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Kupferberg reportedly appears in Ginsberg's poem Howl as the person "who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge and walked away unknown and forgotten into the ghostly daze of Chinatown soup alleyways & firetrucks, not even one free beer." The incident in question actually occurred on the Manhattan Bridge.Ginsberg's description in Howl uses poetic license. Kupferberg did jump from the Manhattan Bridge in 1944, after which he was picked up by a passing tugboat and taken to Gouverneur Hospital. Severely injured, he had broken the transverse process of his spine and spent time in a body cast.
Kupferberg suffered a stroke in April 2009 at his home in New York City, which left him severely visually impaired and in need of regular nursing care. After treatment for a number of days at a New York hospital, followed by convalescence at a nursing home, he recuperated at home.
Kupferberg died in New York Downtown Hospital in Manhattan of kidney failure and sepsis on July 12, 2010. In 2008, in one of his last interviews, he told Mojo Magazine, "Nobody who lived through the '50s thought the '60s could've existed. So there's always hope."
Birth 1, The Bohemian Issue (1958)
Birth 2, Children's Writings (1959)
Children as Authors: A Big Bibliography (1959, with Sylvia Topp)
Snow Job: Poems 1946-1959 (1959)
Selected Fruits & Nuts (1959)
Birth 3, parts 1 & 2 Stimulants, An Exhibition (1960)
1001 Ways to Live Without Working (1961)
The Grace & Beauty of the Human Form (1961)
1001 Ways to Live Without Working" (1961, rev. 1968; German translation by Max Wickert & Hubert Kulterer, with facing English text, Stadtlichter Presse 2009, 2015)
3,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Beatniks : or, The War Against the Beats (1961)
Sex and War (1962)
The Mississippi (A Study of the White Race) (1962)
The Rub-Ya-Out of Omore Diem (1962)
The Christine Keeler Colouring Book & Cautionary Tale (1963)
Kill for Peace (1965)
Caught in the Act: a Legal Vaudeville (1966)
The Book of the Body (with Judith Wehlau, 1966)
I Say to Masturbate is Human, to Fuck Divine (1966)
^Holden, Stephen (1987-08-21). "POP/JAZZ; The Fugs Look Back to 1967's 'Summer of Love'". New York Times. Retrieved . . . . Tuli Kupferberg, the poet and cartoonist whom Mr. Ginsberg remembered in Howl as the person who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge and survived. (Mr. Ginsberg said the other day that the incident actually took place on the Manhattan Bridge in 1945.)