A Most Serious Fellow - 1977 unpublished poem

cirerita

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Unpublished as of 2006 (2007) ;)


serious0002.jpg serious0003.jpg
another cruel -vicious- attack on one of his friends. this time the "victim" was Richmond and his gagaku poems. Not a great poem, certainly, but it kind of helps to understand their relationship.
 

cirerita

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maybe I was reading too much into it, but I felt B was mocking at Richmond's lifestyle and writing, but that's my take.
 

mjp

Your Host
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maybe I was reading too much into it, but I felt B was mocking at Richmond's lifestyle and writing, but that's my take.
Bukowski resented everyone who he thought didn't have to work for a living, and Richmond would certainly fall in that category during that time.
 

ROC

It is what it is
Over 1000 posts
True and yet he might have written that working for a living was not necessarily noble or necessarily necessary and that the living itself was often work enough.
But he was a bitter and petulant curmudgeon at times, wasn't he?
 

HenryChinaski

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so what, if you ask me, he had every right to be bitter. some people get everything handed to them on a silver platter. but what about the ones who have to work to get anything they want? is it just luck?
I'm not sayin that he was a cry baby or anything but some people just get dealt a bad hand in this life. he has every right to show some bitterness towards the more fortunate.
 

ROC

It is what it is
Over 1000 posts
Should I have written "But he was a bitter and petulant curmudgeon at times, wasn't he?:D "?
My presence and contributions to this website should indicate to all that I am not a detractor of the man. I made the previous comment with my tongue firmly in my cheek.
I don't think the poem itself is cruelly mocking. It seems vintage Bukowski in that it is a highly subjective and possibly distorted view of reality masquerading as his signature 'poetic journalism'.
But I want you to know, HenryChinaski, that I reject your premise - Bukowski made his own luck, worked like a MF to get the word on the page and didn't use excuses such as "some people have got it better than me". He wrote about the disparity between rich and poor many times. He wrote of how the masses lacked souls (rich or poor) and how he dreamed of a life of idle - a rich patron to look after him while he 'pretended to be a writer'. But at the end of the day, he made the choices which governed the direction his life took... we all do.
Apart from your immediate family, just about everything in this life is a matter of choices. It seems to me Bukowski chose to live the life he lived in order to write the way he did. And when bad luck comes along (as it most surely will) you have to be able to make something out of it.
(Let me be clear - I am not talking about the child abuse from his parents. I'm talking about the choices we all make as adults.)
But, if he did, on occasion, rail against 'the more fortunate' I would simply say fuck that and get back to work... so that you can upgrade from the BMW to something better - so you could trade the gold Amex for an onyx one - so you can afford a maid and gardener to help with pruning your fruit trees and cleaning your pool.

The harder one works in life, the luckier one gets.

and...

Don't try.

:)
 

Erik

If u don't know the poetry u don't know Bukowski
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I get the feeling I've read one of these before. Maybe a similar one that's been published.

The "poem-dick" metaphor is what Buk's working at here. Nice. Wonder if it really came from Richmond. If it did he should be honored/flattered, not pissed! The worst criticism is ignoring someone. He must have heard most of these comments face on many times before.
 

Short Bus

Over 1000 posts
Perhaps an Oscar quote deserves some mention at this time.
There is only one thing worse than being talked about
Not being talked about.

I bet more people have read SR because of CB's writings than his own.

For what its worth I pulled this from Amazon
Must confess didn;t know Richmond was tied to Buks tit ...still is IMHO


please cancel piece I submitted earlier today, March 30, 2003
Reviewer: A reader
In case I submitted a "review" of my own book earlier today, please don't print it. It's inappropriate to say least.
thanks,
steve richmond
I have no idea if its real but the reviews of his buk book are there for you to chuckle over.
 

ROC

It is what it is
Over 1000 posts
Richmond refers to his book as a "150 page volume now on sale all over the place (Earth)."
What kind of person feels they need to qualify a phrase such as 'all over the place' with the qualifier/clause 'earth'?
It makes me wonder where he spends most of his time.
 
For what it's worth, I find the poem vicious (in relation to other poems, not in relation to Buk's). I mean how would you feel if someone wrote that about you? That being said, it's got fucking chops and in the end, that's all that matters.
 

ROC

It is what it is
Over 1000 posts
Let's say the poem was about me (ha!)...

If it was true (or I felt it to be true) it would make me take a hard look at myself and maybe address some issues.
If it was not true, I would be chuffed that I was important enough for Buk to write about and, as it doesn't mention my name, would not give a flying ____.

At any rate, a couple of Buk poems and a book dedication is all Richmond will be remembered for in 50-100 years. It certainly wont be for his skills as a writer.
In a way he should be thankful ;)
 
i like richmonds stuff. i think bukowskis thing was kind of like shooting fish in a bucket, though. i mean - hes an out there kind of guy - obviously - bukowski knew this - why push the fucking matter? indeed - move on.

all right. listen - google in "steve richmond poet" - and you may find a little article - "downfall of a dopefiend"? or something like that. a bit of an innerveiw. i didnt realize he was a heroin addict. he only stopped about a year or so ago. maybe no one here gives a shit. have any of you read his stuff? he really is a fine poet. im glad that i discovered him through reading bukowski. "hitler painted roses". what else to say?
 
bukfan ,

thanks man - i dont know how to do what you just did - but - thanks. im just an out of touch (mostly) luddite kind of guy.

paul
 

ROC

It is what it is
Over 1000 posts
Maybe they "dance around the rare book market leaving Richmond's erotic demons on the shelf" because they feel the same way about his writing as I do. I mean...

Hey
Hey, I woke up today!
And there was the sun again
shooting in through the shades
and spearing me in the eye!
And the clock! Still alive!
and the rug was not on fire!
and the lawn! The trees! The gutter!
All there! Once again!
Today!

...is pure crap.
If you've got nothing to say, you should not take 9 lines to say it in.
A poetry rope-pissing exercise.
 

poptop

Over 500 posts
another cruel -vicious- attack on one of his friends. this time the "victim" was Richmond and his gagaku poems. Not a great poem, certainly, but it kind of helps to understand their relationship.
When he says...

I hope my poem-dick gets limp
before the other one
does

...what I like is that his last line interjects needed humor into a poem that's about taking poetry too seriously... and I don't think he's bashing his friend, whom he calls "a good fellow." Bukowski is talking about his friend's grimness of approach, and writing things down that he wouldn't say to him and hurt his feelings directly. To me that's what poems are for: they are a private avenue of expression to get things out of our system and onto the paper as a statement of the our ironic perceptions... And the way Buk builds creative tension and then releases it seems so easy; but just try to do it sometime and it's not so simple. Such relaxed, effortless writing in his poem-parts...

Beautiful.
 

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
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This poem is mentioned in a letter to John Martin, collected in 'Living on Luck' p. 236.

The poem xerox was dated 21 October 1977. The letter below was from just a few weeks later, 15 November 1977.

[***] listen, on the poem about Richmond "a very serious fellow""”please
never print it in book form. I've written to Winans who accepted it and have
asked him to tear it. Steve can't handle it. he's hooked into something besides
poetry which makes him weak against almost everything of this sort. I can't
say any more about it. just tear the poem or don't publish it. [***]
 
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