Wormwood Review

#31
Christa, here's a question for you. Did any issues of Wormwood ever have photographs in them? I can't recall having seen one, but I haven't looked at all issues. Marvin used drawings very sparingly, I know. Did he generally dislike the use of photographs in literary magazines, or was he interested in preserving as much space for poetry as possible? Any thoughts on that?
Nope, no photos in Wormwood. The only one that appeared was the photo of my father that I put in the last issue. The earliest issues had a fair amount of graphic design in them, but there was an issue with #3 (the issue for which not enough covers were printed, and there were various designs for that cover). Evidently, my father and Alexander "Sandy" Taylor (now the founder of Curbstone Press) felt that the art overshadowed the poetry, and from then on, most graphic material was relegated to the cover with an ornament on the first page. There are exceptions, though, such as when drawings complemented the poetry, notably Bukowski's drawings and Rody Stains drawings for Phil Weidman's Backtrack chap.

I don't think my father had an aversion to photos. It's just that Wormie was cheaply produced in black and white, and line drawings are a natural fit for that format. He loved graphic design and collage. I don't think he wanted to deal with making halftones of photos.

But here's a dirty little secret: Most of the time, my father created the covers himself. But every once in a while, he used sections of artwork by other artists which he himself owned, including drawings by Virgil Finlay, Jules Pfeiffer, Edward Gorey, and Steinberg. I don't think he realized that that wan't kosher, much less legal. But those images made some great covers.
 
#32
Originally I thought the Feiffer and Steinberg covers were solicited by your dad, but I recall him telling me once they were from his "collections." I always wondered how he got away with using them! Guess no one noticed or cared. :)
 
#33
Like many people, I'm sure my father thought that since he outright owned the artwork, he could reproduce it, use it for his own purposes. I'm sure he didn't know that he was doing anything wrong at the time. But having been in publishing for many years, I know that copyright law doesn't work that way. Copyright remains with the artist. Likewise, most people think that if they receive letters from someone else, like Bukowski, that they can publicly reproduce those letters. Wrong. Permission from the sender or heir is required.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Over 1000 posts
#35
People were generally far less conscious of copyright back in the 60s - 70s. There was wholesale infringement in the small press and underground newspapers. It's not like the editors were consciously pirating stuff -- they just didn't think about it. Blame it on the freewheeling times. Recently I saw a new book with a statement on the copyright page saying it was okay to photocopy x number of pages strictly for personal use, but you must send a $10 base fee plus so many cents per page to some copyright payments clearinghouse. Yeah, like that's going to happen. Unless they program all the Xerox machines to digitally rat you out.

Thanks for explaining about why Marvin Malone didn't use photos in Wormwood, Christa. Cheap halftone photos do look crappy. Makes sense.
 

chronic

old and in the way
Over 1000 posts
#36
Can anyone here point me to any Bukowski poems, quotes, articles, letters etc on the subject of Marvin Malone and/or Wormwood?
 

cirerita

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
#37
Hope it helps:

Basinski, Michael. "A Preface to The Wormwood Review, Marvin Malone and Gerald Locklin." St. Vitus Press & Poetry Review 6 (Fall 2005): n. pag.

Dalton, Brian. "Marvin Malone's Wormwood Review." Beat Scene, Charles Bukowski Special issue (Mar. 2004): 46-47.

Malone, Marvin. "Bukowski Comes to Wormwood." Glazier, All's Normal Here 14-16.
"”. "Charles de Gaulle and The Wormwood Review." California Librarian Oct. 1970: 230-35.
"”. "The Why and Wherefore of Wormwood." Kruchkow and Johnson 223-231.
 
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Ponder

"So fuck Doubleday Doran"
RIP
Over 1000 posts
#39
but what I really need is something written by Bukowski on the subject of MM or WR.
In the letters?
Oh, sorry, you already mention letters.
Some of us know Buk's letters so well,
bukfan for instance?
And cirerita of course...
 

cirerita

Founding member
Over 1000 posts
#40
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.
 

bospress.net

www.bospress.net
Over 5000 posts
#41
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
Over 1000 posts
#42
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
Over 1000 posts
#43
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
Over 1000 posts
#45
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.
Over 1000 posts
#48
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
Over 1000 posts
#53
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

So much been said and so little been done
Moderator
Founding member
Over 5000 posts
#54
You are quickly cornering the market on good Bukowski resource sites. Good work.
 

Rekrab

Usually wrong.
Over 1000 posts
#56
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.)
 
#57
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.
Over 1000 posts
#58
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.
 
#59
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
Over 1000 posts
#60
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.
 
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