Thursday, December 13, 2007

Rejection Letter

now do shave off yr whiskuhs; stop irritating the cops; remain sober; stop trying to figure it all out for yrself--other minds have been here--avail yrself of them; they are called 'classics' which AINT ACADEMIC; brush yr teeth; find a way to pay th' rent & join the free public library & obey the chinese command: "walk in the courtyard as if alone... not seeing the rest of them..." & repeat the magic formula:

"now it is my time to walk on thin ice & face tigers" & recall the poem the greek sailor left for us :

"I bid you take ship & set sail, for many a ship, when ours was lost, weathered the gale..."

or words to effect/

however did you see the A&P Review?

most cordially

That was the end of a rejection letter Sheri Martinelli sent to the poet Charles Bukowski in June of 1960 after Bukowski sent some unsolicited poems. He hadn't ever seen a copy of her poetry journal Anagogic & Paideumic Review, which was later one of the first to publish his poetry. They corresponded for almost a decade. Their letters are collected in Black Sparrow Press's 2001 book Beeerspit And Cursing.

Martinelli was a literary character of some renown in her day. She hosted Charlie Parker and other jazz musicians in her Greenwich Village apartment, she modeled for Vogue, she was a mistress of Ezra Pound's, Rod Steiger and E.E. Cummings collected her art, and she was a good friend of Allen Ginsberg. She died in 1996.

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