Charles Bukowski

“Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.”    

To gain



“Poets are damned but they are not blind, they see with the eyes of the angels.”—  William Carlos Williams,
Introduction to Howl

Joplin, Hendrix but no stamp for Kerouac?

Sentinel & Enterprise

What does the U.S. Postal Service have against Massachusetts' legendary Beat Generation pioneer and author Jack Kerouac?
For years Kerouac supporters have been lobbying the USPS for a commemorative postage stamp in honor of the "On the Road" author whose popularity continues to grow both here and abroad nearly 45 years after his death.
Yet Kerouac, whose innovative "spontaneous prose" writing style inspired hundreds of past and present novelists and poets, can't get the recognition he deserves on a federally issued postage stamp.
Why bring this up now?
It's not sour grapes, but if rock musicians Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin can get their mugs on commemorative stamps, why not Kerouac?
The USPS recently announced that Joplin, who died in 1970 at the age of 37, will be honored on the second stamp of the Music Icons series, Hendrix being the first just one year ago.
Joplin's stamp will debut in August. A biographical description on the sheet of stamps says "Joplin is now recognized as one of the greatest rock singers of all time, as well as a pioneer who paved the way for other women in rock music."
Certainly, Joplin and Hendrix were 1960s icons who influenced pop-music culture. Other musical greats honored with commemorative stamps include Elvis Presley (his 1993 stamp remains the all-time top seller at 29 cents), Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Buddy Holly, Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald, etc.
There are also USPS stamps commemorating the nation's most admired 20 all-time poets (e.e. cummings, Sylvia Plath, Elizabeth Bishop, etc.) and literary giants (John Steinbeck, Mark Twain, Elizabeth Wharton, Dorothy Parker, Ernest Hemingway, etc.).
If the goal of the USPS and its Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee is to honor America's long and influential arts culture, certainly Jack Kerouac's literary breakthroughs deserve recognition. Go to Europe and ask young adults where Jack Kerouac was born and they'll answer "Lowell, Massachusetts." It's because they've studied the author and read his books, which offer fascinating -- and disturbing -- insights into the world of underground celebrity, poverty, travel, spirituality, drugs, jazz and sex.
According to Susan McGowan, USPS director of stamp services, the federal agency issues about 20 new stamps a year and only after several years of research, discussion and debate with the citizen's panel and others.
Jack Keroauc and Lowell are already on the map; now it's time to get them on a commemorative stamp, in time for the 50th anniversary of his death (Oct. 21, 2019). Kerouac fans and literary arts devoteés should write to McGowan to let her know that we want Kerouac "stamped in" with other American greats. Her address: Susan McGowan, Director of Stamp Services, USPS, 475 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, D.C. 20260.

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I see men assassinated around me every day.

“I see men assassinated around me every day. I walk through rooms of the dead, streets of the dead, cities of the dead; men without eyes, men without voices; men with manufactured feelings and standard reactions; men with newspaper brains, television souls and high school ideas. Kennedy himself was 9/10ths the way around the clock or he wouldn't have accepted such an enervating and enfeebling job -- meaning President of the United States of America. How can I be concerned with the murder of one man when almost all men, plus females, are taken from cribs as babies and almost immediately thrown into the masher?” ― Charles Bukowski, Sunlight Here I Am: Interviews and Encounters, 1963-1993

Charles Bukowski

"The whole LSD, STP, marijuana, heroin, hashish, prescription cough medicine crowd suffers from the Watchtower itch: you gotta be with us, man, or you're out, you're dead. This pitch is a continual and seeming MUST with those who use the stuff. It's no wonder they keep getting busted." Bukowski