Richard Wong contacted me and said he wanted to publish a miniature book about Bukowski, and asked if I'd write something. He said it could be anything about Bukowski, what his favorite cigars were -- the main point being Wong was a publisher of miniature books and a big Bukowski fan, and wanted to bring the two interests into one project. I decided on a mini biography that was also a bit of hero worship. Bukowski read the text in proof and made a few small changes. I've always been proud of that fact, although few know it (well, you do now) that I've had work edited/revised by Buk. Bukowski was happy with the finished book and wrote a very nice letter to Wong, praising the two of us. Either he didn't remember me as the guy who wrote the infamous "Spit" book, or he didn't give a damn about that. Anyway, he wished us well. A copy of this letter on yellow paper sold on eBay for the ridiculously high price of $50 a while back. That's my 2 cents...
He did remember you. He says so in the letter. But it wasn't your face he spitted on, it was the face of humanity, he says. - What a relief! :D
Barker seems to have me down pretty good. It's as if he had followed me
around. If I once did, indeed, spit on his face, it really wasn't his, it
was Humanities [sic]. I was being driven mad by a mad wench at that time. I
got rid of her. But she was replaced by a madder wench and after
that by a madder one yet... Either I draw insane females or else they are
all insane. I'll never know.
Jeez, I forgot that Bukowski wrote that. That's cool. Of course, I kind of figured as much at the time. He had no idea who I was (nobody, really) and it was just some kid bugging him, and he was far gone with drink and in a dark place, needed some space in a crowded bar. Wrong time wrong place for me. Plus maybe he thought I was my friend who'd been dancing with Linda King at a party we'd both attended not long before, holding her close. He may have been striking back at that. Who knows. Good letter. $500 and change seems cheap for one of this length and content. Amazing to see it on eBay. Strange world.
Now what I'd love to see on eBay, or just some scans here, is the copy of ERECTIONS etc that he signed for me that night, the inscription and drawing. I know one of you Bukowski collectors has that bad boy stashed away in your bookcase. Make an old man happy and let me have another peek at the page he signed, the scribbled over cover photo. Come on...