No eye looked out from any crevice
by Paul Bowles
Introduction by Lee Perron
First edition 1997
11 unnumbered pages, 5½" x 8½"
Out of Print
From the Introduction
The rationale for publishing this prose poem from Paul Bowles' youth at this date is straightforward and compelling—the topos and subject matter of this poem prefigure themes Bowles was to address in his writing after he stopped composing music and began writing fiction in the nineteen forties.
In November of 1928, at age 17, Bowles gave a handwritten copy of this poem to a high school friend, who in turn sent it to a member on the staff of the Syracuse University literary magazine. The recipient, for whatever reason—possibly the disturbing subject matter of the piece—never published it. Instead he stuck it in a book where it remained for more than sixty years until a bookseller in the Midwest found it and offered it for sale to California book collector Don Klein. Klein, wanting to be sure the poem was indeed by Bowles, asked Bowles' bibliographer, Jeffrey Miller, to authenticate the handwriting. Miller told Klein the handwriting was without the least doubt Bowles'.
Bowles was subsequently contacted and agreed to the publication of this short work from his youth: “I have no objection to the publication of the piece, although after so much time I don't know the meaning of it. I suppose that is unimportant, since it was written in my Surrealist period!”