Volume 5: DISAPPEARANCE

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Christian Prozak, review: "Wine-Stained Notebook"

Christian Prozak

Review of:

Charles Bukowski, Portions from a Wine-Stained Notebook. Ed. David Stephen Calonne. San Francisco: City Lights.

Most quixotic Chinaski yet
kicks off w/ academic offturning intro
regarding lost & obscure chunks
painful at first in search of voix
but then full-throttle
blunt drunk we luv:

“I walked into the other room and there was Constance, naked, stretched on a leather couch, her eyes closed. All the lights were on, which only made it better. She was milk-white and all there, only the hairs of her pussy had a rather golden-red tint instead of the blonde like the hair on her head. I began to work on her breast and the nipples became hard immediately. I put my hand between her legs and worked a finger in. I kissed her all about the throat and ears and as I slipped it in, I found her mouth. I knew I was going to make it at last. It was good and she was responding, she was wiggling like a snake. At last, I had my manhood back. I was going to score. All those misses…so many of them…at the age of 50…it could make a man doubt. And, after all, what was a man if he couldn’t? What did poems mean? The ability to screw a lovely woman was Man’s greatest Art. Everything else was tinfoil. Immortality was the ability to screw until you died…Then I looked up as I was stroking. There on the wall opposite…hung a life-sized silver Christ…He was watching me…I missed a stroke.”

read it three times (engrossed enrapt)
the beauty of this plumer vulgaris
flowering in Fantemoir
but plenty flammable
litcrit as well:

“Back in the ’20s and ’30s there was not an abundance of littles. A little magazine was an event, not a calamity. One could trace the names from the littles and up through literary history; I mean, they began there and they went up, they became. They became books, novels, things. Now most little magazine people begin little and remain little…Every jackass in America pumps out countless and ineffectual poems. And a large number of them are published in the littles. Tra la la, another edition. Give us a grant, see what we are doing! …Arid vast nothingness…the miracle of our times is that so many people can write down so many words that mean absolutely nothing.”

and

“Poets, of course, aren’t the only ones to suffer in our world, they just talk more about it. And the critics, my friend, the critics, what a rotten lobsterflesh they are. Forgive me this, it’s all that I know in my pitiable way. Basically, all I have to say is: Ezra, yes…Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.”

plus “moments of total flaming hell”
(shoulda been the title)
injected with hilarious
Célinian hate:

“The Dolly Sisters sit in that large window all day talking and drinking tea and eating tiny cookies. They are heavily rouged with stupid, hard faces and their grey hair is dyed red and they wear four-inch false fingernails; their lips are very heavily caked with magenta lipstick. They look at me as I walk by and I nod like a country gentleman. They think I am a retired circus barker…All three of them view me and one of them gives me a big smile, it’s like a leper’s kiss of death. The moment the sun goes down, a huge purple curtain is pulled across the glass window. The Dolly Sisters are afraid of being raped.”

or

“Right now there’s this huge glob approaching New York City and there’s nothing that can be done about it. When I read this article I wasn’t exactly too unhappy because if any city deserved to be drowned in mountains of shit, that city is New York.”

yes this is some really guerrilla stuff
high in polemics & graphic scat
what might’ve changed our Buk-attitude
(if published earlier in history)
two degrees but so what?
stock standard lesbo smackdowns and
barfights galore permeate
avec spontaneous
absurdist fic

bottomline: there are three strange
off-the-chain
Bukowski books
no pensive collection shld be
w/out:
Pulp, Pleasures of the Damned
and this mofo
right here.

_____

RECONFIGURATIONS: A Journal for Poetics & Poetry / Literature & Culture,
http://reconfigurations.blogspot.com/, ISSN: 1938-3592, Volume Three (2009): Immanence/ Imminence
_____

No comments: