One Last Lee Mallory Alert!

The 'Love Poet' retires, and OC will never be the same

Mallory admits Bukowski influenced him hugely, "especially when I started to read everything by him I could find. . . . Oddly, [I] was attracted to the futility he saw in life. . . . Bukowski, for me, caught all that in his poem, 'The Shoelace.'"

Writes Bukowski: "With each broken shoelace/out of one hundred broken shoelaces/one man, one woman, one/thing/enters a/madhouse."

And perhaps it's fair to say Mallory has always been cognizant of the madhouse in which he has been writing and promoting poetry, and he has always treated it as such. How else to explain the years of carnival showmanship, the mad, incomprehensible letters to newspaper editors, the almost Quixotic stewardship of poetry readings in places that almost seemed to reject any infusion of culture?

Leaving for Las Vegas
John Gilhooley
Leaving for Las Vegas

"What did I learn?" asks Mallory. "Simply what Lawrence Ferlinghetti had said in his 'Populist Manisfesto'—that poetry is for the people, not only for some elite group of literati hanging in the idyllic hills of Santa Barbara."

Mallory has lived by that idea, eschewing a solely academic career for sometimes-thankless toil in OC's odd corners. Now he's off to inevitably cause his unique brand of chaos elsewhere. And frankly? Orange County's the poorer for it.

« Previous Page