Suicide

I’ve done it

in my mind

so long ago…

The bad guys

kept winning,

and the angels

kept dying. So

I did it in my

mind, though

I let my body live

for my mom’s sake

and for the cats.

But the body

still lives and

even breathes

sometimes. Coffee

is good, and music,

and reading the

words of the great

dead ones too. As for

the rest of you, with

your ball games

and your lawns,

I leave you to

the hell that idiocy

and cowardice

have carved out

for you, as I

stride, ghost

that I am,

through your

once-proud

dying days.

 

— Fyodor Bukowski

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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