Cleveland poet d.a.levy rejected copyright in order to share his work as widely as possible. So Cleveland Magazine has compiled this web page of links to some of levy's most admired poems, as well as a 1967 recording of levy reading.
We've also included links to Web sites dedicated to levy, a guide to the books in print about levy and the documentary film about him, and info about the Cleveland bookstores that stock levy's books.
To read Erick Trickey's article "The Epic of d.a.levy," from the November 2007 issue of
Cleveland Magazine, click here.
Poems: (Note: Some material may not be suitable for readers under 18.)
"lines for the Erie Street Cemetery"
"sitting on a bench Near TSQuare"
"Suburban Monastery Death Poem"
Bookstores where d.a.levy books are available:
- Mac's Backs, 1820 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights, (216) 321-BOOK, www.macsbacks.com
"if i scratch, if i write," by Kon Petrochuk.
Begun in the early 1980s and completed in 2006, this documentary of levy's life, available on DVD, also includes some of levy's poetry, read to gorgeously grainy film footage of Cleveland.
Works in print by and about levy:
"zen concrete & etc.,"
edited by Ingrid Swanberg, Ghost Pony Press, 1991. The best levy anthology, a well-chosen selection of his major works, compiled by a friend of his. Includes thoughtful essays, interviews, and a transcript of levy's 1966 appearance defending marijuana on Cleveland talk radio. $33 at Mac's Backs or from Ghost Pony Books
(don't pay the higher prices the book sometimes goes for online).
"d.a. levy and the mimeograph revolution," edited by Larry Smith and Ingrid Swanberg, Bottom Dog Press, 2007. This book includes essays, biographical information and interviews about levy, along with a few poems of his. Includes a DVD of the film "if i scratch, if i write."
"ukanhavyrfuckincitibak," a.k.a. "d.a.levy: a tribute to the man, an anthology of his poetry," Ghost Press Cleveland, 1967; republished by Russell Salamon, 2007. This collection, mimeographed by levy's friends t.l. kryss and rjs to benefit levy's legal battles, is the best raw document of how levy and his friends published. Includes a lot of levy's poems. With no table of contents or page numbers, it's hard to navigate — sometimes it's even hard to tell which poems are levy's and which are his friends'.
"The Buddhist Third Class Junkmail Oracle: The Art and Poetry of d.a.levy," by Mike Golden, Seven Stories Press, 1999. The easiest-to-find anthology of levy's poetry, it includes reprints of pages from levy's underground newspaper of the same name. But many of levy's friends hate the book because of Golden's "investigative essay," which entertains a slanderous conspiracy theory alleging levy was murdered — based on no evidence.
"Descent Into Cleveland," by Russell Salamon, Words & Pictures Press, 1994. levy's friend's companion piece to levy's "Cleveland Undercovers," a beautiful book-length narrative prose poem with excerpts from levy's work mixed in.
"Random Sightings" series from Kirpan Press, For the most intense levy fans only, a series of very limited edition books collecting rare and obscure levy work. P.O. Box 2943, Vancouver, WA, 98668.