Suddenly Bukowski manuscripts are ridiculously valuable (yes, more Bukowski — if you have had enough Bukowski for one lifetime, please skip to the next post).
For the last four or five years this crazy San Francisco book store owner has been selling his extensive collection of Bukowski manuscripts on eBay, and I have been partaking when the poems were particularly good and sufficient dollars were in my pocket.
Thing is, he sold hundreds of manuscripts for $75 to $300 over the last three years. Some of what he sold was crap; later Xeroxes and computer printouts from the 80’s and 90’s (call me crazy, but a Xerox or a computer printout somehow lacks the soul of a carbon copy from a manual typewriter), but much of what he sold were priceless gems.
Now he is at the end of his manuscripts – literally down to the last dozen – and for some reason, the big bidders have waited until now to come out of the woodwork.
But it is weird to see stuff like the $1225 piece go for such high prices when I bought a better poem from the same book manuscript for $80. The bitch of it is, I don’t want to sell any of mine.
Well, I mean, I didn’t want to, but I had to test the waters, right?
So yeah, one of mine is up there, and as I type this it is up to $610. If recent history holds true, it should get up to $700 to $1,000 by the time it ends today (it sold for $1,385).
Which is weird.
From the late 1960’s on, Bukowski dated and signed his manuscripts, as if he knew they would someday hold some value. Though he didn’t keep carbon copies of his letters, as some writers did, so it’s hard to say whether he was looking toward posterity or not. Maybe he was just working.
So yeah. What the fuck. I do feel kind of bad cashing in on these two sheets of paper. Seems like the dough should go to the man’s estate.
Bukowski’s widow lives in a house a couple of miles from here, and I could go slip $500 in her mailbox, but I won’t. A) because I need it more than she does, and B) because…well, I don’t have a “B.” So sue me.
What does all this mean? I don’t know. I felt like typing it, so here it is.