Where it is

The daily nightmares

keep coming

like them always have

like they always will:

dead animals

in the road,

endless scams,

both virtual

and in-your-face,

watching the

worthless

and the evil

scooping up

goodies,

age after age,

and of course,

like Siddhartha

said: sickness,

old age,

and death.

But

there are moments

that present

themselves

nearly everywhere

that often go

unlived

even though

they offer us what

we’ve really been

looking for

all along.

This morning

after feeding

the cats, I put

the water pot

on the burner

to to make

coffee. I was

in a hurry to

go and cancel

my credit card

after that “free

CBC oil you only

pay shipping

scam.” But after

preparing my cup,

one of

my black cats

jumped up on

the kitchen

table and cried

like she does

when she wants to

jump in my lap;

so I plopped down

in the chair

sipped my coffee

as she purred and

made biscuits with

her paws against

my chest. Slow sip

after sip, sitting

there in the semi-

dark, and feeling

each breath,

I realized

that there was

nowhere I’d rather

be and no

greater

moment

to be sought.

 

— Fyodor Bukowski

 

 

 

Are You the Same Person Who Came in Through the Door?

I tried to concentrate

on the words of the

Buddhist giving his

dharma talk. But the

dog outside kept

barking, and the fat

cat named Karma kept

purring on my lap. I

liked the purring, and

though I like dogs too,

the constant barking

was really too much.

But at the time I scolded

myself for being bothered

it and surmised that I just

wasn’t enlightened enough.

So I peeled my eyes from

the fantastic ass of the

nubile young woman sitting

lotus style in front of me,

and put them back onto the

Buddhist giving the dharma

talk. “You’re Not the Same

Person who Came in Through

the Door Only Moments ago,”

he said before explicating

that we are not really

separate, discreet entities,

and that the only thing that’s

constant is change, etc. I’m

sure you’ve heard it all before,

in one form or another, “Each

man is your brother, ” et al.

Well, in a purely scientific

sense, I may not be exactly

the same man now as the one

who’d walked into that

Buddhist temple so many

years ago, but I still can’t stand

dog owners who tie their dogs

up on short leashes for extended

periods of time, to the point

where they bark incessantly

for help. And something in

the wisdom of the blood still

knows that a young woman’s ass

is worth more than any

philosophical stuff. And yeah,

the dog belonged to the jerk who

gave the dharma talk.

 

— Fyodor Bukowski, author of Mail-Order Annie

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

What Makes a Writer Worth Reading? (For the Dope Who Compared Sam Pink to Charles Bukowski)

After writing my novel, I wanted to show it to people I admire–especially successful literary writers whose works have given me hope and strength. The problem was that THOSE writers are dead.

Charles Bukowski, the bar brawler who had the courage to tell the truth AND the compassion to stick up for animals, died in 94. Not only did he reveal the true face of humanity, but he rescued cats and wrote some powerful poems about them.

Jack Kerouac, granddaddy of the Beats, whose poetic prose and haiku helped open Western minds to animal-friendly Buddhism, drank himself to death in ’69. Not even fame and success could put him at peace with samsaric existence. (In BIG SUR, he laments even the deaths of a beaver and a mouse.)

I could name others. But all of the writers whom I deem GREAT had two things going for them: honesty and compassion…and not necessarily in that order. From Issa, the Japanese haiku master, who recognized all life forms as fellow travelers, to the aforementioned Charles Bukowski, they pulled no punches; yet they all grieved, each in his or her own way, over the suffering of sentient beings.

Of course, to be fair, there ARE writers today who write like it is and who have compassion for animals, and I know a few of them. But they, like me, languish in obscurity–at least the ones I’m aware of. We read and support each other, but really, there’s not a lot we can do to further each other’s writing careers.

Which is why I was happy to read a tweet from a Charles Bukowski fan, which stated, more or less, that fans of CB will like the novels of Sam Pink. So soon I was reading his novel RONTEL. It began well enough, but then, only 9% into the Kindle ebook, came the following:

“In the square of dirt around the tree, a dead cat lay on its side. The carcass was beat the fuck up…First thing I thought was that someone had “peeled out” on top of it…That seemed funny to me–someone “peeling out” on a dead cat. ”

Now I don’t know Sam Pink. He might be an OK guy. He may even have a cat (or more) of his own and be good to him or her. But after reading those lines lines, I would have thrown the book down, but of course that would have ended my Kindle. I just stopped reading him.

As someone who has rescued cats and is always at war, in one way or another, with the creatures called “human beings” who are unnecessarily cruel towards animals, I can’t tolerate that kind of writing. And I knew at once that this is just another overblown author who some publisher was moronic enough to publish, and who some reader is ignorant enough to compare favorably to the late, great Charles Bukowski.

So I guess I’ll just go back to my dead authors…

–FB