by Gregory Stephenson
Gregory Stephenson hails from Tempe, Arizona, but has lived in Denmark for over thirty years. He has written extensively on contemporary English and American literature. His books include: The Daybreak Boys: Essays on the Literature of the Beat Generation; Exiled Angel: A Study of the Work of Gregory Corso; and Understanding Robert Stone. He was for many years co-editor (with his wife Birgit) of a literary journal called Pearl.
Reading the work of Bob Kaufman (1925 - 1986) one senses the urgent and relentless determination of the poet to engage and put to rout the combined forces of Injustice and Destructiveness, Inertia and Illusion, and to unfurl above a liberated world the banner of Beauty and Joy. Sadly, in the end it was the poet himself who fell in the encounter, worn-out from long fighting and overthrown from within by his own self-destructiveness. Yet he left behind him - in the form of three high explosive volumes of poems -- munitions sufficient for us to carry on the struggle.

For Bob Kaufman the struggle must have begun at an early age. Born the eleventh of thirteen children to an African-American family in New Orleans, Kaufman must have learned at first hand already as a child the inequalities and. injustices of the world.1 Joining the Merchant Marine at the age of eighteen, he soon became a member of the radical (Communist Party-oriented) National Maritime Union, later serving the union as orator, organizer, and international representative. During his war years with the Merchant Marine, Kaufman was simultaneously involved in the struggle against fascism, the struggle against racism, (the color line among merchant seamen was only broken by the War Labor Board in 1943) and the struggle against capitalist exploitation. After the war, Kaufman represented the N.M.U. at conferences in London and France, and also became an active supporter of the short-lived, left-leaning Progressive Party, serving as an area director for Henry Wallace’s 1948 presidential campaign on the Progressive ticket. In the course of his union and political activities, many of which took place in southern states, it is said that Kaufman not infrequently suffered incarceration and brutal treatment at the hands of the police.

During these same years, apart from his political activities, Kaufman also cultivated a keen interest in modern literature and in jazz, associating with members of the nascent Beat Generation in New York City already in the late 1940s. Settling ashore in San Francisco in 1956, Kaufman quickly became a central figure in the North Beach bohemian-hipster scene, attracting favorable attention among members of that community for his spontaneous oral poems declaimed atop café tables or on street corners, and for his co-editorship of the literary magazine, Beatitude. At the same time, the poet attracted hostile attention from other quarters -- including the local police -- for his inter-racial relationship (later marriage) to Eileen Singe. For his public role as defender of the North Beach community against police harassment, and for his boisterous and unruly antics, Bob Kaufman was often singled out by the police for persecution and was repeatedly arrested and jailed.

Even while he was beginning to gain a national literary reputation for the 1959 publication by City Lights in broadside form of three of his long poems, Abomunist Manifesto, Second April and Does the Secret Mind Whisper, Kaufman seems to have been entering upon a period of mental instability. This condition may have been the result of his frequent incarceration or of his growing alcoholism and use of amphetamines, or may be attributed to the combination of both circumstances. Moving to New York City, Kaufman’s substance abuse accelerated and as a consequence he grew increasingly impoverished and was often altogether without funds or a domicile. Arrested and jailed for his erratic public behavior, Kaufman was sent to Bellvue Hospital where he was subjected to involuntary electro-shock treatment.

Upon his release from Bellvue in the autumn of 1963, Kaufman returned to live in San Francisco. For private and political reasons (reacting to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy) the poet entered upon a period of silence (forbearance from speech), which he maintained for nearly ten years, until early 1973. During this period, however, two volumes of Kaufman’s poems were printed. Solitudes Crowded with Loneliness, a collection of Kaufman’s poems from the l950s, appeared from New Directions in 1965; and Golden Sardine, edited from manuscripts recovered from Kaufman’s scorched Morocco portfolio after a fire had destroyed his hotel room, was issued by City Lights in 1966.

Between 1973 and 1978 Kaufman composed a number of poems that were then gathered together with earlier uncollected poems to make up the volume, The Ancient Rain, published by New Directions in 1978. In that same year Kaufman again withdrew into silence and seclusion, living a marginal existence, continuing his prodigious consumption of alcohol and amphetamine. To Raymond Foye, an admirer and editor of The Ancient Rain, who tracked him down, the elusive Kaufman remarked: “I want to be anonymous ... My ambition is to be completely forgotten.” 2

Kaufman ‘s periodic silences and withdrawals from the life of the world have been interpreted variously as having their motivation in his Buddhist spiritual orientation, in his personal disappointments and disillusion with the affairs of the world, or as the consequence of an amphetamine psychosis.3 Whatever may have been its cause or causes, Kaufman’s second period of silence and seclusion endured until his death in 1986.

Perhaps as an extension of his earlier occupation as orator and organizer for the N.M.U., Kaufman conceived of poetry as primarily an oral-aural art, as performance, as a personal encounter or communion with his audience. Indeed, it was Eileen Kaufman who first persuaded her husband to commit his poems to writing, herself transcribing his earliest poems from tape recordings. Kaufman was equally committed to the principle of spontaneous composition or improvisation in his writing, a practice he derived both from jazz and from surrealism.

There is, then, often a rhetorical, polemical quality to his poetry. It is charged with indignation and outrage, abounding in pronouncements and indictments. Yet, incongruously, and in contrast to American political poetry of the 1930s, which may have provided an early model for him, Kaufman’s poems employ surrealist techniques and devices: disjunction, ellipsis and fragmentation, inconsequence and juxtaposition. Further poetic voltage is generated by wit and wordplay, rhapsody and rant, slapstick and whimsy, and horror mingled with humor. The collision of these disparate stylistic elements produces a hallucinated impressionism, a lucid madness in which the reader is implicated.

Kaufman’s poems range in shape and length from short-lined, short lyrics of a dozen lines or so to dense prose-poems pages in length. His poems take the form of letters and biographies, a mock-manifesto and a shooting script for the cinema of the mind; they may present themselves as enigmatic jests, inscrutable aphorisms or oracular telegrams. The structural device most often employed by Kaufman in his poems is anaphora, a jazz-like or blues-like repetition and variation of lines and phrases. Even at their loosest and most diffuse, a deep cohesion is sustained in the poems by a central contrapuntal tension between grief and ecstasy, denial and affirmation, admonishment and yearning, terrified despair and aspiration toward a redeeming order.

Kaufman’s poems may be seen to fall into three main types: the personalist lyric, the poem of social protest, and the visionary poem. There is some degree of overlap among these categories, but by and large they are distinct from one another. In the following, I would like to consider a few representative examples of each kind of poem and to suggest something of the thematic development of the particular types within Kaufman’s work.

Kaufman’s personal lyrics are typically self - portraits and self - assessments expressed in terms of surreal metaphors. His first collection, Solitudes Crowded with Loneliness, opens with such a poem, titled “I Have Folded My Sorrows.” 4

I have folded my sorrows into the mantle
of the summer night,
Assigning each brief storm its alloted space
in time,
Quietly pursuing catastrophic histories buried
in my eyes …
(SCL 3)

The verbs “fold” and “assign,” together with the adverb “quietly,” combine to suggest a calm control of the speaker’s sadness and anguish. Though they still remain present in his mind, he would seem to have surmounted his sorrows. Later in the poem the semantic field created by “sorrows”, “storm” and “catastrophic histories” is expanded to include “yesterday’s disasters” and yesterday’s pains”, while still the poet declines to indulge the memory of former sufferings.

He acknowledges, however, that these “unfinished encounters” remain to be dealt with. The tone of the poem is one of candor and of a guarded optimism. There is the sense of an achieved poise, and equanimity in the face of menace, a faith in the processes of life: “the world is not some unplayed Cosmic Game.”

An altogether different note, however, is struck by two subsequent poems in the same volume, “Dolorous Echo” and “Would You Wear My Eyes?” In the first poem, the pores of the poet’s skin are likened by him to “Millions of little / Secret graves, / Filled with dead / Feelings;” while the hairs on his head are compared to “Millions of little / Secret trees, / Filled with dead / Birds.” (SCL 30)

The mood of brooding doom conveyed by these images is extended and intensified in the second poem:

My body is a torn mattress,
Dishevelled throbbing place
For the comings and goings
Of loveless transients.
The whole of me
Is an unfurnished room
Filled with dank breath
Escaping in gasps …
(SCL 40)

The poet then proceeds to depict the parts of his body in terms of dryness, decomposition and destruction by fire. His mind he describes as being equally ravaged and afflicted: “I have walked on my walls each night / Through strange landscapes in my head.” He seems to be immobilized with horror, unable to find a way out of his misery, in the end incapable of doing anything other than putting to the reader the piteous question: “Would you wear my eyes?” Here, then, that which formerly was “folded” is now “disheveled”, and the “catastrophic histories buried in my eyes” as mentioned in “I Have Folded My Sorrows”, (and the “Black Hole of Calcutta behind my eyes” mentioned in the poem “Ginsberg” SCL 23) are now no longer held in check but have burst forth from within with overwhelming and devastating force.

In Golden Sardine, despite further suffering and further affliction, Kaufman discovers and affirms an identity apart from and beyond the body and mind, declaring in. the poem “Blue Slanted into Blueness”:

(GS 35)

Further imagery in Golden Sardine suggests that the wound that so afflicts the poet is now seen not as central to his being but exterior (if proximate) to it, and that the defilement he feels does not besmirch his inmost self.

Who crouches there in my
Some wounded bird.,
Hidden in the tall grass
That surrounds my heart.
. . .
Dirt of a world covers me,
My secret heart
Beating …
(GS 40)

Other poems in the same volume, including “Sun”, “Slight Alterations”, “Saraswati” and “Believe, Believe”, suggest that the poet is in the process of gaining a sustaining spiritual perspective upon the shocks and sorry confusions of the world and upon his own sufferings.

In The Ancient Rain, Kaufman’s final volume of poems, the poet advances further in the direction of an acceptance and understanding of his suffering. In the poem titled “All Those Ships That Never Sailed” -- recited by Kaufman to astonished listeners in 1973 as his first utterance in ten years -- the poet seeks through an act of imagination and a declaration of personal love to expiate his past failings and to salvage from the ruin of his life some redeeming value.

All those ships that never sailed
The ones with their seacocks open
That were scuttled in their stalls
Today I bring them back
Huge and intransitory
And let them sail
. . .
My body once covered with beauty
Is now a museum of betrayal.
This part remembered because of that one’s touch
This part remembered for that one’s kiss -
Today I bring it back
And let you live forever.
(AR 55)

Later poems collected in the volume, including “My Mysteries Created for Me” and “The Poet”, bring to resolution the problem of personal pain. In the former poem, the poet accepts the enigma of individual fate, trusting that there is a worthy if obscure supernatural purpose operative in each life, and attempting therefore to submit himself to the fulfillment of such purpose in his own life.

(AR 57)

In the second of the two poems, the speaker again consents to his fate, accepting the part assigned to him -- that of poet -- despite the suffering inevitably to be endured in undertaking to perform that part.

(AR 68-69)

Pain, then, is seen as essential to the progress of the poet’s soul and vision, while the poet, in turn, -- in his public role as moralist and seer -- is essential to the progress of the world. Initially seized by his vocation, the poet at last accedes to it, embraces it, finding in his act of assent not an end to pain, but rather a reason to bear it and a way to use it, transforming it into poetry.

A good portion of Kaufman’s writing consists of poems of social protest, criticisms of injustice and folly, false values and of a society hostile or indifferent to imagination and spirituality. Kaufman’s protest poems often have as a recurrent theme the disparity between American ideals and the realities of modern American society.

Perhaps the most bitterly, bitingly ironic of Kaufman’s poems of social protest is ‘Benediction,” which appears in his first collection, Solitudes Crowded with. Loneliness. Taking its point of departure in the events of the Civil Rights struggle of the 1950s, the poem inveighs against American racism, militarism and materialism. The founding fathers and the immigrants are seen by the poet as having held democratic and humanistic ideals, while their descendants sell real estate, accumulate material goods and in the emptiness of their lives nurture unconscious destructive impulses. The American democratic experiment is seen by the poet as lacking in direction and vital force. Addressing the nation directly, the poet concludes his harangue by commenting:

Every day your people get more and more
Cars, televisions, sickness, death dreams.
You must have been great
(SCL 9)

Yet in the same collection a markedly more optimistic view of the United States is expressed in a poem titled “To My Son Parker Asleep in the Next Room”. Here the poet regards America as the historical culmination of human aspiration because it is made up of peoples from every land on earth, bringing with them their visions and their cultural and spiritual heritages. Kaufman concludes the poem by proclaiming the potential of the United States to become a truly just and righteous republic.

On this shore, we shall raise our monuments
of stones, of wood, of mud, of color, of
labor, of belief, of being, of life, of
love, of self, of man expressed in self-
determined compliance, or willful revolt,
secure in this avowed truth, that no man
is our master, nor can any ever be, at
any time in time to come.
(SCL 49)

Such hopes for the future of the United States do not, however, hinder the poet in employing his art to point up the faults and failings of the nation in present time. Indeed, the fulfillment of his wishes for his country in time to be may in part depend upon the effectiveness of his assaults on fatuousness and folly in the present.

Two poems from the same collection representative of the tenor of Kaufman’s social criticism are “Hollywood” and “Teevee People”. The former poem consists of a catalog of instances of the film capitol’s crassness and fatuity. To Kaufman, Hollywood represents the epitome of all that is false and, shallow, silly and futile, modishly meretricious and stupefyingly inane. It is to him the “artistic cancer of the universe,” the center of a corruption of taste and intelligence that is inimical to human advancement. Although the poem itself is light in tone, employing word play and. surreal humor, Kaufman nevertheless conveys an ominous sense that the individual specimens treated in the poem and the tendencies they embody are no less pernicious for their being ridiculous.

The title of “Teevee People” is somewhat misleading as the poem is not concerned with television actors, newscasters or talk-show personalities, but with academia. (Presumably the title is intended to suggest that there are no significant differences between the two groups, and that a common denominator is their one-dimensionality.) In the first stanza the barren pedantry and insularity of the academy are denounced: conforming to schedules, rules and conventions, faculty members forfeit their individuality and originality, while their fields of study lose all relevance to increasingly critical human issues, such as the nuclear arms race and its possible consequences.

The second stanza of the poem depicts the students as being similarly aloof and dehumanized, reduced to a rote consumption of knowledge, developing “computer minds”, becoming mere “machines”. The third and final stanza portrays the depleted, blighted landscape outside the academy, a waste land in need of regeneration and renewal.

The cold land breathes death rattles, trembling,
The dark sky casts shadows across the wounds.
(SCL 50)

Yet the concluding lines of the poem find grounds for hope in the ineradicable human aspiration to genuine feeling and authentic being:

Beneath the bright clothing of well-fed machines,
The hungry heart inside the hungry hearts,
Beats silently, beats softly, beats, beats.
(SCL 50)

Taken together, the social protest poems collected in Kaufman’s three volumes of poetry view the condition of post-war American society as one compounded of interlocking, over-lapping, mutually reinforcing systems or structures of power, including the communications media, the academy, advertising, corporate business, organized religion, the government and the military.

These combine to promote among the populace homogeneity, complacency and passivity, and act in concert to suppress what is individual, unique and, genuine. It is against the forces of standardization, systematization and massification, against mechanization and, quantification, against the encroachments of an incipient all-pervasive, monolithic mega-system that Kaufman’s poems protest, ridiculing and indicting, exhorting to defiance and resistance, claiming for themselves a dissociative space suited to the cultivation of value and meaning, liberty and vision.

In his assault upon those tendencies and agencies that reduce human potential and inhibit spiritual growth, Kaufman employs as weapons both humor and horror. The former quality is perhaps best exemplified by Kaufman’s sly, surreal text “Abomunist Manifesto”, which satirizes racism, the Cold War and the nuclear arms race, patriotism, national myths, religious organizations, status symbols, human vanity, scholarship, politics, the pretensions of bohemian artists and intellectuals, and all that is dogmatic and programmatic. Cast in the form of a mock-manifesto, Kaufman’s poem includes aphorisms, a glossary, scholarly notes, an election program, an anthem and founding documents of Abomunism, -- all in parodic form, exposing to laughter the preposterously solemn jargon and cant characteristic of established religion, academia, artistic and literary manifestos, and political ideologies.

Imagery of hallucinatory horror is frequent in Kaufman’s poems, portraying a world of spiritual decay, violence, isolation, fear and suffering. In his darker poems Kaufman conducts us through a nightmare landscape of dead cities, empty cathedrals, leafless trees and infernal jails, taking us to places of carrion and hungry jackals, where the air is filled with shrieks, babbling and hideous laughter and is thick with smoke and dust, where everything is bent, torn, cracked, jagged, twisted, splintered, stained, eroded, tarnished, withered, mildewed, parched and burnt. With Kaufman as our Virgil we travel through realms of black rain and wounded snow, regions populated by losers and the lost, fake mystics, Gothic brain surgeons and dented boxers, suicides and murderers, cannibals and eunuchs, kleptomaniacs and pederasts.

In his final poems, collected in The Ancient Rain, in the section titled “New Poems 1973 - 1978”, Kaufman remains pointedly critical of the United States, yet he also remains resolutely optimistic as to the future glory of the nation. In a poem titled “The American Sun,” Kaufman is scathing in his censure of what he views as American imperialism, yet in the title poem of the collection, “The Ancient Rain,” he foresees an end to racism in the United States and a renaissance of American idealism.

“The Ancient Rain” is concerned with the process and direction of human history, and more specifically with the past, present and future of the American nation, which Kaufman -- like Walt Whitman before him -- regards as having an historical destiny and mission. One of the central issues of the poem is the acceptance by American society of its African American component.

The black community is personified in the poem by the figure of Crispus Attucks, an African American who together with four fellow protestors was shot dead by British soldiers in the Boston Massacre of March 5, 1770. Kaufman foresees that Crispus Attucks, “the black angel of America” (AR 79) will be united in fellowship with his countrymen, will be acknowledged and honored by them. Such racial reconciliation, Kaufman believes, will be but a single aspect of a general national regeneration, a return by the nation to first principles.

As Kaufman’s final poem of social protest, “The Ancient Rain” is notable both for its Whitmanic faith in a future transformation of the United States, and for its sharp criticism of the aggressive imperialism of the U.S.S.R. (a theme also present in two other poems in the same collection: “The American Sun” and “January 30, 1976: Message to Myself”.) “The Ancient Rain” also expresses disdain for those individuals who by their aid to Soviet Communism are seen to have betrayed American ideals, -- the Rosenbergs and Alger Hiss are named in the poem in this

“The Ancient Rain” is the culminating expression of the social criticisms and hopes articulated throughout Kaufman’s work. What has altered significantly between the early protest poems and this final text and its companion poems is the proportion of dissatisfaction and disapproval to acceptance and anticipation, the ratio between dissent and assent. It should also be noted that the expression of so unfashionable a stance as patriotism, optimism and faith in the American nation -- during the 1970s, among the literary left, and more especially among the African American community -- bespeaks in Kaufman a rare integrity.

In turning now to a consideration of the visionary or revelatory element of Kaufman’s poetry, I think I ought to say at the outset that I do not mean to imply that Kaufman was an oracle or a prophet, nor altogether a mystic either. Rather, the visionary quality of his poetry derives from his recurrent concern with supernatural experience and from the sometimes startling, extravagant and magical images that occur in his spontaneous compositions. In his essay, Literature and Science, Aldous Huxley notes how the uninhibited, intoxicated use of language characteristic of Dada and Surrealism, drawing on imagery from the preconscious mind, communicates to readers an uncanny, magical significance, opening “unsuspected windows on the unknown”, and revealing at times “aspects of the essential mystery of existence”. 5

Scattered among Kaufman’s poems there are glimpses and intimations of an order of reality higher than that of the perceptual/phenomenal world. Already in the early poems there are glints of such a realm, imaged as an “imaginary forest” where “the shingled hippo becomes the gay unicorn” (SCL 3), and as a “purple forest ... where yellow flower loves yellow flower” (SCL 53).

Associated from the outset with brilliant colors and radiant light, the realm of the transcendent is in later poems represented as a sun, the center both of the cosmos and of each soul.

Sun, Creator of Suns,
Sun, which makes Men,
My eye fails me,
Longing to see Thee
I touch stone.
For the sole desire to know
Might I know thee.
(“Sun” GS 52)

Even the faintest and briefest manifestations of the luminous Other World leave the spirit afterwards filled with painful longing for further such contact, and leave the seeker
feeling both exalted and inspired, and desolate and forsaken. Then, upon another later occasion, a more intense kind of contact takes place in which the spirit becomes identified with the Light, and -- if only for a timeless moment -- the temporal realm and ordinary consciousness are transcended.

I climb a red thread
To an unseen existence
Broken free, somewhere,
Beyond the belts.
Ticks have abandoned
My astonished time.
The air littered
With demolished hours.
Presence abolished
I become a ray
From the sun …
(“Slight Alterations” GS 55)

Following communion of this kind, the world and the cosmos are regarded by the poet in an entirely new fashion, celebrated by him as a sacred mystery:

(“The Poet” AR 70)

The image of the Great Sun in the center of the soul and of the cosmos occurs also in the final lines of “The Ancient Rain”, the concluding poem of Kaufman’s last collection. Whereas in that poem rain is employed as a symbol of the cosmic forces of fecundation and annihilation, of creation and destruction, the shaping agencies of human history, the image of the sun serves to represent a condition of eternal unchanging being, outside history, beyond time. The poem ends with a quotation from Garcia Lorca by which Kaufman urges us all -- trapped as we are in time, caught up as we are in the conflicts and distractions of the world -- to “seek out the great Sun of the Center” (AR 81). 6

Desiring to help in delivering humanity and in transforming the world, Kaufman saw his work as a poet as a series of small raids carried out and minor skirmishes fought on the far-flung battlefields of a vast war. As fellow-warriors engaged on the same side in the same great conflict, he reckoned jazz musicians, painters and, poets, both living and dead, as well as prophets and saints drawn from various spiritual traditions. Each poem or tune, each painting or prayer, he believed, brought nearer the hour of inevitable final victory: the advent of a free and joyous new world, and the ultimate illumination of the human spirit.

Kaufman’s life and work may be seen to represent a quintessential instance of the beat/beatific process that was so essential a tenet of the Beat movement. It will be recalled that in founding works such as Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, the condition of being beat -- in the sense of being in the extremity of exhaustion, isolation, pain, despair -- was seen as a necessary stage of spiritual development preceding the state of becoming beatific, or blessed.

We have see how at a nadir of dejection, loneliness, emptiness and anguish, Kaufman achieved redeeming vision. This inward passage from beat to beatific is plotted by Kaufman in a work from his last collection, a poem titled “All Hallows, Jack O’Lantern Weather, North of Time”.

(AR 48)

There are various perspectives from which the poetry of Bob Kaufman may be appreciated, diverse standards by which it might be evaluated. Originally intended for declamation by the poet himself, the poems are experienced by us as readers as words printed upon a page. What is the relation of the silent artifact we encounter on the page to the living voice that once uttered the words? By what aesthetic (or other) criteria do we judge an art that is improvisational -- with all the inherent imperfections of such a technique? And, what response is demanded of us by surrealist texts? What questions of quality and value, what principles of discrimination ought to be involved in our experience of such texts? Or should we (can we?) disavow all such considerations, merely registering the text, acknowledging, absorbing it without making any attempt at critical understanding? I do not ask these questions rhetorically. I have, in fact, no notion of how to answer them, so I must evade them and fall back upon my personal responses to Bob Kaufman’s poetry.

I think on the whole Kaufman’s work is uneven in quality. A number of the poems seem to me to be diffuse and slack, inflated, or -- at their weakest -- inert and self-indulgent. Yet, despite these recurrent faults, his best poems manifest a powerful visual imagination and a daring intelligence. Embodied in their swift rhythms and wild diction there is genuine force and poetic resonance.

What distinguishes the best of Kaufman’s work, for me, is its urgency and vividness of expression, its invention and humor, its ferocity and authority. Kaufman’s was a distinctly individual voice in postwar American poetry, his work flawed but vital.

1. There seems to be a good deal of misinformation in print concerning Bob Kaufman’s ancestry, ethnicity and religious background, as well as his career in the Merchant Marine. Some of this misinformation may even have been initiated and perpetuated by the poet himself. Based on interviews with members of Kaufman’s family, the most reliable accounts of the poet’s background and early life are to be found in Damon (1993), pp. 32 -76, and Henderson (1996), pp. 7 - 28.
2. Foye (1978), ix - x.
3. Kaufman’s friend and Beatitude co-editor, Pierre Delattre, concludes that Kaufman “finally burned his brain out on the amphetamine Methedrine.” Delattre (1993), p. 55.
4. Henceforth all references to Kaufman’s poems will appear in the text with the following code: SCL = Solitudes Crowded with Loneliness, GS = Golden Sardine, AR = Ancient Rain.
5. Huxley (1963), p. 35.
6. The line “Buscad el gran sol del centro” occurs in the poem “El Rey de Harlem” (The King of Harlem) by Federico Garcia Lorca. Lorca (1995), p. 210.

I. Works by Bob Kaufman:
Solitudes Crowded with Loneliness (New York: New Directions, 1965)
Golden Sardine (San Francisco: City Lights, 1967).
The Ancient Rain (New York: New Directions, 1981).
Cranial Guitar: Selected Poems by Bob Kaufman (Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 1996).
II. Works Cited:
Damon, Maria. “Unmeaning Jargon/Uncanonized Beatitude, Bob Kaufman, Poet,” in
The Dark End of the Street, Margins in American Vanguard Poetry, (Minneapolis:
University of Minnesota Press, 1993).
Delattre, Pierre. Episodes (St. Paul, Minnesota: Graywolf Press, 1993).
Foye, Raymond. “Editor’s Note” in The Ancient Rain (New York: New Directions, 1981).
Henderson, David. “Introduction” in Cranial Guitar: Selected Poems by Bob Kaufman (Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 1996).
Huxley, Aldous. Literature and Science (New Haven, CT: Leete’s Island Books, l963).
Lorca, Federico Garcia. Antologia Poetica (Barcelona: Plaza & Janes, 1995).