Why do I have him listed with Kerouac and Kafka in a poem that I wrote when I was twenty years old?
Even the information about him in the last available copy of his chapbook that I just bought for $10 doesn’t tell me anything about how I might have come to know anything about him more than a half-century ago.
Apparently, he wrote back in the late 30s and 40s, and this chapbook is his only collection. The inside cover says
Only a limited edition of 1000 is being printed, and none of them will ever be available except as a personal gift from the writer.
The copy I bought is inscribed to “Doc Chandler: who appreciates cheesecake and football predictions — all the good things in life. Jack Trussell, 10-15-57.”
I was a freshman in college in 1957. Might I have heard him read his poetry on campus? Did one of my fellow pseudo-beatniks tell me about him? Did I share a beer with him one night in the tiny bar on Central Avenue in Albany where we gathered around a table in front of a bizarre mural of Buddha, Shiva, and various other inspirational myths? I don’t know why his name would appear in my poem.I don’t remember. Have no idea. “Doc Chandler” certainly doesn’t ring a bell.
About the poems in this collectin Jake says “To me, poetry was always a personal thing, written for the pure joy of writing and for no other consideration whatsoever. These poems were written at very odd moments ….and on the strangest assortments of materials (napkins, the backs of old football programs, and scraps of typing paper crammed into a beat up portable late at night on a kitchen table).”
I guess that sounds pretty much like what we were all doing back then.
Most of his poems have end line rhymes, which I rarely like. I might never know why his name found its way into one of my very early efforts. Maybe I had read this one of his; I know I would have liked this one, which he wrote in 1938: