Jack London’s Magic Trail

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June 1, 2010 · Posted in Notes from Above Ground · Comments Off on Jack London’s Magic Trail 

By Honey van Blossom

The Baron and I saw The Last Station, a film with Helen Mirren acting as Tolstoy’s wife, the day before the Baron filed for divorce. At the end of the film, when actors playing ordinary people followed Tolstoy’s casket weeping, I cried with them. The Baron, who had been silent, and who had not wept, said that he hadn’t thought such a plain story could be so moving, but that I was exactly like Tolstoy’s wife.

A difference between us may be that I was not married to the best writer in the world, I said. The Countess had not only had thirteen children with her husband, she had also copied and re-copied and re-copied his manuscripts. She had added the dimension of another voice to his work, a woman’s voice, so that Tolstoy’s writing soared above anything he could have written without her. Read more

Tales Of That Extraordinary Madman, Charles Bukowski

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June 1, 2010 · Posted in Commentary · Comments Off on Tales Of That Extraordinary Madman, Charles Bukowski 


IN 1972, when I saw fellow Los Angeles Free Press writer Charles Bukowski’s book in the window of a bookstore in West Hampstead in London, my first reaction was one of jealousy The book was called Notes of a Dirty Old Man, the same title as his column in the paper. It was a City Lights book, with Bukowski’s amazing pocked alcoholic face adorning its cover. I viewed Bukowski as only doing a limited shtick – he rarely came into the office himself, but I knew all about him because my friend Judy Lewellen, the city editor, used to go pick up the column. I guess I hadn’t understood how popular Bukowski was getting until I was confronted by a book display in London. Years later, I came to realize that this guy had paid far more dues in his life than I had. Read more

No One

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June 1, 2010 · Posted in Miscellany · Comments Off on No One 

No one marched in the streets
When they killed the electric car
We did not want one
We wanted gasoline
We shoved that nozzle
In the tank
OH, it felt so good
Like a spike in the arm
That rush you could taste in your gums
That full tank feeling
Now, I can go wherever I want Read more