“I wrote thirteen poems and what did I get? Another day older and deeper in debt.”—Ed Wood
The thirteen poems penned by screenwriter/director Ed Wood during his lifetime will not be found in the Ed Wood, Jr. Collection at Cornell University. Cornell is home to the original draft of Wood’s screenplay “Grave Robbers from Outer Space” (released in 1959 as Plan 9 from Outer Space), as well as his rare novels Killer in Drag (1965), Death of a Transvestite (1967), and others.
There is not, however, a single shred of Wood’s poetry. The only evidence that “the world’s worst filmmaker” was also a poet of equivalent talent are several dozen rejection letters, including one from The New Yorker for a poem entitled “shreik” [sic].
According to Kathy O’Hara (Wood’s second wife), the poet renounced his efforts as “pure crap” in 1968, and buried his thirteen unpublished works at the La Brea Tar Pits. A few days later, O’Hara attempted to retrieve the poems, but they had vanished from the unmarked grave. Wood subsequently coined the term “poesy-snatchers” to explain what had happened to his missing body of work.
Nearly 30 years later the poems were discovered inside an abandoned flying saucer that landed in New Jersey.
The lost poems of Ed Wood were found inside this flying saucer discovered by Mel Watkins in his backyard in Lodi, New Jersey (4/1/97).
A small independent publisher in Coronado, California (HOB Press) purchased the poems and published a “private edition” under the title The Selected Poems of Edward D. Wood, Jr.—a misnomer since the chapbook contained all thirteen, constituting Wood’s collected poems.
Facsimile typescript page included in the Black Scat Books edition.
Note how the poet misspelled the title “shreik” and changed it to “howl.”
Black Scat Books is proud to present these lost odes in a glowing, unexpurgated limited edition. We have erred on the side of caution and retained the original title for—who knows?—perhaps the bard will revisit our planet and pick up his pen.
Indeed, we can imagine him climbing out of his spaceship and barking: “Take me to your reader!”
CLICK HERE TO ORDER — HAPPY SPRING!