WORKING STIFFS / Jack Sharpless
Working Stiffs by Jack Sharpless
Introduction by Ronald Johnson
Having never published any poems in America, the San Francisco-based poet Jack Sharpless died of AIDS in 1988. The poet Ronald Johnson, a longtime friend and fellow member of of San Francisco’s infamous “Rainbow Motorcycle Club,” edited a volume of Jack’s collected poems, titled Presences of Mind, published posthumously by Gnomon Books, in 1989.
While this volume of collected poems has afterwords by Guy Davenport and Jonathan Williams, and Robert Duncan and Robert Creeley both wrote rapturous blurbs (Duncan’s declaring that Sharpless “restores my faith in the new generation,”) Sharpless’s work still remains unknown to the majority of poets writing today.
The two poems we’ve published in this chapbook are not included in the previous volume, and are the only known poems from the "big gay book," that Sharpless was writing toward the end of his life.