Friday, January 22, 2016
Kowboy Poems by Stuart Z. Perkoff (1973)
Stuart Z. Perkoff
The Croupier Press
I first learned of Stuart Perkoff by reading Venice West: The Beat Generation in Southern California by John Maynard, published in 1991 by Rutgers University Press. Even though I lived in Southern California in the 1970’s, I was unaware of the whole “West Coast Beat” scene. (I was in the Air Force, my mind was elsewhere at the time). I was intrigued about this voice, this Beat Generation voice, that I had not heard before.
As luck would have it, sometime after reading the Maynard book, I won a lot of poetry books on Ebay and among those books was Specimen 73 edited by Paul Vangelisti and published by the Pasadena Museum of Modern Art in 1973. In addition to poems by Perkoff are work by Bukowski, Jack Hirschman, Charles Wright, and others.
There are 7 poems in the staple-bound chapbook. The work was written in 1959-1960. It was one of 3 slim volumes to appear in 1973. He was gone by the end of July 1974. Puff of smoke gone. Living too hard for his body to take. Died of Cancer.
Cover drawing by John Fish. Photo on back by Eloy Hernandez. Quite collectible.