Glitzy Brutality

Seen from a distance

this so-called civilization

of ours must look pretty

civilized indeed: those

altitudinous, mirrored

skyscrapers reaching

ever skyward in man’s

eternal effort to dry

hump the hell

out of heaven.

 

But the closer you get

to street-level

the dryer the wet

dream gets.  You’ve

seen and heard it

all before: tired

and defeated

human beings

looking more

like Chinese

street cats than

those fabled

creations

stationed half-

way between

the beasts and

angels those

medieval scribes

swore that we are.

 

Then there’s

the brutal crime

bloodying our

intention-paved

streets, crimes

most cavemen

would cringe

to commit, most

of which aren’t

televised. So what

does modernity

and technology mean?

Is each new invention

and glimmering

building another

rung on a ladder

taking us closer to

the angels; or are

we like Chinese

street cats, a species

born in domestication,

coddled and sometimes

fed for a while, then

destined to be

abandoned by our

masters to roam

hungry and broken

among the ruins

of towering

dreams?

 

— Fyodor Bukowski, author of Mail-Order Annie. Please buy the book. I take care of a lot of cats.

Pain Management

So much of life

for many

boils down to

mostly pain-

management.

I remember

grandma, who’d

escaped commies

during WW2, but

just barely, and

with my five-year-

old, starving future

father in tow. After

that she smiled and

drank her way

through the

decades; but

then one night,

when she didn’t

know I was still

awake, I saw her

shaking on the

couch, her face

contorted into

one I couldn’t

recognize.

Later I found out

it was bone

cancer. Then I heard

her yelling at my father

because he’d been

praying to keep her

alive.

The other day a

pain like a switchblade

struck the back of my

knee and kept striking

for several days and nights–

right past the pain meds.

At first I could hardly believe

it when I heard the doctor

say it was just a sprain, but

then he added it was

pinching a nerve that was

setting off others.

And then there was

Larry, my fat, furry cat

and adopted son, whose

tumor grew back after a

costly operation; and the

cries and moans he made

finished off what was left

of my heart. Well, if you’re

reading this, you’re alive,

and you already know

(or soon will) that

much of life is pain.

And that pain is often

too much, despite those

who say that the “Good

Lord, never gives us

pain that we can’t bear”

and those who maintain

that pain teaches us

lessons we wouldn’t

otherwise hear.

Now, I find that an

internet friend, a lovely

soul, suffers constant

headaches, and I wish

that I could cure those,

don’t you know, and I

do have hope for her;

but when it comes to

pain in gneral, I’m

haunted by the words

of a buddhist monk,

who said that if the

Buddha could have

eliminated suffering

once and for all,

he would have.

Wouldn’t you?

 

— Fyodor Bukowski, author of Mail-Order Annie

Delusion Juice

Delusions

Delusions

Everywhere

So many heads

Just swimming

With them. Hey

Look, I’m friends

With a thousand

Malaysian Beauty

Queens, and they’re

All 18. And Lookie

Here, my impromptu

Poem got 9 likes, and

I wrote it on the clock

At work. The boss is

Such a jerk. And don’t

forget to Thumbs-up the

vid of my old 80s rock

band too because we

would have made it

for Sure if our singer

Hadn’t been such

A flake. Delusions

Of grandeur and

Goodness too in

The vast Buddhaverse

Of virtue-signalling

Bodhisatvas and

That blue Hindu

God and his consort

Too: Look how hip

your Views are, loving

Me so much that

You don’t think I

Should have a

Gun in a world like

This….And then

There’s the

Smarmy fool

Who discounts

Appalling realities

As “conspiracy

theories” bc he

Doesn’t know

That phrase was

Concocted by

A certain intelligence

Agency to throw us

Of the trail of Who

Did JFK. Delusions

Delusions like

Politics and

Religions whose

Perpetrators are

All in the pockets

Of the same pay-

Masters. But I know,

I know, reality is just

Too much for us to

Take down straight,

So mix our drinks

With that sweet

Delusion-juice,

Bartender,

And thank you very

Much.

 

— Fyodor Bukowski

 

 

 

 

 

The Knock at the Door is Never a Good One

The knock at the door

is never a good one

like the long-lost love

or even a sexy rep from

the Illumanati sent to

inform me that if I just

join with then they’ll

set me up for life in a

job that I love, like starting

a no-kill cat shelter to be

staffed by an assortment

of feline-loving ladies.

But the knock at the door

is never a good one, like

some smarmy-smiling

game show host sent

to present me with a

colossal check for

winning a contest I can’t

even remember entering;

and the knock at the door

is never the sexy, mysterious

lady I once passed my

number to on a beer-stained

napkin in the kind of club

our mothers warned us about.

Instead the knock is about a

bum twenty I unknowkingly

passed at the local McDonalds

a month or so prior, or a

Jehovah’s Witness looking like

genetic hell warmed over one

too many times, or some

borderline-sociopathic

neighbor asking if he can

mow the lawn I don’t even

give a damn about. Hell,

“let the grass grow” and

“never answer the knock

at the door” are just two

of my favorite mottos,

don’t ya know.

 

— Fyodor Bukowski, author of Mail-Order Annie

Divide et Impera

Divide and Conquer

is the rulers’

ancient motto,

as true in Ancient

Mesopotamia as

it is in modern

America. One

political party

tells us that walls

and guns are

immoral, except

when they’re

protecting their

own elite backsides.

The other party

tries to tell me

that my boss

can smirkingly

declare that I

can only go pee pee

twice in eight hours,

because he works for

the man who owns the

factory, don’t you

know, it’s not the size

of a man’s bladder

but his bank account

that matters. And so

it goes with 1000

other issues. The

maddness is split

right down the middle,

like Solomon’s baby

would have surely

been, had not wise

Solomon been

there. But no matter

how wise we may

grow, the rulers’

game is just too

perfect now, after

centuries of practice

slicing our ancestors

right down the middle,

after centuries upon

dead centuries of

dividing, conquering,

and ruling the

cooing

masses.

 

— Fyodor Bukowski, author of Mail-Order Annie

 

 

 

Byron and Shelley Loved Guns

Both were poets

when poetry

meant more

than a group

on Facebook

or a hobby horse

for academics.

And both men were

Liberals when the

word meant more

than a nest of the

enemies of free-

perception,

self-defence,

and speech.

Shelley staked

his inheritance,

Oxford feather nest,

and his status as a

Peer of the Realm

for the poor,

deluded,

and oppressed;

while Byron

sacrificed his health

and envied life

fighting for the

Greeks, who

spawned

The West.

And both poets

carried dueling-

pistols wherever

they went, and kept

them near their

heads as they slept.

And both Shelley

and Lord Byron

understood well

that men

and their words

can only

live free

when the gun

lies near.

 

— Fyodor Bukowski, author of Mail-Order Annie

No One Wants You To Have What’s Good

There’s this strip club

where the dancers

are black and the

best of them have

doll faces and

mommy bodies

with the kind of

curves that the

African gods

only gave to

African girls

whose ancestors

sometimes chose

their kings and

queens on their

dancing and not

killing ability

and that’s real

not from a movie

anyway, whenever

I spy an exceptional

cutie there, and chat

her up for private

dances downstairs

the kind of the white

ice princesses

don’t often give

the club dj

derails my vibe

by calling that

cutie I was

just chatting up

to the main

stage instead

but I’m not

surprised by

such tactics

anymore I know

damn well that

no one in this

world really

wants me or

you for that

matter to have

what’s good

not even my

mama would

want me to have

that first class doll-

faced mommy-

body cutie no

matter how she

might make my

perennially-

depressed

and sometimes

suicidal head swim

with endorphins all

dancing like African

princesses in a land

with no need of

strip clubs Hell not

even our friends

really want

us to have what’s

good unless it

would also benefit

them of course and

that’s why no so-

called friends who

said they loved me

like a brother ever

tried to set me up

with an ex GF

worth having or

a lovely sister even

when the world

weighed down on

me like a wicked

stepmother and a

lovely female would

have made the

demons in my

death-wishing head

jump for joy like

dolphins in a coked-

up  ocean….

 

— Fyodor Bukowski, author of Mail-Order Annie (A Story of Passion and Compassion)

 

 

 

 

 

 

When You Looked Most Lovely (for B.C.)

Days into nights

I saw you

on that stage,

wearing false paint

on your already-

glowing face

and silly glittering

heels strapped to

your tiny

doll’s feet.

You swayed and

rocked in some

skimpy costume

and your hair was

always coiffured

immaculately.

But then one day

I saw you just arrive

in the parking lot

to work,

wearing faded

jogging pants

and a dollar-store

sweat shirt,

and no make-up

at all, with your

hair pillow-fresh

and falling free–

that’s when

you looked

most lovely

to me.

 

— fyodor bukowski, author of MAIL-ORDER ANNIE

Serpentine Melodies

As the melody of Bach’s Suite in E minor

(BWV 996) snakes up from the signal spark

of elemental life in creation’s chemical froth,

slithers upwards and grows legs on the

greening earth, then scaled wings, colossal

brains, then armored legs striding into ships

sailing across ladles and centaurs of stars for

eons end to end, only to find that there’s no life

at all out there after all; meanwhile, no one on

this frozen Earth remains to recall how we sat

in leased Kias in parking lots and laughed at the

perfect hopelessness of our lives on this ball,

how our jobs and lives were made increasingly

insane and impossible by stuffed suits who sat in

perfect suavity, smirking at the controlled chaos

they created for the many, as we fell to exhaustion,

heart attacks, strokes, insanity, despair, et al., while

the women most equipped by nature of revivifying

those sparks of inner fire in us went to the controllers

and their most brutal minions instead, those masters

held Earth’s best beauties in their arms, as they

smirked above their centuries-crafted chaos, as we,

the street-level slaves, stupid enough to have believed

we were free, slumped over behind the wheels of

leased Kias, cheap beer on our breaths, between

endless errands, in the parking lots of corporations,

bars, dollar stores, death-food joints, strip clubs,

mega-churches, sports arenas, and malls, and

listened on leased car radios, to this or that vivifying

melody that seemed to take us somewhere, anywhere,

oh anywhere else at all….

 

— Fyodor Bukowski, author of MAIL-ORDER ANNIE

 

 

 

Keith Richard’s Cat

Tough Riff-master rocker

Keith Richards writes

in his autobio LIFE

that when he was a

kid, his mother Doris

“didn’t like animals”

and killed all his pets,

including his cat who,

his mother had said,

“was pissing all over

the place.” So little Keith

“put a note on her bedroom

door, with a drawing of a

cat, that said “Murderer.'”

But the parts of this story

that hit me hardest were

Keith’s comment: “I never

forgave her for that,” and

his mother’s reply to him

after he’d called her out as

a murderer: “Don’t be so soft.”

Maybe this, along with the

bullying Keith endured as a

kid, was why he spent much

of the 60’s high-enough-to-die–

despite the money, women,

and musical success. There

are some things we can never

forgive, no matter what the

preachers say. And I’m glad

Keith wrote about his cat the

way he did. It shows me once

again, that inside every tough

guy is a hurt, angry kid, who

should never forgive.

 

— Fyodor Bukowski, author of Mail-Order Annie

 

Garbage Cat (for Alex)

One of his eyes was

pale. He had a bad

snaggle tooth, and he

was one big cat.

The trailer park tards

called him “Garbage

Cat” because he lived

out of the dumpsters.

The neighbor lady

started putting cat food out

on her porch. Sometimes I’d

watch Alex head there with

two small, black cats.

What struck me most

was the way he’d let

the little ones eat first,

and the way he’d growl

low and mean if you tried

to get too close. Then the

lady told me that the

manager was poisoning

strays. She and I both already

had cats, so I used her trap

and took Alex and his two

pals to a no-kill shelter where

he tested positive for the cat-

version of AIDS. Luckily, there

was a big, exclusive room there

for cats with that. It was furnished

with a couch, litter boxes, and toys.

Volunteers came to pet the cats and

clean. Alex became a celebrity there.

He lived well for over ten years,

and when he finally grew too thin

and tired, and didn’t want to eat,

I walked into his room, held him,

and said, “Goodbye for now.”

 

— Fyodor Bukowski, author of Mail-Order Annie (A Story of Passion and Compassion) : Mail-Order Annie

15

Andy Warhol seemed

to be onto something

when he said that in

the future we’d all be

famous for 15 minutes.

But what he couldn’t

see back then was the

internet and it’s myriad

mini-media outlets. So

here we are now, hanging

out in a chatroom, or on

someone’s social media

platform, spinning memes,

flashing pics, and revealing

our peccadilloes to the FBI

and the CIA, while some

of us are so insanely

quixotic as to still be

writing poems in this

post-poetic age. And a

a few works here and

there are just as good,

maybe even better,

than most of what

Ginsberg scratched

down on the flexible

remains of once-living

trees.  But just like

those, the lovely young

ladies who once swooned

over love sonnets are

really quite dead. Thus,

write what we might,

we can all hold our

collective breath,

stamp and rant for 15

dead centuries, for all

the Fates care, because

few or none of us is

heading anywhere big,

not even for 15 nano-

seconds. And unless

we’re Asian college

girls with kawaii to

spare, most internet

artists must share this

oblivion, yet with not

much going on in the

so-called real world,

we might as well keep

trying to move those

whom we can. So, Andy,

if you can hear, let me

say that you  would

have been closer-to-

correct to have said

that in the future,

everyone will be

famous with

about 15 fans.

 

— Fyodor Bukowski, author of Mail-Order Annie (A Story of Passion and Compassion) Mail-Order Annie

Way back in psych 101

We learned about parallel

Conversation. Two kids in

A sandbox talking: Billy

Says, “My mom is pretty.”

Betty says, “I got a new

Doggie.” Billy says,”My

Mom is the prettiest mom.”

And so it goes, neither listening,

Both just talking. But even so

Just being in each other’s

Presence makes them feel

Less alone. And things are

Pretty much the same

Today on so-called social

media. But even so, I might

Just post an old picture of

my mom, who really was

very pretty.

 

How LeBron Helps Save me Money

Word around Cleveland used to be

that LeBron was a lousy tipper or

didn’t even tip at all. Now I’m not

exactly what anyone would call

a great humanitarian, but for

many years I was a good tipper.

Better than most–even when

money was tight, as it usually

was and is. But whenever I’d

look into the careworn face of

waiter, waitress, or other service

worker, I ‘d always tip at least 25-

40%. After all, I told myself, we’re

all just slaves on this global

plantation now. Hell, I’d even

tip big at the sandwhich shop

down the street, whose spokesman

struck me as disturbing, even

before he was outed as a major

kiddie diddler. But then LeBron-

mania washed over Cleveland,

and the rest of the nation, like

10,000 tons of liquified BS.

The towering LeBron billboard,

featuring the man himself in a

messianic pose no less, stood

menacingly as an affront to the long-

cherished myth of Karmic Justice

itself. After all, if the rumors are

even half-true, could even a quantum

microscope detect the soul of a man

so tiny that it wouldn’t motivate it’s

corporeal host to leave big tips for

his own adoring fans, who wait on him

at table or bar? Of course, this criticism

is only valid assuming that the rumors of

him being a terrible tipper are true,

which I couldn’t vouch for myself,

though I have talked to a dancer

and two waitresses who personally

attested to the rumor’s validity. Well,

that was enough for me, that and

the fact that I’ve noticed most star-

athletes are jerks, whether it

be in high school or the NBA.

But getting back to how LeBron

saved me money….Like I said, I’d

gotten into the habit of tipping big

and when I was thanked I’d quip

back something like, “Hey, I’m no

LeBron, okay.” To which the counter

stiff, dancer, or waitress would retort

something like “Hey, as long as he keeps

winning us games!” or even “SO WHAT?

He gives in other ways!” as if tax-deductable

“donations” are the same as real giving–

face-to-face. Well, after getting enough

reactions like these, I really had to

wonder why I was wasting my hard-

earned cabbage on cucks and clucks.

I decided to save my money, donate

more to homeless cats, and use my

money and words to beat the crap

out of humanity instead.

 

–Fyodor Bukowski, author of MAIL-ORDER ANNIE (A Story of Passion and Compassion). I won’t even bother to link it here. Go buy a LeBron bio instead, morons.

 

 

 

 

 

The Consequences of Not Winning the Lottery

The consequences of not winning

the lottery can be severe. There are

as many kinds of lotteries as there

are people, heavens or hells: the Good-

Looks lottery, the Silver Spoon Lottery,

and who could forget The-Being-in-the-

Right-Time-and-Place Lottery.

A player can win or lose as many

lotteries as that fickle wheel of Fortune

dictates. Some win them all; some none.

While some win some: take Lord Byron

for example: he won all three of those

mentioned already, but he lost The-4-

Sound-and-Healthy-Limbs Lottery…

by one. And then there other cases:

say, for example, the lame and ugly

sonneteer haunting the 21st Century

bus stop at the corner of Bad Genes

Street and Terrible Timing Avenue.

Needless to say, the consequences of

losing all three of the aforementioned

lotteries are dire indeed, while the player

who wins even one might have a

chance. Good looks, riches, or even

just four sound and healthy limbs,

with a little luck, could lead a player

to the promised land. But even one

mistep could bring the winner of just

one lottery down, causing that player

to slip into one of the many hells

that lie languidly yawning

for players like you

and me.

 

— Fyodor Bukowski, author of MAIL-ORDER ANNIE (A Story of Passion and Compassion)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opossum in the Road

I have this walking nightmare

that sometimes comes true:

the nightmare is that I see a

wounded animal in the road and

there’s not much I can do about it.

One night when practically

nothing was going according to

plan, the Big Prick in the

sky decided to make things even

worse: I’m driving along and see

an opossum in the middle of the

road, half-upright, and staring

straight ahead. So I pull over,

get out of the car and defying

the inexorable flow of idiotic

traffic, walk up to him or her,

and notice that the legs are

crushed and there’s blood around

the mouth. It was likely the usual

case: some sports fan must have

hit him and just drove off to his

ball game, Wal-Mart, or fat wife.

I call the police, explain, and

ask for an officer to come and

put the opossum out of his misery.

The dispatcher, sounding bored,

says she’ll send someone. Fifteen

or so long minutes later, I call

back. The officers are busy with

“more important matters.” I say if

those cops were real men, they

wouldn’t tolerate a system that

keeps releasing criminals so they

have to catch and arrest them

all over again. Then with an eye-

rolling voice, she addresses me by

name and says they’re on their

way. By then I’m cursing myself for

not having a shovel with me, so I

drive home, grab one, double back,

and see the opossum’s head down–

no life in the eyes. I use the shovel

to move him or her under a

nearby tree. When the officer

arrives, he’s tired, but polite. I ask

him to shoot the poor creature,

just to make sure he’s not

suffering; but the officer assures

me he’s dead, though he doesn’t

seem to give a damn any more

than the endless steam of

motorists, driving by, towards

their own inglorious deaths.

 

— Fyodor Bukowski, author of MAIL-ORDER ANNIE (A Story of Passion and Compassion): MAIL-ORDER ANNIE (A Story of Passion and Compassion)

 

 

 

 

Real Ghosts

Forget about that cartoon

friendly ghost and forget

about that wisp-of-fog

that looked surprisingly

like Lucky, your first dog.

And forget about those

specter-detectors the

comic books tried to sell

you when you were 13.

An honest ghost-  

detective once stated

that he’d spent three

decades and tons of

money exhaustively

searching for evidence

of even one example

of ghostly activity but

could verify none.

And like the rare honest

politician, he found that

telling the truth was the

quickest way to end a

career. But there are

real ghosts. I see them

nearly everywhere now:

the library, mall, the fast-

food spot down the street.

Most would say they’re

just as flesh-substantial

as you or me, though

their clothes tend to

be frayed and ratty,

but not always. These ghosts

either mutter to themselves

or say nothing at all. Their

faces often resemble those

crumpled road maps we’d

shove in our glove compartments

back in the 80s. And like those

maps, their faces never took

them where they needed to be.

Sometimes they look hard at

those living ones who can only see

through or past them, and then these

ghosts ask themselves if anything or

anyone else is real. To tell you

the truth, I’m starting to wonder

if I’m becoming a ghost myself;

it seems like they’re the only ones

who can see me these days. Like

I’m becoming increasingly

insubstantial to the living as

the years stagger on. Even now,

as I type this, I could swear I see

my fingers pass halfway into the

keyboard. And I doubt this poem

will be felt by anyone of living blood

–or anyone who could make me

real again.

 

— Fyodor Bukowski, author of MAIL-ORDER ANNIE (A Story of Passion and Compassion) : Click on this.

Those Lives with Great Plot-Lines

We love following

and reading about

those famous people

whose lives make

for great plot-lines: the

young writer whose father

throws his first manuscripts

out onto the front lawn, who

then starves in the streets,

only to eventually be discovered

and bring poetry back

to the many;  The gangley, gap-toothed

guitarist who cops a few chords and

early rock riffs then nearly freezes

in squalor with his “mates,”

who go on to rock the balloon-filled

stadiums of the world, marry supermodels,

and grow gold as country gentlemen,

because they were good AND they hit the scene

at just the right time and place.

We especially love those rags-to-riches plots,

played-out in real life; but don’t forget that

for every one of those, there are millions of lives

marked by early struggle, sparkles or even

bonfires of promise, which only go on

to get snuffed by bad weather, hit up against too

much resistance, and so they never get

the applesauce applause, much less the country

castles. And don’t make the mistake of thinking,

that all of those were somehow less

than the the great and lucky ones;

too often the forces fail

to congeal in such a way

as to make peoples’ lives

the stuff of great

plot-lines.

 

–by Fyodor Bukowski, author of MAIL-ORDER ANNIE (A Story of Passion and Compassion) Click here: MAIL-ORDER ANNIE

 

 

 

A Good Way to Die

My favorite death scene

is when “The Motorcycle Boy”

in RUMBLEFISH breaks into

the pet store at night to free

these fighting fish. While he’s

doing it, he mutters something

about the fish, how they won’t

need to fight, if they just can

make it to the river. Now the

motorcycle boy, played by

Mickey Rourke, knows that

the pet store is guarded by

this hard ass cop who’s had

it out for him for him for a

good long time, so when the

“boy” is gunned down in the

street with that fish tank in

his arms, we get the idea

that he was ready for end

and even wanted it to go

that way.

Now I’ve been thinking

of another good way to

make a final exit, say

there’s this guy who feeds

stray cats and he’s really

pissed because the only

others who seem to care

are mostly older ladies

whose maternal urges have

been displaced onto hapless cats.

Now say this guy is mad about

more than just how society

regards cats, so when he goes

to feed them, or change the straw

in the makeshift shelter he’s built,

he’s strapped with a .38 on his side.

And say that one day (or night)

he feels that his light is spent, so

he really takes his time

pouring out the dry food and

laying the wet food over it, then

arranging the straw in the shelter

just right, until finally, some cow-faced

fool comes hoofing out of his castle of

commerce or over-mowed  back yard

and yells something like, “Hey, quit feeding

those cats!” So then our cat-guy pulls his

revolver, aims it, and blows a big hole out

the back of cow face’s fat head.

Then our hero waits for the cops to

arrive, while his hands are shaking,

because this isn’t some movie directed

by Francis Ford Coppola, and he’s just

not as cool as The Motorcycle Boy, and

he knows what comes next; but still he

has no regrets. He’s even relieved, feels

he’s chosen his end well, even if only a

few can see it that way.

 

by Fyodor Bukowski

Check out his novel MAIL-ORDER ANNIE (A Story of Passion and Compassion).

 

Keith Richard’s Mouse

When he was a lil Keef,

way before the Stones,

he had a little white mouse

named Gladys. He kept her

in his pocket, brought her

to school and fed her

from his lunch and dinner.

In his autobio he wrote that

“Gladys was true and trusted,”

which is more than can be said

for some so-called humans

from his or any other

life.

 

Well, his mother killed the

little mouse, and  Keith

“never forgave her for that.”

And it’s nice to know that

on some balloon-filled

stadium stage somewhere

in the world

under all that

tough-guy swagger

and bravado rolls

a pretty sweet

soul.

–by Fyodor Bukowski    Read his IndieReader-Approved novel: MAIL-ORDER ANNIE (a Story of Passion and Compassion)      *ALL proceeds go towards feeding and “fixing” homeless cats. (Proof available upon serious inquiry)

Click Here for MAIL-ORDER ANNIE

Dumb-Ass Cowboy Hat

How can cowboy hats

look so good in the old

Westerns, when they look

so dumb in real life these

days?

 

Saw this guy striding

across the lot today, a

pristine snow-white

cowboy hat squatting atop

his bovine head. Could

hardly keep my soy burger

in.

 

Sad truth is we just can’t

transcend this sad unromantic

reality the big bad director

in the sky has miscast us in–

not by wearing some too-clean,

well-kept “cowboy” hat that no

desperado would ever be caught

dead-or-alive in.

The Bottom Feeders

The stripper who

looks like a Bratz doll

is already working

on a cracka’ when

I get to the bar,

so I’m glad to be

packing pen and

writing pad when I

sit down at the

short side of the bar

and start trying to write

but the free cheap

bank pen only gives

ink in fits and starts

before blowing up

like the laughter

of bankers. So I’m

glad when the bar

girl gives me hers.

It’s good to look busy

when the bottom-

feeder dancers start

sizing up my loneliness,

because the bottom one

slides over and asks if

I’d like some company. So

I squeeze out a slight

smile and mutter “no thanks

but it’s nice of you to say

hello.” Then I feel bad

and sad to see her slink

away, because her and I

are really together in

the same circle in

Darwin’s Inferno.

But even so, pity and

empathy don’t override

natural selection, so I

keep writing what no one

wants to read while the

Brat doll keeps laughing and

flashing those long black

lashes of hers at the lonely

old cracka’ she’s still working

on.

 

 

 

 

 

Why Most Contemporary Writers Suck

There’s more than one reason why my pen name is an amalgamation of the names of a couple of dead writers. Put simply, dead writers do it better…in most cases anyway. OK, I’ll explain: in our totalitarian, viciously-contemporary anti-culture, living writers simply can’t tell the truth, not the whole sad bag-of-kittens truth anyway–not if they want to stay employed, earn enough to feed the strays, and maybe even enough to treat themselves to a lap dance now and then.

But before you go and assume that these are mere bitter words spewed out after sucking sour grapes, allow me to elaborate. Under my “real” name, I’ve won second place in two university writing contests, earned an advanced English degree, and a bunch of literary mags (print and online) have picked up my stories and poems over the years, a few of them are even deemed “prestigious” by those who like to deem things. Not exactly the best creds, but not the worst either.

So why am I complaining? It’s because I’ve learned the hard way that to tell the truth and stay employed, a writer today has to use a pen name. Blame it on “PC’ culture or the insanely-delusional and pablum-preferring masses; but whatever the ultimate causes, the effect is clear: IF you write the truth about people or yourself today, there’s a good chance that you’ll end up experiencing the plight of homeless cats first hand.

The masses of people have always been delusional, vicious, and hypocritical; but at least sometimes they allowed their writers and social critics to tell the truth, if only because subconsciously they wanted to hear the truth. In the 19th Century, Fyodor Dostoyevsky may have been put in front of a firing squad, but he was reprieved at the last minute by the Tsar. And his fellow Russians loved him in his own lifetime for revealing their collective hypocrisy, insanity, and occasional flashes of humanity.

In the 20th Century, Charles Bukowski may have been put in front of the post office employee review board for his brutally honest “underground” newspaper columns, but in the end they let him keep his slave job. And now the poetry and fiction sections of every good book store hold his many titles, to the undying horror and envy of most MFA instructor-authors, and to the credit of his fearless publisher John Martin and the free market.

Anyway, most writers today suck for the same reason that Seinfeld said that comedy is being killed by political correctness: those who tell it like it is these days are all-too-often marginalized and/or castigated. It’s an extreme expression of kill-the-messenger syndrome. After all, it’s easier to kill a messenger than to deal with the ugliness of unvarnished reality.

But I’m not killed so easily. Believe me, many have tried, in one way or another. So I think I’ll just keep telling it like it is and how I think it ought to be. And if truth can be likened to a bag of unwanted kittens that many would like to see drowned, I think I’ll just untie that bag and let those kittens run free.