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Sunday, September 20, 2015

73 Top Hits on Bold Monkey (as at 28 March 2019)

Hello dear reader, here are the latest stats of the most viewed shit on BM & the relevant links to the site. The list is not totally accurate but gives you an idea of some of the best and most read material on the blog. Hits to date: 366, 310. Thanks for readingBM!

Best Hits: 1 JUNE 2010- 28 MARCH 2019.

Last Updated: 28 March 2019

#73 RL Raymond Half Myths & Quarter Legends
This is the second poetry collection by R.L. Raymond, a resident of London, Ontario. It consists of 43 carefully crafted poems written in free verse which have a fragmented, pared to the blood & bone feel reminiscent of John Yamrus, the American small press poet. Although the language is deceptively simple, you may have to read the poems slowly and multiple times to allow the complex associations and layers of meaning to sink into your veins. There is an unflinching mystery and understatedness about Raymond’s writing which is difficult to nail down but which is also highly appealing:

#72 Barry Miles Bukowski
This is a highly engaging and lucid account of Bukowski’s mad, full-on life. Barry Miles attempts to unravel the man from the myth, pointing out how Bukowski’s celebration of the low life was probably 50% fact 50% fantasy:

#71 Bill Gainer The Mysterious Book Of Old Man Poems

Gainer's capacity to tap into the blurred, often ambiguous side to our emotional states is uncanny and this is essentially what makes Gainer’s poetry so compelling to read over and over again. Gainer is at his best as a poet when he is sipping on a bourbon, drawing back on a smoke, having a good look around, abandoning all notions of ambition and simply and authentically commenting on the quiet mysteries of the moment.

#70 Book Review: Accidental Navigator
This is an underrated collection of poetry by the highly accomplished & accessible Swedish writer & artist:

#69 Book Review: Howie Good- Dreaming Red
This is Howie Good’s fourth full-length collection of poetry and consists of fifty-two characteristically short experimental poems in which he adopts a variety of non-traditional forms, including- prose poetry, free verse, found poetry, collage and non-rhyming couplets. The language is simple but has a cut-up feel about it which can alienate occasional readers of poetry.

#68 Featuring Alan Wearne

Leading Australian poet generously gives BM first electronic rights to post his epic verse novella "In Our Four Dominions". The concluding parts will be posted later in 2019:

#67 Book Review: John Yamrus BARK

In John Yamrus’s twentieth book BARK, he collects twenty-three of his dog related poems. The poems are characteristically written in Yamrus’s pared down, first person/ conversational, free verse style. The poems are often sparked by an ordinary event- a visit to the vet, watching his dog sleep on the couch next to him or attending a dog obedience class:

#66 Book Review/ Interview Zarina- Iron
Zabrisky’s collection IRON consists of four short stories which are easily read in an hour. The writing is clear & highly sensuous & which immediately sweep the reader into her quirky, dark world. The stories are raw but with an extraordinary vividness and unusual immediacy:

#65 Book Review: Jarrod Gilbert Patched
This is a complex and comprehensive study of gangs in New Zealand since 1950. It is accessible to the average reader but is written in a flat, matter-of-fact tone:

#64 Book Review: Neil Young Waging Heavy Peace
If you are a long term follower of Neil Young’s music you will enjoy Waging Heavy Peace. I found some of the details rather vague and after 502 pages I felt I hadn’t really amassed much information about his life. I did like the free flowing way the book evolved and the dozens of photos included were excellent in supplementing his life story.

#63 Book Review: Glen W Cooper Some Natural Things
These are gentle, evocative free verse poems which explore the well trodden themes of failure, the loss of love, discovery, small pleasures, growing old- without the sentiment or bullshit:

#62 Jazz Film- Keep On Keepin' On (2014)

This is an excellent documentary film which examines the life of the legendary jazz musician  Clark Terry, which focuses on his remarkable mentorship of the blind prodigy pianist Justin Kauflin as Terry, aged 93, fights to stay alive:

#61 Book Review: John Yamrus They Never Told Me This Would happen
This collection features 44 minimalistic poems. The free verse is carefully sliced to the bone and what remains are clean, clear lines. The poems are at the cutting-edge of experimentation in what might be termed literary reductionism & Yamrus adopts many forms, including anecdotal narratives, portraits, micropoems and aphorisms to homerun his ideas.

#60 Book Review: The Tricking Post
Mitchell is a highly innovative street poet & you will find here an extraordinary original work:

#59 Book Review: Scott Wozniak & Janne Karlsson Killing Our Saints
Killing Our Saints is fascinating collection of confessional poems from an addict who has lived the life and who now feels the urgent need to tell us about it in a raw, honest way- without the bullshit or pretense. 

#58 Book Review/ Interview: Paul Harrison Corrugator 
This is an important short collection by an Australian writer that blows rings up the ass of the usual unreadable academic excrement that passes as poetry:

#57 Song Lyrics: Frank Zappa Don't Eat the Yellow Snow
I include a link to the improvised lyrics of this famous Zappa song:

#56 After the Bomb: Good Night and Good Luck- The Screenplay and History Behind the Landmark Movie
This brief overview provides students with valuable links to some additional material related to the film:

#55 Book Review: Charles Bukowski: Portions From a Wine Stained Notebook (2008)
The academic David Stephen Calonne compiled this collection of uncollected Bukowski stories & essays (1944-1990) for City Lights. After struggling through many posthumous ECCO publications, I found this a refreshing read.

#54 Book Review/ Interview: William Taylor Jr. An Age of Monsters (2011)
This is Taylor's first book of short stories. He is a clever, natural born story teller who loves to describe people and relationships, especially when things fuck up.

Find my review here:;postID=6168781609576804624;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=90;src=postname

William Taylor Jr provides a wide ranging interview for his forthcoming collection of poetry ‘The Blood of a Tourist' (Sunnyoutside Press, 2014) here:

#53 Book Review: Charles Bukowski Absence of the Hero (2008)
This is the companion volume to editor Calonne’s Portions from a Wine-Stained Notebook (2008). It is full of gold for the Bukowski reader.

#52 Book Review/ Interview: James Valvis How to Say Goodbye
This is a rich and immensely enjoyable collection of poetry worthy of multiple readings. Valvis is and authentic American voice of the underclass.

#51 Book Review: Charles Bukowski The Captain Is Out To Lunch
In a series of diary entries, Bukowski documents his life between 28 August and 27 February 1993. His tone is subdued and he is fully aware that he may die at any moment.

#50 Book Review/ Interview: Jack Henry CRUNKED
These are stark, unembellished underground poems which are sometimes highly confrontational in subject matter which Jack Henry explores with uncensored abandon; including- drug use, prostitution and mental breakdown.

#49 Book Review/ Interview: RL Raymond Sonofabitch Poems (2011)
This is RL Raymond's first volume of poetry. This is an intelligent, well thought out collection, brimming with ideas, skilful word play and bold experimentation:

#48 From Serbia With Love: Another Bukowski Tattoo Narrative (2016):
A bloke from Serbia was keen to show me his Bukowski tattoo. He also sent along some Buk inspired poetry in English and Serbian.

#47 Book Review: SLIM SPIRES- SLIM (2012)
The language in this bikie book of Speare's memoirs is shitfaced raw & his stories are often about his personally meted out justice & the immense satisfaction he derives from his beatings.

#46 Book Review: Charles Bukowski Hot Water Music

This is an under-rated book in the Bukowski cannon.  I list and briefly explain the content of the best 12 short stories of this 36 story collection:

#45 Book Review: Pierre Bayard How to TALK About BOOKS You Haven’t READ.
A brilliant but smart-ass student gave this book to me as a present. Bayard controversially posits that skimming books, in say ten minutes without actually reading them, does not in any way prevent you from commenting on the ‘depth and richness’ of a text. This clever, intellectually tricky book will become a classic in post-modern literary criticism:

#44 Book Review/ Interview: Frank Reardon Nirvana Haymaker (2012)
Reardon is a tireless & highly committed poet whose tenacity in pursuing the word should be an example to us all. His enthusiasm & openness in sharing his ideas about his writing craft at length in the accompanying interview is invigorating:

#43 Book Recommendation: Michael Dransfield Collected Poetry
This post was made to alert overseas readers to Dransfield's enormous contribution to Australian poetry & where to find some of his stuff.

#42 Book Review: Rob Plath a bellyful of anarchy

Despite its rough edges & excesses- this is perhaps the best book of poetry published by Epic Rites Press:

#41 Book Review: Charles Bukowski SOUTH OF NO NORTH 
I make a short assessment as to what are the best 10 short stories in this excellent collection:

#40 Book Review: Mather Schneider He Took a Cab (2010)
Schneider writes about his job as a cabbie in Tucson Arizona. One of my favourite collections of poetry:

#39 Book Review: Charles Bukowski Screams From the Balcony- Selected Letters 1960-1970 (1978)
This is the first and best volume of Bukowski's selected letters. His correspondence with his early publishers, E.V. Griffith & the Webbs and the writer Douglas Blazek make this book essential reading for any Bukophile.

#38 Featuring New Zealand writer Terence Rissetto

This is the muttha fukka who introduced me to Bukowski when I was working as a fleeso in NZ decades ago. His work is riotously funny with a subversive edge.

#37 Bukowski Interviews: Sunlight Here I Am: Interviews & Encounters 1963-1993.
This David Stephen Calonne compilation consists of 35 interviews with Buk over 30 years. It creates a varied & hard-to-nail-down portrait of Bukowski. Another essential Bukowski text:

#36 Book Review: John Yamrus doing cartwheels on doomsday (2010)

If you want to find out more about the sensation that is Yamrus- this is the first book of his you must read:

#35 Book Review Charles Bukowski The People Look Like Flowers At Last (2007)

This ECCO collection gives me the shits. From the feel of the book's spine to the thinness of the writing. Unfortunately, there are even worse post-Buk volumes of poetry to follow.

#34 BOOK REVIEW/ INTERVIEW: Rob Plath there's a fist dunked in blood beating in my chest (2010)
American writer, Rob Plath, in this significant collection of confessional poetry, dismantles his ego, strips his soul to the bone and bares his frail emotional guts for all to see.

#33 Book Review: Charles Bukowski Dangling in the Tournefortia (1981)
Not on the top shelf of Bukowski's poetry. There is a complacency and lack of urgency in this collection.
#32 New Release: Davis Spiteri The Prez
This post alerts the reader to former bikie Spiteri's fictional account of his experiences & provides links to some interviews:

#31 Book Review: The Outlaw Bible of American Outlaw Poetry
This is a classic, wide ranging mammoth volume of outlaw poetry- but with its obvious limitations.

#30 Essay: The Art of Mourning- Billy Collins On Death (2015): 
Following the sudden death of my brother Bob, I wrote this essay:

#29 Book Review: Mather Schneider Drought Resistant Strain
This is one of my first book reviews. I studied Schneider's fine poetry collection to see if I could write criticism:

#28 A Bukowski Tattoo Narrative
This post derived from received an unusual request I received from an Argentinean reader. He had read my review of Bukowski’s Portions From a Wine-Stained Notebook and sought help about a phrase in the story ‘Distractions in the Literary Life’ which first appeared in High Times (June 1984). He wanted to use a phrase from the story and tattoo it onto his body.

#27 Book Review: Charles Bukowski Play the Piano Drunk

#26 Book Review/ Interview: Peter Bakowski Beneath Our Armour
This post includes one of my first interviews & Bakowski is generous with his time & he offers many tips to budding writers. All of Peter Bakowski's books are worth reading and I strongly urge you to buy them. Interestingly, he corresponded with Charles Bukowski just before he died & a letter to Bakowski (5 March 1993) appears in REACH FOR THE SUN: Selected Letters 1978-1994 Volume 3. Proud to say that Bakowski spoke to my class for about an hour on how to flex their creative juices a couple of years ago:

#25 Book Review: Wolfgang Carstens Crudely Mistaken For Life

This is Carstens first book of poetry in which he dwells into his favourite topic from a variety of perspectives- DEATH!:

#24 Book Review: Paul Harrison Meet Me At Gethsemane
A fine first collection of confessional poetry by one of the best small press poets in Australia:

#23 Book Review: David Stephen Calonne Charles Bukowski

Calonne is the best academic currently collecting & writing about Charles Bukowski. Here he presents a concise, insightful overview of Buk's life work:

#22 After the Bomb: Best Cold War Films
This was an overly ambitious post. I hoped to provide some detailed reviews & guidance to students as to what I understood to be the best Cold War films. Instead what is offered disappointingly so far are a few internet links to relevant films & resources which are easily available anyway. I haven't finished with this post:

#21 Book Review/ Interview: Scott Patrick Mitchell Songs for the ordinary mass
This post still receives many hits from his fans in Russia:

#20 Book Review: Richard Brautigan Watermelon Sugar
This is a wonderfully eccentric short novel by the master.

#19 Book Review: Charles Bukowski Pleasures of the Dead
This is one of my first reviews. It rails against the poetry collection, & in a later update, it provides some basic research into where the poems first appeared:

#18 TV Review: TV Series: Bikie Wars
To their credit, Channel 10 attempted to dramatise the 1985 motorcycle dispute at Milperra in Western Sydney. I commented on each episode as it unfolded:

#17 Book Review: Bel-Ami
This French classic is highly recommended to show the duplicity & moral depravity you require to make it to the top. The recent film is ambitious, but in the end, disappointing in their attempt to adapt De Maupassant:

#16 Book Review: Charles Bukowski Post Office

As legend has it, in 1969 the small press publisher John Martin offered Bukowski $100 a month to quit his job as a mail-sorter in the LA Post Office & to write whatever interested him. This novel was the first instalment in the pairs' extraordinary collaboration:

#15 Book Review: David Spiteri The Prez

The publication of this fictionalised narrative of Australian outlaw bikie life brought grief to Spiteri & he chose to hand in his colours & donate his custom-built Harley to his club. Spiteri still owes me a beer:

#14 The Best & Worst of Bukowski's posthumous ECCO poetry publications.

At last count there are 11 ECCO post Buk-death poetry books published by ECCO. Probably about 4000 pages worth. Some quality stuff but a lot of questionable material which Bukowski probably wouldn't have wanted published in his lifetime. I keep my commentary to a minimum in this post & simply list what I consider Buk's best to worst poetry books published by ECCO after his death in 1994:  The post was linked to a 2015 New York Times article here:

#13 Book Review: Charles Bukowski The Last Night of the Earth Poems

This is Bukowski's last poetry collection published before his death. I believe it is one of his best:
This review remains one of my best:

#11 Book Review Barry Crump Wild Pork and Watercress
I reviewed this book in anticipation of the upcoming New Zealand film 'Hunt For The Wilderpeople' which the film is based on:

#10 TV Review: The Principal SBS TV Drama (2015)
This new series is worth watching and now out on DVD:

#9 Book Review: Charles Bukowski Ham On Rye
This is the most auto-biographical of Bukowski's novel and charts his early life in LA before he decides to leave:

#8 Book Review: Charles Bukowski Factotum
This is easily Bukowski's best novel:

#7 Book Review : Charles Bukowski Come On In
I reckon this is Buk's best posthumous collection:

#6 After the Bomb Book Reviews: The Best Cold War Novels
I use this post to briefly examine the merit of Cold War literary texts. There are 22 to date & counting:;postID=5077914493296447050;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=59;src=postname

#5 Book Review: JD Salinger Catcher in the Rye
It took a couple of years to develop an interest in this review but now it's humming:

#4 Book Review: Caesar Campbell Wrecking Crew.
Campbell was a founding member of the Bandidos in Australia. In his memoir, he provides us with dozens of real-life incidents which will make your head spin:

#3 Book Review: Charles Bukowski Women
This post provides a short review, but more importantly, a sampling of some of Bukowski's choice quotes:

#2 The Best Bukowski Tattoos On-line (2015).

This rising star of BM examines some of the better Bukowski tatts on-line:

#1 What is Charles Bukowski's Best Novel?
Bukowski somehow continues to engage with thousands of readers a couple of decades after he has died. This post has received more than 10,000 hits. Here is an assessment of his novels: