Sunday, May 26, 2019

Maxwell Bodenheim and the Vagabond Grown Old

But now I walk on, alone...

The dust of many roads has been my grey wine.
Surprised beech-trees have bowed
With me, to the plodding morning
Humming tunes frail as webs of dead perfume,
To his love in golden silks, the departed moon.
Maidens like rose-flooded statues
Have bathed me in the wine of their silence.

But now I walk on, alone.
And only after watching many evenings,
Do I dance a bit with dying wisps of moon-light,
To persuade myself that I am young.

— Maxwell Bodenheim

Born this day in 1892, Maxwell Bodenheim — The King of Greenwich Village Bohemians — first gained fame and notoriety in Chicago at the Dill Pickle Club before moving to New York City in the 1920s. The poet Robert Frost dismissed Bodenheim as a "tramp poet."

Bogie, as he was also known, published ten volumes of poetry and a dozen novels in between arrests for vagrancy and drunkenness. He was murdered in a Bowery flophouse in 1954 along with his third wife Ruth.

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