“Don’t Try”

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you can have this typewriter when you pry it from my cold dead hands

 

My ProCrasstheNation “Author Love of the Day” goes out to Charles Bukowski.

Hank found me at a time in my life when I needed him most. His gut-punching prose guided me through a pretty harrowing period of disillusionment. He made me feel that it was okay to throw your hands in the air and just launch a big ol’ bird at life.

Bukowski’s “Post Office” was gifted to me by a great friend, a best friend. He knew me well enough to know that I needed a post in the road, a distraction, some sage advice. Ever since that time, Bukowski has been a welcome voice in my head as well as a witness of the suffering that can be endured in this life.

He’s a hard man for many to love. His shortcomings, which are many, alienate those who can’t think critically in the knee jerk  reality of a politically correct driven universe. However, if you can sit back and allow him to invade your space, Bukowski shows an adept ability to grab you with his words and make you realize that when you’re dealing with life there is no politics, just what exists despite our best efforts to contort what comes our way into mind-numbing saccharin delusions.

Below is a poem, that has always spoken to me. It is especially apropos in light of the shitshow currently surrounding us on many levels. Give Bukowski a chance. You won’t be sorry. There is integrity and compassion in the suffering he painted in his words, and there is nothing more gratifying to me than in finding a soul in this world that can articulate how I feel, even though I didn’t know I felt that way to begin with.

“Dinosauria, We”

by Charles Bukowski

Born like this
Into this
As the chalk faces smile
As Mrs. Death laughs
As the elevators break
As political landscapes dissolve
As the supermarket bag boy holds a college degree
As the oily fish spit out their oily prey
As the sun is masked
We are
Born like this
Into this
Into these carefully mad wars
Into the sight of broken factory windows of emptiness
Into bars where people no longer speak to each other
Into fist fights that end as shootings and knifings
Born into this
Into hospitals which are so expensive that it’s cheaper to die
Into lawyers who charge so much it’s cheaper to plead guilty
Into a country where the jails are full and the madhouses closed
Into a place where the masses elevate fools into rich heroes
Born into this
Walking and living through this
Dying because of this
Muted because of this
Castrated
Debauched
Disinherited
Because of this
Fooled by this
Used by this
Pissed on by this
Made crazy and sick by this
Made violent
Made inhuman
By this
The heart is blackened
The fingers reach for the throat
The gun
The knife
The bomb
The fingers reach toward an unresponsive god
The fingers reach for the bottle
The pill
The powder
We are born into this sorrowful deadliness
We are born into a government 60 years in debt
That soon will be unable to even pay the interest on that debt
And the banks will burn
Money will be useless
There will be open and unpunished murder in the streets
It will be guns and roving mobs
Land will be useless
Food will become a diminishing return
Nuclear power will be taken over by the many
Explosions will continually shake the earth
Radiated robot men will stalk each other
The rich and the chosen will watch from space platforms
Dante’s Inferno will be made to look like a children’s playground
The sun will not be seen and it will always be night
Trees will die
All vegetation will die
Radiated men will eat the flesh of radiated men
The sea will be poisoned
The lakes and rivers will vanish
Rain will be the new gold
The rotting bodies of men and animals will stink in the dark wind
The last few survivors will be overtaken by new and hideous diseases
And the space platforms will be destroyed by attrition
The petering out of supplies
The natural effect of general decay
And there will be the most beautiful silence never heard
Born out of that.
The sun still hidden there
Awaiting the next chapter.

hank

A Bibliophile in a Bookstore…

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Shakespeare And Company, Paris, France

Just recently, trips to the bookstore have become more frequent. Such a place, the bookstore. I view it as potential energy. I view it as a pile of secrets. The feeling I get when I peruse bookshelves is unmatched in my estimation. There is nothing quite like it. I chase the high of my first visit to a bookstore every time I return. A bit of a voyeur in this realm, I like to watch others as they look for their hit. Watching the search. Others, populate places I don’t currently browse, hoarding all that potential energy. The sections hold sway over each taste differently. The staff: Guardians. Guardians of the books, the words, the author’s intentions and apathies. Some staff have “the knack”, and know to interlope at the absolutely correct time and the absolutely correct way. These are the champions that guide us about the maze, and can recall the most obscure with a gleam and a flourish. Others, not up to the task, bramble about with good intentions, but fall short. They are there for relation, so we know the exceptional. Guardians, purveyors of print, if you will? Much like the authors themselves, looking to succeed after a fashion and entombed in the humanity of their abilities. The really great staff know; the others learn from them if lucky. Freshly printed, remainders, first runs, reprints, dog-eared and yellow, the books fall under the senses of touch,  and smell. A good worn book smells of earth and sweat and human compassion. It absorbs the energy and emotions of the reader engaged in fulfilling the social contract between themselves and the author.The others senses work transitively as vision begets speech. The speech of characters delivers the ramblings of their creator. Sound, the only sense not placated, resides in the imagination. No matter the doorway internal, all find a place on my egalitarian shelves.

I consume pages.

I consume words.

No law can shape or channel my necessity to consume the potential energy laid about the bookstore. All things being equal, a book can set me free from my tomb of skin and egocentricity, if only for an instant. Ahhhhhh! Again, the bookstore. Where journeys begin, where exchange is made, where I go to church. How can one not enjoy the long lazing lull of living libraries?

The stacks set me righteous.

Electricity coursing through my personage. Setting me on fire. Proportion of knowledge, disorder of intention, as there are too many ways to unfold in one lifetime.

Shhhhhhh!

Do not talk.

What an order? A mantra?

Pick your poison. Pick your passion. A life of reading, in reverent fashion.

 

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Stairway-Shakespeare And Company, Paris, France

Grooming Time At The Zoo or Lucy Begobah Tanta Kringle Alvarado Hickey

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Sometimes, on long unremarkable days, the only sanity in life can be found in the tickle of a dog’s tongue. Long after the escalators an elevators. Long after the lanes and lines. All you really have to do is sit on the edge of your bed, elbows on knees arms extended. This posture is a universal invitation to any caring canine. They ask for little, but belonging. A day’s debts can be paid for by the kindness of a beloved dog. The warmth and symmetry of a wagging tail so much like the rhythm of a metronome. The sheet music of life played out in the joy of a dog comforted by the companionship of their caretaker. But really, who is the real caretaker? The truth is that all the best listeners in the world are dogs. Their ears perked and ready to receive. A dog’s greatest gift, compassion, bestowed upon humans. A dog’s senses sensitively sensing sense. I trust a dog that licks me when I least expect it. Knowing this kind of dog in your lifetime is a gift. Troubles dissipate in the slow methodical cleanse a dog undertakes. Confession, absolution, and redemption all in the warm tickle of a dog’s tongue.

 

Magnificent Ms.Perry

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A day without a smile was normal to Ms. Perry.
She hoped and prayed, and thought she made, the life of others merry.
But not for her, a heart unloved, she couldn’t fathom joy.
Not until that light spring day, when chance showed her a boy.
Oh, chance did pique her appetite, and would entice the crime.
For love and want familiar, Ms. Perry bided time.
First chance to flee with heart alight,
Ms. Perry waited still.
No clue was given by the boy,
False promise soon fulfilled.
Any measure sought in kind,
For the favor of his heart.
Ms. Perry sought a place to find,
Not knowing where to start.
The truth, Ms. Perry, is plain to you,
Yet, you choose not to see.
View yourself, magnificent,
The boy will surely heed.
In truth, others cannot love,
That which we love not first.
Ms. Perry, smile every day,
Your luck will soon reverse.

 

 

 

 

There’s No Day Like a Snow Day

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Awakened to new fallen snow.
Wait! It hasn’t stopped.
Alas, since last evening, though,
Two whole feet have dropped.
Shall I call to work just yet?
No! Wait a little longer.
Remaining in a state of fret,
Apprehension grows much stronger.
Will I call, or won’t I call?
Maybe it gets worse?
Putting off, will only stall,
The eventual report.
My mind was made, some flakes ago.
Why am I afraid?
It won’t matter if I show,
I will still get paid.
Perhaps, an email? Perhaps, a text?
What if they say no?
What excuse to think of next?
One beyond reproach.
Oh, do it now, just call out.
I’m sure others have as well.
Timely, came this snowy bout,
Opportunity, downward fell.
White canvass touching all around.
Begin this day to treasure.
Now call the boss, abet, aground,
and start some magic leisure.