The Buddhist Third Class Junkmail Oracle

Edited, with an investigative essay on Levy’s life and mysterious death, by Mike Golden.

Step into a slightly fractured Buddhist world as you explore the strange phenomenon of d. a. levy, a suicidal visionary who published a dharma rag out of Cleveland, Ohio, in the late 1960s. WARNING: Contains explicit language. –Tricycle

The Buddhist Third Class Junkmail Oracle is a mad, antic, terrifying, confrontational, psychedelic journey beyond the beyond. Mike Golden’s language slip-slides right into the middle of the whirlwind, embracing the nuances, the demented excessive rhythms of a time when all bets were off and most if not all of the culture was up for grabs.” –Rudy Wurlitzer, author of Little Buddha, Two Lane Blacktop, Walker, Pat Garret & Billy the Kid, and Nog-Flats-Quake-Slow Fade

“Another poet cut down too soon, assassinated! d.a. levy, Cleveland’s bard resurrected from the dead letter office of the soul and delivered at last by Buddhist Third Class Junkmail on lifeÕs railway to heaven–with thanks!” –Barry Gifford, author of Wild at Heart, Lost Highway, Jack’s Book, and Wyoming

“levy’s story is the best unknown story to come out of the 60s! His mysterious death illuminated his life, one in which he burned too brightly for the gray skies of the city he couldn’t leave.” Cleveland Free Press

“Enthusiasts and scholars will welcome this comprehensive look at a local oracle.” Publishers Weekly

“Golden is to be commended for putting together this omnibus volumeÉa nice start toward the increasing attention that (levy) eventually will be paid.” Kirkus Reviews

“Golden has hunted and been haunted by levy’s ghost for most of two decades. This book should be of lasting benefit to anyone who cares about the poetry and history of late 20th-century America.” New York Press

“Golden makes the post-beat time when the 60s were winding down and poetry and revolution seemed twin-born come aliveÉ (He) makes us believe levy was “the original zen cowboy,” alive with holy fire, wanting to spread the word of enlightenment and peace and personal freedomÉ The Buddhist Third Class Junkmail Oracle recaptures some of the magic of the period. This book is like Cerberus, the dog with three heads. It’s a commemoration, an artifact from a not quite lost time, a screed, a prayer and a testimony.” The Memphis Commercial Appeal

“[levy] was like Jeremiah. He had the potential to be a great religious writer – a prophet.” –Ed Sanders, The Fugs; author of The Family, Tales of Beatnik Glory, Investigative Poetry, 1968

“We were the Meat poets, baby. We got down to the bone. levy, Doug Blazek in Chicago, Ole, some pretty good writing came out of that period. Not like today. Too many out there with too little to say. –Charles Bukowski

“It was a grim scene. But what did I know? I came from Philadelphia. Cleveland was a place where a lot of sensitive middle class kids–outcasts–committed suicide, and this was before LSD! The scene was filled with depression, a beatnik kind of sensibility. I remember getting giggly on the grass once, and they all turned on me!” –R. Crumb

“Cleveland was a very heavy police state in a very literal way. The Cleveland police were notorious for their outrageousness and for their storm trooper tactics.” –Allen Ginsberg

“d. a. levy is the true son of Kerouac’s railroad earth. An American spirit of nether underground, who needs to be discovered by anyone interested in the history of radical poetics. For one so ahead of his time, now is definitely the time.” –Thurston Moore, Sonic Youth

“Time travel may not be realized in our lifetime, but if it were, I realized as I put down The Buddhist Third Class Junkmail Oracle, I would return to the wilds of Beat era Cleveland in 1968 as a primer for radicalizing myself, and skip New York and Paris, avoiding the doppelganger conflict of watching myself get arrested at demos, the insane police violence I saw at war with war, losing my virginity, getting my first poem published — you better stop me right here–Mike Golden has created the look, feel and smell of d. a. levy’s blood.” –Bob Holman, The American Book Review

The Buddhist Third Class Junkmail Oracle not only rescues a visionary poet/artist/publisher from the trash-heap of America’s forgotten, but it is also the most direct take on the 60s I’ve ever read. The evocative and provocative essay by Investigative Poetics reporter and Gonzo journalist Mike Golden makes a hot intro, it makes levy’s bio read like a romantic tragedy movie: born 1942, loner youth, half-Jewish, starts Cleveland post-Beat Zine scene publishing R Crumb, Ed Sanders, Lou Reed, Ginsberg, Bukowski, et al, refuses to budge from the scene he created even when hounded by FBI and Cleveland police, jailed for obscenity (his poems) and views (pro-marijuana), appointed teacher at Madison Free U where he teaches a course telepathically (the students all agree: best course ever,) dies by his own hand (or maybe not) in 1968 at age of 26, having cranked out 55 books and numerous magazines on his homespun mimeo machine. The book includes some striking color reproductions of levy’s quintessential 60s psychedelica collages, urdeconstructivist porn, and Buddhism. This book will spark a whole new (old) way of looking at poetry. –About.com

The Buddhist Third Class Junkmail Oracle reminds us yet again that the sixties were a somber time and that aspects of fascism have always thrived in America. Mike Golden’s work on d.a. levy is brilliant. –Jim Harrison, author of A Good Day to Die, Wolf, Revenge, Legends of the Fall, and The Road Home

The Buddhist Third Class Junkmail Oracle collects d.a. levy’s poetry, his collages–in both color and black-and-white–and other examples of his art, in a splendid large-format celebration of levy’s unique contribution.

A visual artist, and an important figure in the concrete poetry movement, levy was also an activist and mystic who either committed suicide or was murdered at the age of twenty-six in East Cleveland. This occurred after two and a half years of intense media coverage, police harassment and court trials, and just as he was starting to be recognized as one of the most important geniuses of his generation.

Edited, with an investigative essay on Levy’s life and mysterious death, by Mike Golden.

REBIRTH BLUES
d. a. levy


You know, whenever I think about becoming
an angel / a bodhisattva / a rain deer
locking antlers with the clouds
I MARUT
chariot rolling on blue sky
knocking down war monuments
with thunder bolts & a good screw
a meal of tantric mulligan stew
spooning the last drops of the pot
with grass fumes until the Astral POP
(can we hold hands out here?can we
touch the mind electricity of our
aethereal love forms?)
Whenever I think
of becoming, say, a poet
a master of wild words before they die
I ask, should I water them and suffer
VERB SPASMS of the action writer
& if i wrote what i wanted to write
it would be as empty as becoming
what I want to become?
listen you fuck-offs
MOVE OUT into the Universe Juice
YOU’RE FLUNKING YOUR OWN DEATHS, SHMUCKS!
Whenever I think about becoming
anything i get scared
& start thinking
it must be a wonderful thing
to be like everybody else
so terrified of death they
can not even remember it,
so frightened of the responsibility
of becoming ANY THING they struggle to do
nothing & Oh hell,
i didn’t really want to be an angel anyway
no one would understand & the
pay is lousy
it’s one of those non-union jobs
keeps you on the floor
weeping
for me to stop murdering me
with the survival illusion
whenever i think about becoming
ANY THING

Leave a Reply

DARIUS JAMES
DR. SNAKESKIN SPEAKS

What's Happening In:

Little Rock - Arkansas Times
Buffalo - Artvoice
Athens, OH
The Athens NEWS
Austin, TX - Austin Chronicle
Baltimore - Baltimore City Paper
Birmingham - Birmingham Weekly
Black & White
Boise
Boise Weekly
Boston
Boston Phoenix
Boston's Weekly Dig
Boulder - Boulder Weekly
Charlottsville, VA - C-Ville Weekly
Chicago
Chicago Newcity
Chicago Reader
Chico
Chico News & Review
Cincinnati - Cincinnati CityBeat
Rochester - City Newspaper
Minneapolis - City Pages (Twin Cities)
Lansing - City Pulse
Des Moines - Cityview
Halifax, NS - The Coast
Colorado Springs - Colorado Springs Independent
Columbia, SC - Columbia Free Times
Atlanta - Creative Loafing (Atlanta)
Charlotte, NC - Creative Loafing (Charlotte)
Sarasota, FL - Creative Loafing (Sarasota)
Tampa, FL - Creative Loafing (Tampa)
Dallas - Dallas Observer
Dayton - Dayton City Paper
Oakland - East Bay Express
Hermosa Beach, CA - Easy Reader
Eugene, OR - Eugene Weekly
New Haven - Fairfield County Weekly
Calgary, AB - Fast Forward Weekly
Athens, GA - Flagpole Magazine
Jacksonville, FL - Folio Weekly
Fort Worth, TX - Fort Worth Weekly
New Orleans - Gambit
Vancouver, BC - The Georgia Straight
Hartford, CT - Hartford Advocate
Honolulu - Honolulu Weekly
Houston - Houston Press
Springfield, IL - Illinois Times
Durham, NC - Independent Weekly (NC)
Corona, CA - Inland Empire Weekly
Madison, WI - Isthmus
Ithica, NY - Ithaca Times
Jackson, MS - Jackson Free Press
Los Angeles - L.A. Weekly
Las Vegas - Las Vegas CityLife
Las Vegas Weekly
Louisville, KY - LEO Weekly
Long Island, NY - Long Island Press
Maui, HI - Maui Time Weekly
Memphis - The Memphis Flyer
Knoxville - Metro Pulse
San Jose - Metroactive

Great Moments in Sportz
Fear & Loathing @ The Kentucky Derby



RALPH STEADMAN remembers meeting HUNTER S. THOMPSON: I heard a quick hiss from the spray can Hunter was brandishing. He had Maced me again!...

HUNTER meets RALPH: Another problem was his habit of sketching people he met in the various social situations I dragged him into--then giving them the sketches. »

Mike Golden’s
Inside Outsourcing
Even if eating it is not exactly their thing they always have the option to use it as a dildo made exclusively for them personally by white trash fashionistas from the south of France collection, Dominique, would you like a tattoo of your face on your ass, dear, while you’re waiting for the designer to take measurements we can use to fit your soul into a gift package? »
Although Tuli was dubbed “the Noel Coward of Bohemia” by his friend co-founding Fug Ed Sanders, I always thought of the multidextrous humanist-humorist as “the Tom Paine of standup protest performance art”, but no matter what handle any of us pin on him it’s safe to say he has probably subliminally influenced more underground writer-poet-artist-publishers than any other Boho to come down the page this century. »

WAA!!
WHAT AN ASSHOLE!


painting collage of UBU, THE DECIDER by aka
Fred Wistow introduces Malcolm Gladwell

Max Blagg Commercial



  • 1965 collage by d.a. levy

  • Before you leave...
    visit Lally's Alley
    for daily updates
  • Visit Richard Cummings'
    The Fire Insider

    for daily updates
    Dick Lit
    Missionary Positions
    fiction by Joe Maynard

    Painting by Peter Cross

    "dick lit" is here to acknowledge the good, bad and ugly that goes with it, as it celebrates every young boy's quest to get off the next time, and every old man's quest to get off one more time, before there is no time left to get off on... »

    THE BEATS:
    REMEMBERING THE TEA
    an excerpt from Ellen Pearlman’s
    NOTHING & EVERYTHING

    Nothing and Everything is about the relationship of Eastern thought, particularly Buddhism, to the arts in post-war New York City —from the early 1940s to the early1960s—a handful of individuals brought about major changes in music, performance, dance, theater, installation, video, mixed media, painting, and sculpture, as the evolution from modernism to postmodernism broke down the idea of art as a practice devoted to a particular medium. The world—or life itself—became a legitimate artist’s tool, aligning with Zen Buddhism’s emphasis on enlightenment occurring at any moment.... »


    A Message from Senator Franken


    Please take 2 minutes to watch this important video.
    A BUM LOVE STORY

    Viola and B. Prune

    reverently continuing the tradition of
    Damon Runyon



    WHEN SALLY DETROIT CAME TO NEW YORK to visit her sister and turn over 50 pounds of bay scallops, little did she know that she would fall in love and get the ride of her life. While her baby sister Alice had pursued the dreams of the upwardly mobile, Sal was the wandering gypsy... »

    Great Moments in Sportz
    Professor Irwin Corey Accepts The National Book Award for Thomas Pynchon



    It happened Thursday, April 18th, 1974, at Alice Tulley Hall, and those that were there will never forget it (if they remember it at all). The National Book Awards, commercial publishing’s now defunct version of the Academy Awards was in the bottom of the ninth, down »

    Mimi & Richard Farina Live


    In 1965, Mimi and Richard Farina dropped by the studios of WTBS (now WMBR) with electric guitarist Barry Tashian (of Barry & the Remains) for music and talk with DJ Ed Freeman. Richard is on dulcimer. One of Mimi’s two guitars is tuned like a dulcimer. The explanation for the brief gap in the tape has long been lost.

    CLICK HERE

    Michael Disend's RIDER OF THE JADE HORSE


    Li looked firmly into his eyes. “No! I want man who is also a woman.” Penman nodded against his will, his gaze stealing down toward the strap-on dildo she was generously coating with lube. It thrust out like a red cannon from her leather harness. Why red? Is it because she’s from China?

    »

    Dick Lit
    Stacia St. Owens’
    DISCOVERED


    “Dick lit” has been around since the first caveman’s curiosity stuck his dick into the equation when he rubbed those two rocks together around it until....
    DISCOVERED
    Millie tittered, which is how girls used to be taught to laugh. Tilda wondered if this were an intentional jab.

    Barney Rosset Interview
    (The Subject Was Left Handed)


    Nightlife