i said
       " fuck that shit "

i'm gonna be crosstween

Buk 'n Zuk
Zuk 'n Buk

muckedup marrows broken

knuckbustin' flipfists,
pummel for prize
of most stolen poet -
to be drunkup
& crumpled,
rushed 'n nutted
lewd 'n loose
- pocketed in
permanent collections
canonball'd chiselwrit,
pages laid on grime
blood 'n jizz
sutt guzzes
glyph gruff recurrents
up-lower on ratio whole,
engproof undertow
lobbing ob
to materiality -
how in that space
if not absolute :
such bubbles
pricked in air,
soft plosions feckless
foam or froth lost
- as i pinpoint
thinner envelopes,
satback & couched
to waste my shitty ass -

goddamn this cleanup act,
my debris makes me.

1 kommentar:

the qwerty kid sa...

No, the most-stolen author in San Francisco happens to be Charles Bukowski, the bottom-feeder poet and novelist who plumbed the depths of alcohol, drugs, horse tracks, and whores. Following close behind on the most-stolen list are beat writers -- Jack Kerouac, usually -- and fancy, shrink-wrapped art books that thieves can quickly resell to feed their various habits.

"A lot of film books, a lot of Bukowski," says a clerk at City Lights in North Beach, when asked about local shoplifting tastes.

"I have, in the past, locked up Kerouac and Bukowski," says Jude Sales, manager of A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books.

"Always Bukowski," says Gary Frank, of the Booksmith in the Upper Haight.

"Bukowski!" exclaims a clerk at Modern Times in the Mission. "I just had to stop someone last week, who was taking the entire section!"

"I would have to say Bukowski," says a clerk at Green Apple Books in the Richmond.

Book merchants see two reasons for this Bukowski factor. First, it's Bukowski. Young gutter punks looking for his seedy scenarios of lowlife Los Angeles either don't want to pay for them, or can't afford them.

"I guess it's that beat mentality," ventures Jude Sales of A Clean Well-Lighted Place. "You get what you want."

And second, Bukowski boasts a high resale value. He's the author whose books sell well on the street, and which people will want to buy on the street.

"The drug addicts," says Gary Frank of the Booksmith. "They're the worst. They just want them to sell."

When Bukowski's books are stolen and resold, they occasionally figure into a larger scam. Bookstore clerks recall such operations from the past several years. In at least two separate cases, undercover police posed as street people and sold books to used-book stores suspected of trafficking in pilfered goods. One theft ring, working out of the Writer's Bookstore on Webster Street, ran for 10 years, and resold an estimated $6 million in stolen books before the thieves were arrested. Another similar scam (by one of the same thieves) operated through a Polk Street shop called Rooks and Becords, before police shut it down. In both cases, the stores supplied sticky-fingered shoplifters with wish lists of books the stores would buy.

Clerks believe another steal-and-resell scam may currently be running in the city, because certain used-book stores are stocking suspicious numbers of brand-new shrink-wrapped books.

But despite the occasional high-stakes investigations, most shoplifting cases end up going nowhere. Even with electronic detectors, theft remains a significant problem. If the thief is caught, the case is rarely worth prosecuting because the courts are so clogged. The store simply forbids the thief from ever coming back, and that's that.

Although major chain retailers share the problem of shoplifting, it's impossible to tell if they lose Bukowski books to thieves, because they don't want to talk about it.

"We don't want to be involved with that," sniffs a media contact from Borders on Union Square.

"I'm not comfortable talking about this," says the manager of Compass Books, located in SFO airport.

When told that Bukowski seems to be the city's most popular stolen author, the manager of Barnes & Noble at Fisherman's Wharf replies briskly, "I don't know that I know that to be true."

But all this discussion of theft economics and methods still doesn't explain the appeal of Charles Bukowski. What about this man and his writing would lead someone to sneak into a store and snatch only his books?

North of San Francisco lies Santa Rosa and the offices of Black Sparrow Press. This company has been the primary publisher of Charles Bukowski since 1966, and keeps over 30 of his titles in print. Black Sparrow proprietor John Martin is also Bukowski's editor. He's extremely busy, shipping a new Bukowski poetry collection titled What Matters Most Is How Well You Walk Through the Fire, but he has a few minutes to talk.

So why does he think Bukowski is the most-stolen author in San Francisco?

"A lot of his readers are poor," replies Martin matter-of-factly.

Would Bukowski like the fact that people are stealing his books?

"Not at all," says Martin. "He would think that was really misreading him, not understanding where he was coming from. I remember once, somebody wrote him a letter and said they had stolen his books out of a bookstore and the public library. He was outraged that someone would do that."

So if you're a book shoplifter, you might think twice before stealing a Bukowski book. You're certainly not doing his literary estate any favors, and the local independent stores know exactly what you're up to. Would-be thieves should heed the words of Bukowski himself. He died in 1994 at the age of 73, and on his tombstone, the epitaph reads simply, "Don't try."

In the spirit of this festive season, here's a taste of prose from the most-stolen author in San Francisco. The holiday-themed excerpt that follows comes from the Bukowski anthology Run With the Hunted, and takes place on Christmas Day. The narrator (a writer named Henry Chinaski) has spent the previous night in a drunken argument with his girlfriend. She has now left. Their turkey dinner sits uneaten in the refrigerator. Two girls, soaring out of their minds on speed, pound on the door, demanding alcohol and food. Chinaski lets them in and offers them his turkey:

Tammie came out and sat down. She had just about finished the leg. Then she took the leg bone, bit and broke it in half, and started chewing the bone. I was astonished. She was eating the leg bone, spitting splinters out on the rug.

"Hey, you're eating the bone!"

"Yeah, it's good!"

Tammie ran back into the kitchen for some more.

Soon they both came out, each of them with a bottle of beer.

"Thanks, Hank."

"Yeah, thanks, man."

They sat there sucking at the beers.

"Well," said Tammie, "we gotta get going."

"Yeah, we're going out to rape some junior high school boys!"


They both jumped up and they were gone out the door. I walked into the kitchen and looked into the refrig. That turkey looked like it had been mauled by a tiger -- the carcass had simply been ripped apart. It looked obscene.

"Chronicle of a Theft Foretold"
By Jack Boulware
SF Weekly

"On both coasts and points in between, Bukowski is the number-one choice of book bandits. And Rosenbaum has formed a personality profile of the perpetrators."
There's a certain kind of person who feels that Bukowski and Burroughs and literature that, you know, dwells incessantly on excrement and vomit and the lower depths, is literature about the truth. And I guess they identify with these down-and-out heroes. And so they feel that that somehow validates their desire to just shoplift the books.

You know, if you look at who's actually doing the shoplifting, they're not really down-and-out, lower-depths types but like to pose as being down and out, and shoplifting is part of the aura. You know, so I call the frequent shoplifter of Burroughs and Bukowski, "Bukowski Man," 'cause they're always saying "Oh, yeah, Bukowski, man. Only Bukowski, man, really lays it on the line. He's the only one who could tell the truth, dude."

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Flying Off the Shelves

I know a few booksellers who have literally been driven a little bit crazy at the thought of their inventory evaporating out the door, and with good reason: An overabundance of shoplifters can put bookstores out of business. One local bookstore owner can famously talk about shoplifters with total strangers for hours, with the detail and passion that some people reserve for sexual conquests.

There's an underground economy of boosted books. These values are commonly understood and roundly agreed upon through word of mouth, and the values always seem to be true. Once, a scruffy, large man approached me, holding a folded-up piece of paper. "Do you have any Buck?" He paused and looked at the piece of paper. "Any books by Buckorsick?" I suspected that he meant Bukowski, but I played dumb, and asked to see the piece of paper he was holding. It was written in crisp handwriting that clearly didn't belong to him, and it read:

1. Charles Bukowski

2. Jim Thompson

3. Philip K. Dick

4. William S. Burroughs

5. Any Graphic Novel

This is pretty much the authoritative top five, the New York Times best-seller list of stolen books. Its origins still mystify me. It might have belonged to an unscrupulous used bookseller who sent the homeless out, Fagin-like, to do his bidding, or it might have been another book thief helping a semi-illiterate friend identify the valuable merchandise. I asked the man whether he preferred Bukowski's Pulp to his Women, as I did, and whether his favorite Thompson book was The Getaway or The Killer Inside Me. First the book chatter made him nervous, but then it made him angry: He bellowed, "You're just a little bitch, ain't'cha?" and stormed out.

Most used bookstores try to avoid buying unread-looking books from the list above, but they do always sell, and so any crook who figures out how to roll a spine can turn a profit pretty easily. The list of popular books is surprisingly static, although newer artists have earned their place in the pantheon with Hunter S. Thompson and the Beats: Palahniuk, Murakami, and Danielewski have become hugely popular antisellers in the last five years. I've had hundreds of dollars of graphic novels—Sandman, Preacher, The Dark Knight Returns—lifted from right under my nose all at once. Science fiction and fantasy are high in demand, too: The coin of the realm is now, and has always been, the fiction that young white men read, and self-satisfied young white men, the kind who love to stick it to the man, are the majority of book shoplifters.

On the rare occasion when a shoplifter would run faster than I could, I would shout at his back as he escaped into the city: "Why don't you steal from a fucking corporate bookstore, you asshole?" None of them ever responded. They just kept running. recommended

by Paul Constant

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MAKING IT WORK; The Best-Stolen List

''There would be an empty shelf where the Burroughs used to be,'' said Mr. Ouimet with a wry flick of his rock-star-length hair. ''We had to find a way to deal with it.''

But instead of hiding the hard truth, Tower celebrated it with an enormous placard hung over the register which reads: ''Tower's Most Wanted,'' and features sinister-looking photos and the names of the afore-mentioned writers along with Charles Bukowski, Paul Auster, Albert Camus, Raymond Carver, Cormac McCarthy, Henry Miller and Jim Thompson.

''We were brazen,'' Mr. Ouimet said. ''And the stealing stopped.''

Citywide, the hottest books are, ''Junkie'' by William S. Burroughs, ''On the Road'' by Jack Kerouac and ''Lolita'' by Vladimir Nabokov. In addition, anything by Charles Bukowski has to be nailed down.

''I moved Bukowski behind the counter,'' said Israel Jaronowski, who owns Spring Street Books just off West Broadway. ''There was just tremendous theft. There is no safeguard for Bukowski.''

Bukowski and the Beat writers, like Burroughs and Kerouac, are the main victims downtown, where the esthetic seems to be drug chic. Shakespeare & Company, on Broadway and Washington Place, segregates these writers on a highly visible shelf. Spring Street Books and St. Mark's Bookshop put antitheft strips on them.

The Beats are also stolen uptown. But near Columbia, where Kerouac and Ginsberg went to school, bookstores report that thieves are equally interested in philosophy. John Stadler, the manager of Papyrus Books at 114th and Broadway, said the deconstructionists are popular, particularly Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida. Foucault's ''History of Sexuality, Volume 1,'' is a big target, though not Volumes 2 and 3. Maybe the series goes downhill.

At the Madison Avenue Bookshop, on 69th Street, travel books are stolen a great deal, as are best sellers, said Perry Haberman, the store manager. He said he does not really have a Beat problem, though the ever-popular Bukowski attracts East Side shoplifters as well.


From prison libraries, the most stolen book is the dictionary.

Remarkably, I’ve never stolen a Bukowski book or a dictionary. Nor did I ever steal Abbie Hoffman’s Steal This Book. Amounting to over ten years all tolled, my years of thievery netted me thousands of books; I’ve held onto only some of the pulp, but every wedge of classic lit, “literary” fiction, and non-fiction of all persuasions. Looking back, there were a few memorable coups. From the mall store I once smuggled a huge coffee-table volume of Sappho (complete with black-and-white photos of nude pubescent girls, which of course were my prevailing interest), measuring a full square foot-and-a-half, under my coat and out the door.

by Michael Atkinson

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Nowhere to be found in
the canonizing Norton Anthology, however, is the man who occupies
the most shelf space of any American poet: Charles Bukowski.

“In a literary sense, too, Bukowski accomplished something rare: he
produced a large, completely distinctive, widely beloved body of
work, something that few poets today even dream of. It is a
testament to Bukowski’s genuine popularity that, at a time when
most poetry books can’t be given away, his are perennially ranked
among the most frequent stolen titles in bookstores.”

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While at the Glendale Central Library the other day I decided to pick up a Bukowski volume for some light reading. I could find none. Not one Bukowski title in the fiction section.

This morning I surfed over to the online database for the Glendale/Pasadena Public Library system and typed in “Charles Bukowski”. 25 relevant titles returned — and a remarkable number were missing:

“Bone Palace Ballet”
2 in library at Pasadena, 1 missing at GL Central

1 checked out at Pasadena, 1 missing

“Post Office”
1 in library at GL Central, 1 missing

“Hollywood : A Novel”
1 checked out at GL Central, 1 missing

“Love Is A Dog From Hell”
1 copy missing from Pasadena

1 copy missing from GL Central

“The Most Beautiful Woman In Town”
1 copy missing from GL Central

“The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over The Hills”
1 copy missing from GL Central

“Notes of a Dirty Old Man”
1 checked out from GL Central, 1 missing from Pasadena

Interestingly, most of the Bukowski poetry collections — except the few mentioned above — are intact on the shelves. Buk wasn’t much of a poet and I think that proves it.

(You’re currently reading “Who’s Stealing All The Bukowski?,” an entry on 8763 Wonderland)

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Forecast: Bukowski's books are perhaps best known among booksellers for the rate at which they are stolen. Black Sparrow has done well so far with each new salvo of Bukowskiana; there's no reason to think this book of poems will fall short of previous marks. (Booksellers might want to keep them behind the counter with a note tacked to the 'B' shelf, it adds to the mystique.)