Cover image for The Buddhist third class junkmail oracle : the selected poetry & art of D.A. Levy
The Buddhist third class junkmail oracle : the selected poetry & art of D.A. Levy
Levy, D. A.
Personal Author:
Seven Stories Press first edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Seven Stories Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
318 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 23 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3562.E9257 B84 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



In some quarters considered to be the American Rimbaud, d a Levy has also been compared to Shelley and Lorca because of the vastness of his talent. A visual artist and an important figure in the concrete poetry movement, he was also a publisher, mystic and activist who either was murdered or committed suicide at the age of 26 in Cleveland, Ohio. An event that occurred after two and a half years of intense media coverage, police harassment and court trials, and just as he was starting to be recognised as one of the most important writers and artists of his generation.

Author Notes

d.a. levy (1942-1968) was an underground poet and publisher from Cleveland. He died, under mysterious circumstances, at the age of twenty-six. MIKE GOLDEN is a poet, journalist, novelist, filmmaker, and award-winning playwright and screenwriter.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Thirty-one years after he committed suicide in his East Cleveland apartment shortly after his 26th birthday, this legendary beat poet and publisher becomes a bit less mythic with the first widely available selection of his prodigious output. Cult figure levy [sic] was a mainstay of the vital Cleveland poetry scene of the early '60's and became a T-shirted martyr to the burgeoning counterculture, due to the unrelenting prosecution of this penniless poet on obscenity charges by that city's police department. Levy's poetry still retains hard-won integrity within the side-stapled confines of the humble mimeo chapbook, but it now appears, in this crisp new edition, interesting mostly for sociological and historical reasons. The editor's lengthy introduction offers a well-researched look into the poet's short, frantic life, but levy would have been better served by a far smaller selection of his work, which would have made pieces like "Suburban Monastery Death Poem" stand out: "...only ten blocks away/ from my quiet apartment/ with its green ceramic buddhas/ & science fiction books/ unread skin magazines to be cut up for collages...." On the whole, levy's often rapid-fire delivery has enough in common with poetry slam wordslingers to draw comparisons, and some poems parallel the concrete poetics then developing in New York and Europe. Enthusiasts and scholars of the period will welcome this comprehensive look at a local oracle. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



Chapter One The Poetry     from VARIATIONS ON A FLIP (1963) the distrust breeding uselessness of everything how far til i hit bottom happy new yeeaar ----??! old year danced out on big flat feet glad to be rid of its heavy burden new years never came he hid in the snow in the waiting times square crowd slugging cherry kijaa from a hip flask `61' brick by brick i build my wall higher so i can learn to live with brick by brick you build my wall higher too high - i can learn to live without remembrance for a sleeping tiger wipe the slate clean scratch one artist from the books one painter down the drain strive for knowledge reap a shallow grave no more flowers no more pain books to books brushes set aside yet remember to some she never died     for a chick who died due to the unjust laws of the state --*-- i walked out the rear door of my mind the corridors are as bright as the outside world ... softness & tomorrow ... i am nights of anguish and lie in invisible silence of shadows weeping in solitude of unfriendly walls seeping hollow echos, the sweetness of your voice whispering in softness. inside the hunger soledad gnaws insatiable with gnashing teeth of ivor remembrances. visions of stolen ecstacy, trembling the sun sets on forgotten lakes with the circle of a pallid moon - rising. resting in the folds of angels wings we kissed in tenderness with langorous lips quivering seems as if then and lost, tomorrow mornings apocalypse and emptyness dissolves. ... to all sad endings ... violet heartbreak its the season i guess tears on rock born in spring - death in snow sneering sun - you knew it all the time ... X ... this strange little bird has been tapping at my window for the past few days cheerfully chanting "someone gona die" "someone gona die" i finally chased him away with a whip of snowfluff coughed my bronchial hack spit up a clot of blood christ, as if the howling dog wasn't annoying enough ... progress ... titan red a women in bed Tyche - lady of luck a bus and mail truck forget color build a skscraper instead = surrealist scene = the plaster pillars are crumbling the columns lay in granite heaps the rotting timbers are creaking       they snap under the heavy burden of thought my mind bails out of my skull       dropping to land and bounce like a rubber ball back and forth on my pelvic bones ... quiet autumn ... the sky changes its clothes from pale blues to azure dragon sometimes halloween oranges and today its sabbath best mother of pearl sky. the sun red above grey-purple water bronze sands littered with copper leaves and driftwood sienna - dark brown autumn crisp sweet smell of burning leaves. few green leaves hang onto life clinging to their tree homes. its a sad autumn - silent season a few snow white clouds hover overhead to predict winter in winter its miles of dangerous ice that covers the lake from cold who will protect me in winter lovers sweat under blankets in warm passionate embraces who will keep me warm in winter all paths lie buried in white snow where will i walk ... white tiger ... tiger eye - turquoise sky in black copper and gold, wheres the blue? ecstacies hue ruby sunset - be bold ... the crying tree ... no flowers lay about my feet no grass or weeds to hear me weep ive drown them all in fruitless sorrow the splash of leaves - a grey tomorrow ... education of a food fadist ... pass the thesaurus lord im hungry little puddles of Rogets on my Webster salad ... neither nor ... neither i nor there       nor the purple flame but the golden sun       on the empty plain in a field of blue       a violet streak and a green aurora       on a mountain peak cry - cry angel with silver wings       dive through liquid emotions and scream in whirls of hell ... this weekend of smiling navels ... i opened hearts and watched from crawling doors but nothing angel nothing i tried the gingerbread scene looking out of asylum windows and rolled down spiral staircases only stop like sisyphus in reverse i licked cactus plants till my tongue was shredded and played in Nevada sands eating ants-drunk aphid chasing ants i've walked R.R. tracks collecting rust covered iron scraps til my pockets were so full i couldn't move and the weight made me think of christ i went swimming in the stagnant pools of life and wandered the polluted streets of a RANI incense burning america i never had time to look homeward there was always a shortcut to Nirvana - $.15 hamburgers and fried onion rings i kissed two warm lips and woke to find myself on a lily pad face to face with a mad frog who told me i had halitosis - and lept i crawled into my radio looking for the music and made new friends men in white coats and sweet tasting cushions on the walls I and i skipped in fields of dandelions sneezing - with pockets full of wet handkerchiefs and dreamt of white poppy seed rolls i opened hearts and watched from the crawling doors but nothing angel nothing ... as age creeps in ... why is it that i admire youth is it the flashy ignorance (that ripens into old age) rebellion? disallusionment the insouciant chatter the heavenly obliviousness that roams with the unaware-everything is "no matter" the soft lines of agelessness smiles uncynical - not chose with care or is it because - i missed it riding too fast - living too high traveling lifes thoroughfare ... october song ... moon hanging lower from downgrass     and i wrapped in mysticism so surrealistically symbolical     an i for an i and toothless for toothless     groundup in a rainbag to be thrown away on a paperday this is shinto - this is zen     this is my brother then lost again     rythmical like a salty orgasm thrown away on a paperday pumpkins fast for yom kipper     all this i missed in pursuit of a grey night     midnight running loose with impassioned sinister sky to be -     thrown away on a paperday littered sidewalks shouting to passing clouds     while cars became a blizzard of smash the asphalt     all this i missed in pursuit of a quiet doorway to be thrown away on a paperday ... my enemy ... i stand outside me and watch myself i point at me giggle and then i laugh and my laughter grows and grows until - the eternal headache sleep - unconsciousness i escape from me ... the black void ... oh man the noises i hear each infinities sound magnifing itself waiting like nights cat or children strangling louder - LOUDER pounding in the head dryness the flesh peels from the soul yet - the mouth remains i speak - but the sounds are not i see - but everything dissolves the hunger craving - forever unsatisfied the hunger and what for this time the thirst for the unattainable the taste for--the knowledge of never ... no more talk about waterloo ... ivory symphony buttercup cords the wax museums quiet now since they hauled napolean away ... prelude to a rice throwing ... lips we let touch and ran amuck raced to silver stars and flew through bars leaving open entrances with their portal plugs swinging in the foolishness of captured tied with first loves blood pumping organs then souls forgotten puppy love to bed and back tortured rack wrapped in crepe paper ... for a rainy day ... kisses we tried to save pressed in books like flowers from a sun warmed day only years later to open yellowing pages to find those same kisses - wilted and dry ... bop for kiddies ... i watermeloned down the lawn and summersalts in season a red balloon a blue - a green an orange one all floating skyward with childrens dreams tied Copyright (c) 1999 Mike Golden. All rights reserved.