Tuesday, September 05, 2006

". . . to see these things"     [Cage story / Morris Graves]

This is Morris Graves' "Challice" (1941, from the Phillips Collection).

Unlike (presumably) the black paintings in the Cage story, this also has other-than-sheer-blackness. Indeed, it prominently includes a white object. Still, the force of the black is strong here.

This morning, I had read (on a literary discussion forum) a poem by a fellow in New Delhi, where he seems excited and happily bewildered by the force in Charles Bukowski's poetry. Reading Cage's story, a thought occurred to me: perhaps this response is comparable to (what we may imagine as) the excitement of the child from Cage's story -- an eagerness to see the (forbidden) black paintings.

The particular book of Bukowski's that elicited Sanjay's rapture is from 1981, Dangling in the Tournefortia -- originally published of course by Black Sparrow Press in Santa Barbara. Evidently that, like other Bukowski books, now rests under the aegis of the big publishing conglomerate, Harper/Collins. I was particularly incensed by the invitation (on the "blog" sailed forth by the latter press some time ago) to "subscribe" for "Bukowski news." I thought: the guy has died. What news will you now bring?

Googling around (hoping to find poems from this volume -- as I've not read it; indeed my readings in Bukowski have been few and far between) -- I chanced on this (inadvertantly) amusing sentence by a literary critic:
Charles Bukowski is a Western writer not by choice but by circumstance. Chances are, had he been raised in Chicago, New Orleans, Atlanta, or New York rather than in Los Angeles, he would be a writer of those regions and not the West.

  Chances are, had I been born a monkey rather than a human
  I would be a poet of treetops rather than windows
  chances are, were I born in Alaska instead of California
  I would be a poet of penguins rather than apricots

  And if I were born as Charles Bukowski in Chicago
  you can bet the El would figure in my poems
  but if I were born as Charles Bukowski in Atlanta
  would I write a book called Dangling in the Dogwood?


This post represents my Cage story rumination no. 2.
Cage story rumination no. 1 was: "Oh! it's you" [Max Ernst]


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