Steve Richmond / Mr. Viced Honest

I went through a Bukhead phase and read everything Charles Bukowski published. Everything I could find. I met Al Berlinski in 1992 and bought his Sun Dog Press book 5.0 L Poems (1991) by Steve Richmond because it had a curious back cover blurb by Bukowski: "He remains fascinating, this Santa Monica Artaud." Soon I got a copy of Earth Rose (Earth Books, 1974) with the excellent Foreword by Bukowski, followed by other Richmond books including Gagaku (Planet Detroit Chapbooks, 1985), which features another Buk blurb: "I am sympathetic with Richmond's poetry because here, a good 20 years older, I feel much the same way."

Richmond and I corresponded.

I wrote that I wanted to publish a poetry anthology called STOVEPiPER--would he care to contribute? He promptly submitted a stack of 300 poems, all typewritten originals. I accepted 33. Steve Richmond would have the Wormwood Review-style center section...

I wrote to Bukowski in 1992 and asked for poems. Amazingly, he sent five with S.A.S.E. I accepted them and requested drawings to go with the poems. He sent five. "No need to return these, no matter what happens," he wrote.

STOVEPiPER: Book One came out in late '94 after Bukowski had passed away. I sent copies to Linda. Richmond had signed and numbered the first 73 copies in honor of Bukowski's 73 years. (I'd brought them to Richmond's "cave" for the signings. That was interesting.)


Richmond completed the manuscript for Spinning Off Bukowski (Sun Dog Press, 1996) in '95 and I commissioned him to write a memoir about Jim Morrison. The proposed title was Door of Doors. One could say I was a Doorshead at the time.

Richmond wrote a few dozen chapters, I paid an advance in three installments, and (at my request) he sent photos and relevant poems to print with the prose. Unfortunate Epilogue: The book never happened. I returned all materials, "wrote off" the advance, and we lost touch. I saw Spinning Off Bukowski in the window of Red's Hollywood bookstore and lamented the fact that his Morrison memoir didn't make it. . . .

Fast-forward to earlier this year: I Googled "Steve Richmond Gagaku" and discovered Ben Pleasant's Hollywood Investigator story/interview "Twilight of a Dope Fiend Poet." [A title that Pleasants had not intended, I later learned from the author.] I was shocked. That photo! Was he still alive? This man who signed so many letters to me, "Stay Alive,"?

He was. He is. We have since corresponded.

Before seeing that startling Steve Richmond Update (originally posted January 13, 2007), I had been working on a kind of lyrical tribute to him. The poet. The man. The "part of history" Bukowski himself acknowledged.

Inspired by the "Mr. Mojo Risin'" anagram Jim Morrison made out of his own name, I had made an anagram out of the name "Steve Richmond"--"Mr. Viced Honest"--and wrote some lines about the personage:


The lyrics have progressed since this draft, which was initially published as a free broadside by Valley Contemporary Poets in May 2008.

The plan is to present a live performance piece in honor of the man (and demons) Charles Bukowski saw so much vitality and importance in.

Here's the MySpace profile that will feature future recordings for free listening and download:


Gerard K H Love

Appreciate your friends
Welcome and Hooch is right, nice intro. Please feel free to stay and write to us. There are a few more folks from Portland here.
Thanks for the info, i always found him interesting this "fuck hate" - richmondGuy.

"Hitler painted roses", exactly!
very cool.
i have a spoken word lp by buk and richmond you might be interested in hearing. if only i had time to transfer it to my computer...anyhow, welcome!
Bill, proprietor of Bottle of Smoke Press, old friend whose books I still own, yes! Good to see you still serving it up.

james, I haven't heard the Bukowski=Richmond LP and am interested. I have a cassette player in my car. I repeat, I have a cassette player in my car...

bright: I agree. Hitler Painted Roses is pre-punk post-punk at its finest.

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
Just received a copy of Stovepiper , book one, edited by Mike Daily.
Just in the first few pages, I read something beautiful by our own David Barker..., called "Lost", and something else titled "Tell me". Just beautiful!

Great little book, Mike !
I am flying here.


Usually wrong.
Ah, you're too kind. I should dig out my copy again. I remember it was very nicely produced, excellently edited. Mike did a great job on Stovepiper.

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
the escapade of illusion, by Charles Bukowski

the end of grace, the end of matter.
the eye in the bottom of the bottle
is yours
winking back.
old voices, old songs become a
snake which crawls

men go mad for empty faces
why not?
what else is there for them to do?
I too have done it.

the eye in the bottom of the bottle
winks back.
it's all a trick.
everything is.
there is something else occurring.
but where?
not here.
net there.

slowly one drinks toward imbecibility,
welcoming it like a

I weary of this contest with myself.
but it's the only sport in town.

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
Thanks for the info, i always found him interesting this "fuck hate" - richmondGuy.

"Hitler painted roses", exactly!

hi, in the Stovepiper,
you'll find over 30 poems by Steve Richmond,
white letters printed on black paper. I just got this beautiful little book
and it is very well made.
Abe has a few, maybe Mike has many more...


Usually wrong.
I forgot all about that white letters on black paper thing. Now I gotta find my copy again.
here's another ricmond interview by ben pleasants. i haven't read the whole thing yet. it appears to be recent, but i'm not sure...

edit: it's a recent interview. pleasants mentions the show "californication" going into a second season. he also mentions that marina bukowski is on the show. is this true? i've never seen it.

at least it's good to know richmond is still alive somewhere...

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
Founding member
She's not in the show. The show may have certain Bukowski like themes and elements that resemble parts of his life (or the fictionalised version), but I wouldn't agree with Richmond that its a show 'about [Bukowski], and his wife, and his kid'.


Founding member
Well that was useless.

But this was funny: "Tell me how you came up with the idea for Charlene Rubinski? I never saw this before and I'd heard about it, it has become kind of legend. But I think they are trying to squelch it. So that nobody will ever get to see it again. It is my purpose to republish it."

Squelch it, yeah. There's a big move afoot to suppress that work of genius. Right.
yea, it was a pretty difficult and long read. but there were a few tidbits here and there. i only got through one page of the other interview that was linked at the end of this one...


"The law is wrong; I am right"
There were some bits of info I did'nt know about in the article. In the other interview that was linked at the end of this one, I found this bit here:

BP: You're the lawyer [laughing]. There was one thing he did, that I think was very bad: he wanted to leave all of his money to his daughter...

SR: Yeah, but his daughter married a black kid, and he didn't like blacks, you know...

BP: He was from India. That's right, but in the end he left her nothing.

- Bukowski did'nt like blacks? I never heard that before! Hmm...

Thanks, James!
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Usually wrong.
Interesting interview, thanks for the link. Steve is spilling more beans in here. I read Charlene Rubinski in Leo Mailman's reprint edition and thought it was pretty good. Haven't read it since, but my memory of it is very favorable. But then I've always been on the bench, cheering for Richmond. I'm partial to his Gagaku and all.


"So fuck Doubleday Doran"
I read Charlene Rubinski in Leo Mailman's reprint edition and thought it was pretty good. Haven't read it since, but my memory of it is very favorable.
A longer quote from the "Zelda Fullbright" chapter in Charlene Rubinski you can read in buk scene #1, page 53 (Gagaku Meat, The Steve Richmond Story.)

Also on page 53, John Martin's response: "I never heard about Charlene Rubinski by 'Gretchen Willits' until now! I guess Steve kept it quiet from Hank and myself?"

Here is the first part of the interview:

Pleasants on page 4 : "this woman in Montreal".


Usually wrong.
I got my copy of Charlene Rubinski from Leo Mailman, the editor of Nausea etc. I don't think I realized until recently that Leo was reprinting it from Steve's original edition, although Leo may have told me as much. Leo also had dealings with Bukowski and published him in a few issues of his magazines. He was one of the key people in the poetry scene in Long Beach during the 1970s, along with John Kay, Gerry Locklin and Elliot Fried.

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
Hi Mike,
I still think that Steve Richmond is underrated and that we forget how special of a poet he is.
Thanks for the great article in buk scene1.
I am painting him at the moment in the middle of a large mandala.
I will post it on this thread when I am done.
I've just finished reading "Gagaku Meat: The Steve Richmond Story" by Mike Daily, in "Buk Scene 1" ... excellent (I highly recoomend it) and I'm now looking for more of Richmond's writing ... DaP


Usually wrong.
Richmond is incredible. A vast amount of poetry, always entertaining. He doesn't know how to be dull, something he shares with Bukowski. By nature, the man is worth listening to. His mind is always working, coming up with wild shit.


Founding member
I've been trying, over the past 15 years or so, to appreciate Richmond's writing, but I think after Buk Scene I finally have to admit that I can't.

The articles about the guy are always interesting, I'll grant you that. But man, sitting down and reading his work - at the risk of alienating the last 3 people on earth who don't think I'm a dick - pisses me off. It isn't even just that I don't care for it, it actually makes me angry. It's such casually tossed off bullshit.

To me.

But he's a perfect example of how a lot of people who read Bukowski's poetry think they can also get away with writing about every fart or hair on their toe and it will be fascinating. It's not. You have to have a unique talent, voice and style to pull that off. For me, Richmond ain't got it. None of it.

I know, nobody asked. But his name keeps coming up, and my fingers still work on the keys here somehow, so there you go.


I agree with mjp, Richmond just couldn't connect often of the comments above said Richmond sent 300 poems and 33 were accepted...I think that says a lot. At one time I owned Hitler Painted Roses and the book was amazing, the production was beautiful, the size, the quality of the paper, the photos and of course the great intro by Bukowski, which is why I, and probably most people, bought it. I thought maybe three poems in the whole book were good...they were crazy, yes, but I didn't get much out of them, just one-offs from a drug-addled mind. So many "mad" poets forget to just be human...Also I hate the name Gagaku, reminds me of a baby babbling, which is like a lot of Richmond's stuff, so it's appropriate I guess...not for me...


"So fuck Doubleday Doran"
He doesn't know how to be dull
That's a great onliner, David.

He isn't dull in his letters to us either.
This is what he had to say to my Purple Glow Press Partner:

"exquisite bukscene 1 superbski cover"

And: "bless your french ass"

After a long dry period, new Richmond poetry here:
Fantastic magazine, highly recommended.
Unfortunately very expensive...
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