Steve Richmond (1 Viewer)

The word.

Just tell everybody what you know, Bill.

No more no less, but as soon as possible.
Don't hide anything.
Thank you very much.
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That comes as a surprise to me. I did'nt know he was seriously ill. He somehow seemed indestructible.

R.I.P. Steve Richmond.
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He had been seriously ill for a couple years now. There is an interview from a couple years ago with him where it was mentioned that he was very, very ill.

I see! His illness must somehow have slipped by me. What kind of illness did he suffer from?
This was posted on Mike Daily's facebook page...

Richmond passed away last night at 11:12PM in hospice care at UCLA.
Rest in Peace, Richmond. He sent me a letter praising the journalism I did for Gagaku Meat. His letter can be read in this short video I made in May '09.
Steve Richmond (January 24, 1941 - October 20, 2009). RIP. Richmond's friends David Garcia and Ben Pleasants visited Richmond last week and got to spend time with him. Nearly blind from cataracts, Richmond was wracked with pain yet had retained his characteristic sense of humor. Sad day. Jan Hallers is the first person I saw who made the connection that Richmond died on Rimbaud's birth date, October 20th. -- Mike Daily
Oh. :(


I read Gagaku Meat a few days ago and was just hoping he wasn't going too bad...

Does somebody know where one can find the poem Buk wrote on him (and decided not to publish because it didn't spare Richmond), untitled A most serious fellow ?
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Thank you very much, cirerita ! :)

I did use the search box but I didn't find any accurate thread (there were 4 pages of threads, nothing in relation with the said poem on the first page, so I gave up, not being very patient with search tools).

I've just been talking with my father
he believes I should preface
my work
with an apology to all those
who might be
offended at my use of profanity

Over the years I've talked at length
with Bukowski and
he feels my poem which begins
with the line
"out of my asshole comes thick diarrhea"
is one of my best poems.

I respect both men.

© Steve Richmond
Ah shit. That is very sad news.

I figured he was made out of steel, that he'd hang on another 20 years.

Maybe now his detractors will stop tearing the man down and take a long look at the poetry. He was one of the finest poets of his generation.

Rest in peace Steve.
Everybody gota die someday - but the "meat school" as some label it has lost a genius. RIP we will all be their someday.

Did he die in Santa Monica? Anybody know?
quoting from here.

" No one listened but Bukowski. They wrote to each other like lovers. Like father and son. There are more than 150 letters between Richmond and Bukowski, mostly written in the mid 1960s. You'll never read them. They've been censored out of existence by Bukowski Inc. The Richmond/Bukowski letters are bad for business. Bad for the Bukowski business. Bad for the rare books trade. "

Any thoughts?
I'd say that's bullshit. I've read those letters and there's nothing earth-shattering there. Good stuff, but I can't see how it could be bad for the Bukowski business.
Any thoughts?
That was written by Ben Pleasants, a sensationalist, tabloid-style hack writer with a very large Bukowski-shaped chip on his shoulder. An angry, frustrated little pink dwarf of a man who lashes out because he feels he's never received the recognition that he is due. He hates Bukowski with a frightening, impotent, seething rage, yet pins his own name to Bukowski whenever and wherever he can.

I personally believe that Pleasants is mentally ill and possibly dangerously unstable, but I have no medical proof to back up that wild and spurious claim.

So there are my thoughts. Hey, you asked.

Everybody gota die someday
And I wish you'd hurry up and do so.
There was a flyer for the Richmond Bukowski letters and it reproduced some of the letters and I may have a copy of that around here someplace...
I think the Buk/Richmond letters would be a good thing. I didn't go nuts for the gagakus all that much, but I can see where his writing style would work very well in letters to/from Buk. It's odd; I like Richmond's writing style, but I don't really care for his choice of words. Or maybe it's the other way around. Either way, he was important, and will remain so.

So RIP, and when I get home, I'll have a go at the Wormwoods with his work in them. And never forget Fuck Hate, which was Richmond all the way. I've said it before and I'll say it again: that was a briliant piece of work. Simple, but brilliant.

I'm not much good as a letter correspondent unless I'm writing back and forth with a potential
publisher of a volume of my work.

that's the selfish truth these days, for me.

publishers of my sort of scribbling are a rare rare breed.

I suppose I've been lucky to have as much poetry published as has been published-- but I do
not feel that lucky.

© Steve Richmond
Sad news. I had the privilege of publishing Richmond, and having a (somewhat) rocky publisher/writer relationship with him. The few phone calls I had with him were interesting to say the least. The letters are treasures. I need to get them to Mike Dailey, so he can do something with them. I was naive enough to not realize he was still doing heroin during this time (mid- to late-90's). It's pretty obvious in the poems.

I think Earth Rose is a pretty amazing book, one of the best single volumes of poetry I have read. Spinning off Bukowski is, IMO, a piece of junk though. Prose was not Richmond's strong suit.

Gotta pull out ER and have a go at it one more time.
I've been wondering what will happen to Steve's copyrights. No kids. Was he married at the time of his death? I gather from what I've read over the years that his family is not very interested in his writing. If someone wanted to publish Steve's work now, who would they ask for permission?
I wasn't aware of the sister, although he may have mentioned her in his work. It just never registered on me. I always got the impression that his older relatives -- parents, grand parents -- didn't take his poetry seriously. He came from a wealthy family and was something of the black sheep of the family. I'm sure his drug addiction didn't help his relationship with them, either. I don't have the sense that any of them, the older relatives, would care about seeing his work continue to be published. Maybe I'm wrong about that. A caring sister might take an interest, however. Just speculating here.
About 15 years ago, Richmond had abandoned his beach house on Hollister for a mansion (it might have been inherited) and he threw EVERYTHING out. So much for Bukowski Inc.'s being complicit in any "cover up."

My brother and my uncle hauled dumpster after dumpster of magazines, books and papers (yeah I found out AFTER the fact).

My brother was compensated with a large metal structure that looked like a gazebo but with a canvas tarp had been used by Richmond to park his corvette under. The only other thing they had to say about the workday was that Richmond had the biggest swollen abscess on the back of his shoulder that they had ever seen.

I'll be reading Earth Rose tonight, seriously a great book.
MatG: fascinating story. You left out an important detail: what happened to Richmond's books and papers? Did they take them to the dump? Sell them? Keep them? Give them away? I'm very curious to know if any of his manuscripts survived. Also, did Richmond say why he was throwing it all away? Thanks for the great story.
That's too bad. I would have loved to go through it all and pull out some stuff. I was hoping to hear someone saved at least the best of it. Once it's gone, it's gone. What I think about are the unpublished poems. Hopefully some of these survive with editors they were submitted to. Or not. With most poets, an editor would mail them back, if not acceptable, or toss them if no SASE was included. But with Richmond, some editors may have held onto manuscripts even if they didn't plan to use them. I wonder what -- if anything - Steve was thinking when he decided it all had to go?
It went to the dumpsters. I told my brother some of Richmond's archives were worth a lot of money (again, after the fact) and he said that most of it was in terrible condition (downside of living near the beach). Similar thing happened after Buk died, they filled a dumpster of mostly unopened mail, Michael Montfort told me he was weeping as he saw it happen. Again... no conspiracy, just too much stuff to even sort through.

David, about the time Richmond made the move I had tried to get him to come to my (then) gallery to read during the BukShot exhibit of Michael Montfort's photos of Bukowski.

John Thomas, FrancEye and Gerry Locklin read - Montfort or Gerry told me they had contacted Richmond about coming and he had told them "I'm on a Bukowski sabbatical..."
MatG - thanks for the information. That's tragic. The books and magazines are one thing. Even if rare they are probably not the only copies, and if the condition is bad, no great loss (although the fact Steve owed them would make them of interest), but letters, manuscripts are another. The condition wouldn't matter, at least it wouldn't to me. Their monetary value would be affected by condition, but not the historical/literary value.

Somewhere I have a rare book dealer catalog that lists a bunch of Bukowski books that Steve had owned, most with inscriptions by both writers and also wine stains and generally trashed. I wonder if perhaps these were sold by Steve (or someone else) around the same time he dumped everything else. I always wondered how those came to market.

What was your gallery called? Thanks again for a great story.
What was your gallery called?
Thanks, mjp.

You gotta think this must happen a lot: writers, artists having their stuff thrown in the dumpster after they die/go crazy/move out to mansions with millions that get blown in 2 years. Something I've noticed in a lifetime of going to thrift stores, yard sales, used bookstores, is that you see plenty of books but almost never a manuscript. In my entire life, I've probably had a dozen manuscript finds, and those were always dull (geology papers was the latest) or bad (poems about why Jesus loved the little girl who was run over by the out of control milk truck). I've never found a single manuscript worth keeping. The good ones all go to either the library archives, the rare book dealers, or the dumpsters. This must be a universal law.
Well, if you were cleaning up old uncle Joe's house after he died, you might keep his "papers" for a while to dig through them, but to most people they are just papers. No difference between an old gas bill and a typed letter when you are using your day off to clear out a house. It's easier and faster to just toss everything and try to catch the last half of the game before it gets too late in the day.

Mat's brother and uncle wouldn't know Richmond was a person of any note, so to them it was just crap that needed to be out of the way. Apparently Richmond didn't value it any more than that himself.

But Bukowski's office papers - Linda knew what could potentially be in the stuff she trashed, but since it was just stuff written to Bukowski rather than by Bukowski, it may have seemed to her not worth the time to sort. Montfort said there were treasures there, and I'm sure there were, but it's also quite likely that 99% of it was fan mail, which I wouldn't blame her for tossing. Why keep that?

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