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The Buk Shop

Unsigned Manuscript: before the 7th race, one mile, $32,000 claimer

Unsigned Manuscript: before the 7th race, one mile, $32,000 claimer

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Bukowski sent off a lot of poems to The Moment magazine in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

It was a difficult time in Bukowski’s life. He had been struggling with health issues for a couple of years. In the summer of 1989, he underwent three separate treatments for the removal of skin cancer, but that’s not what was ailing him. In 1989, after demanding a chest x-ray, he was finally diagnosed with Tuberculosis. It never occurred to his physicians to look for Tuberculosis since it was considered an old, uncommon disease at that time. In 1945, however, when Bukowski was just 25, 63,000 people died of tuberculosis and 115,000 new cases of the disease were identified.

Since it had been many years since Bukowski’s skid row days, the doctors theorized that it may have sat dormant in Bukowski’s body for decades. In any case, he underwent four months of antibiotic treatment, forcing him to temporarily give up drinking. Although Bukowski continued to write, he himself knew the poems were not strong as they were before. The poems were also very somber in nature.

“before the 7th race, one mile, $32,000 claimer” is a little more light hearted. It appeared in the Fall 1990 issue of The Moment alongside a drawing. Both the front and rears covers also featured full pages of drawings, including the little man on a race horse wearing a jockey helmet with MOMENT written on it.

This manuscript comes with the Fall 1990 issue of The Moment. It is in Very Good condition with the covers having heavy browning. The rest of the issue is solid and clean.

The manuscript also comes with a very fitting original serigraph that appeared in Charles Bukowski’s book, “The Night Torn Mad With Footsteps”. The like-new serigraph measures 9.5” x 6.5” and is very vibrant. Image size is approximately 4.5" x 4.5" and is printed on heavy stock. (Please note that the signature is printed and not signed.)

The manuscript is not signed. Interestingly, a signed copy of the manuscript can be found in the Bukowski Forum manuscript collection. I have several manuscripts that Bukowski sent to The Moment that are unsigned. It’s possible Bukowski knew that signed manuscripts were being sold by magazine publishers and didn’t like that, so he only sent the signed ones to Black Sparrow Press publisher John Martin.

The manuscript has never been folded, but ere are some ripples to the paper when studied under the light. There is also a rusty staple remnant. Either a letter to The Moment’s publisher or another poem submission was probably attached.

A handsome package with the serigraph and manuscript. Very suitable for framing with each other.

Case 6

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