or handwritten poems to personalize the work.

Yes, I had a look at that, and it is certainly a great addition to that copy. But my point was aimed at the overall Issue #95 and the issues I had procuring/resolving what turned out to be an unsigned copy. Apparently others have tried to sell these in the past as "Although not called for, signed."

And to re-iterate, the seller of my copy was innocently doing so.
 
Honestly, I don't know how anyone, least of all a professional bookseller, could think that signature was original and authentic. It is--and looks--printed. For the record, all Bukowski-signed patron issues of Wormwood #95 were signed on the inside of the front cover, with a little drawing, usually the man-and-jug image.

For future reference on Bukowski-signed patron issues of Wormwood: #16 is signed, dated, and numbered in black India ink on yellow page 19. In issue 24, the signature and number appear on yellow page 15 under the title "Night's Work." Signatures, including Bukowski's, in issue #45 are on a separate bound-in white sheet that appears before page 1 of the issue. Issues 53 and 71 have Bukowski signing on the front cover--a straight signature for issue 71, and fun drawings and quips on the front of 53. Issue 100 has Bukowski and Marvin Malone's signatures and dates on the last page, p. 160. Issue 110-11 has a straight Bukowski signature on the front cover. And issue 122-23 is signed and dated in silver ink on the inside of the front cover, usually with an added drawing. Did I miss any issues?
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Honestly, I don't know how anyone, least of all a professional bookseller, could think that signature was original and authentic. It is--and looks--printed.

Hi Christa,
Surprisingly, I have seen at least a half a dozen in the last decade pop up on ebay as signed. They are always told by me that these are not signed. About half the time, I have to follow up with a scan of my copy to show that it is EXACTLY the same, but people don't wanna hear what costs them money.

These are not reputable booksellers, but ebay sellers who see the signature and "want" it to be authentic, so they try to sell it that way.

One member here actually bought a copy (on abe?) that was listed as signed before questioning it and realizing that it was preprinted. Then he was able to talk the seller into making good on it.

Best,
Bill
 
Yes, Bill, I see that you've assumed the Bukowski-on-eBay patrol. By the way, I'm going to email you about the Bottles I received today--fabulous! Thanks so much.
 
One member here actually bought a copy (on abe?) that was listed as signed before questioning it and realizing that it was preprinted. Then he was able to talk the seller into making good on it.
Bill, you might well be referring to me, and maybe I should have done my homework better to avoid this situation. And you got involved in the e-mail trail to back me up. And thanks for that. I bought it on ebay, but I'm reluctant to give the seller's ID, as they are probably now out of Buk items for the most part (as far as I know).

The seller came around, and offered me a substantial discount on another item as a result, as I indicated in an earlier post.

But, I stand firm on this: the seller in question was/is a very reputable seller, even if they were not a licensed bookseller, and I have, in the past, purchased several other very nice items from this seller in the past with no problems. At least a dozen good transactions.

I only post this to be clear that my opinion (and I was the one who got the raw end in the first place) is that it was an innocent mistake, and your help was/is greatly appreciated. But I do not want said seller to think their name is being besmirched in any way.

Sorry for the long-winded diatribe, but I'll bitch when need be, and this issue (at least my personal experience; don't know about others) is not one that deserves legs, and I'm sorry I brought it up in the first place.
 
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