The Dancer,1966

just after you left,
October 1966


not much good at verbal communi, la, I always feel like an ass when words vocal come out of mouth, but think you understand this. anyway, thanks all the copies of EARTH ROSE (title can be taken 2 ways there), but looks good good sure, paper like a young whore’s skin of ass, good, and maybe this is the way, 10,000, worth a shot, and maybe something will happen, maybe they will burn down Hollywood and the loan co’s and the hair on the bellies of the generals and presidents, it should make a SOUND… the trouble with the “littles”, of course, is that the one or 2 hundred copies never get beyond (hardly) the one or 2 hundred poets or semi-poets. so this is a hell of an experiment and glad to be with you and Buckner in the first (and maybe last?) fussilade. your poems I go, fuck of course, but I read the Buckners again, and better than ever, and I don’t understand why he hasn’t been more heard from, or at least–heard from more, haha. the paper must have cost you half your life (I’m back on EARTH ROSE), and illustrations, headlines, all fire F I R E… hello to Anna. if I ever write a poem I think will fit into a possible future F I R E issue I will submit, but right now what I write seems pretty clammy calm, flip, maybe even literary.   old age leaks over me and I lick the crannies of walls  .

have written quite a few lately, anyhow, and here’s one so lousy I didn’t send it out. paste it to the bottom of your shoe and walk around the block.

the dancer

he was a ballet dancer
who spoke grandly of
Sartre, of Genet, of
who thought him full of
until one day he
cut his throat in the men’s room
behind stage.

the ballet dancer never danced
again, nor did we take him
seriously after he was
gone, even though
it took the janitor 30 minutes to
mop up the

thanks again for all the EARTH ROSES, something going on while the pigeons and the industrialists of the world yawn their lives away. shit, suddenly dark and cold around here but since I am not going to work tonight I don’t have to face that row of pinball faces, feces, and I will drink tea, smoke cigars, walk a round this same room, 46 years old, trying again and again to fit myself into this madness. I am working it down to a small small nub and when I get it small enough I will throw it out the window.

the palm leaves do not smile at me
and this is a most pleasant
           history, BUK

do not shoot the tatooed fish; it was once my fat St. Louis
whore, Gertrude. you have been warned. ya.

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript