Steve Richmond was a mainstay of the American little magazine scene of the 70s and 80s. He gained notoriety not only for his extensive series of “gagaku” poems but also for his longtime association with poet Charles Bukowski. As an editor of the magazine Stance, Richmond published poets such as Bukowski, Douglas Goodwin, Lyn Lifshin, Alan Catlin, todd moore, Gerald Locklin, Robert Peters, Phil Weidman, and a.d. winans, among others. Poet Kurt Nimmo, former publisher of the little magazine Planet Detroit, recently completed Gagaku: The Life and Poetry of Steve Richmond, now available on Amazon. That book, and the poems below, go some way toward rectifying the disappearance of Richmond’s work since his death.
2 years on methadone I've been off a week Contac cold medicine stopped my head from squirting through nose and sneeze and spit Excedrin PM allowed me to sleep at least last night a few puffs of cannabis got me to my type I feel wonderful
they swing along the street now really up on the sidewalk arm in arm a woman demon with her man demon a content happy couple I see them walking along wearing sweaters now they stop hug and kiss each other on lips now stick long curling & uncurling tongues in each other's ears now I can't quite tell what they're doing I see them but they're in a bit of fog they're blurred to my eye that's alright I enjoy couples in love and they definitely are in love even though they're slapping each other now now each swings a beer from a can long chug a lug they seem to be competing seeing who can finish the can first now they kiss really a make-up peck and now they stroll arm in arm again
spend myc of my day reading my poems in the little mags that have been good enough to publish them now I just looked up at the first stanza and noted myc it was supposed to be much my body does not always do what my mind tells it to do I sit here silent for about 4 minutes tying to figure this problem I come to no solution then type this last stanza
Just Smoked “Good” Grass
and just moved this typewriter by unintentional action 3 inches to right so that it hit an aluminum ashtray I made 31 years ago in metal shop and the result was an oriental type bong noise very musical wish it was longer can't have everything never complete satisfaction forever we humans bitch and bitch and bitch and bitch or should I write complain instead? I know I do I bitch and bitch and bitch not to other humans mostly mostly to myself I am always complaining to myself well not always for instance not now now I'm working way off in the distance I hear a dog barking very muffled I can barely hear it the subject for a poem? just walk around the block said Bukowski
I want to write a bad poem 1 that truly doesn't work what's important is that to my own eye it flops utterly that's hard I please so many others writing what their eye says flop failure not even poetry but not to my own eye it likes my work too much it will simply love this poem that's not what I wawnt it would be so easy to fuck this poem up fuck fuck shit shit feces feces anal anal stick it stick it cock a suck a doodle doodle there I'm feeling better already —Steve Richmond Santa Monica, CA
These poems originally appeared in Steve Richmond’s broadside After, published by Clock Radio Press as Ten Million Flies #5, 1986. Reprinted by permission of Clock Radio Press.