Would You Suggest Writing as a Career? (1 Viewer)

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Know Your Rank And Where To File It

Well, well
We told you to move in groups of four
And you didn't listen
We told you
How to find what's lost
First you have to know what
Is even damn missing
We also told you
To know your rank
And where to file it
Fourth place
Didn't even get a medal
Shoulda moved in groups of four
Shoulda could woulda
blubba blubba blubba
Throw your knife in the floor and have another beer
No, wait
Have two more beers
Try not to think about
Where fairies go
You know damn well it's no place for good people
Good people, who?
Like you and I and I and you
There, I rhymed, shut up

Wheat Toast According To Fungus

I have some wheat bread. It's some brand where they try to make you think it's pure wheat, ground up and made into bread by Romans. It's pretty good, but the crust kinda tastes like some dirt. But, like, a pretty decent wheat bread crust just with some dirt on it. Not bad. On it is some type of margerine. White-ish yellow-ish stuff. It's kinda salty and sweet but mostly, it's just something you put on bread because it sounds good. Well heck yes I'd like some bread and butter. Just like a good cup of coffee. I have an ok cup of black instant coffee. Store brand, pretty strong. I put an ice cube in it. Tastes about as close to coffee as instant coffee can taste. Some lady on the AM radio station just said "baby" a bunch of times. At the end, she held a note out. It was pretty long. Probably longer than I would have held it out, but I didn't sing on the song. In the song that's on now, the man is glad that some girl went somewhere with him. He told her that he was glad a few times, and also where they would go and what they would do. Sounds pretty nice, I suppose. This pen seems to be running out of ink. Not that the pen is actually running out of anything. It can't own or posess anything. It is just a pen. And then there is the ink inside of the pen. There is less ink inside this pen than there used to be, and soon, it won't be enough to make the pen work. Actually, there seems to be no problem with the pen. I think it sounds like a good idea to walk to the library. I'm leaving to go do that. Right now.


Professor - that is fucking hysterical !

I just came across this long-forgotten masterpiece. Notice how, in the second stanza, I use the British spelling of "grille", but fail to use the British term for air-conditioner - thereby confusing our friends across the pond. I still don't know if there even IS a British term for air conditioner, but when you're cranking out a masterpiece, you don't have to care. Dig my genius-ness everyone......


overnight i will
sleep in the cool air
of my apartment
thanks to

the window unit
banging and blowing
sweet streams of comfort
through its broken grille

a pawn-shop rescue
faithful to the end

outside July is murderous
and feasting on the sweat
of stray dogs and newlyweds
sucking their breath
through tunnels of vapor
and spitting it back
into tiny
black cauldrons

it is night out there
but no one is resting.
You know, some of these poems aren't that bad, actually. And I admit, once when I was unemployed and depressed, I started writing a lot of Bukowski-inspired poetry. I'll have to search through my things to find it, but hopefully, you will get something from me in the future.
The Missing Eye Test

Would I treat
the same,
would she be as
in my mind
if she had
only one
and I could see
the muscles inside
pink as a
Life is that spark hidden within brief moments
that feeling of uber-consciousness
when you're on that road and a song is in pure synchrony
with every atom of your body
pulsing, invincible
not a memory that you're clinging to or a future you're dreaming of, but
right now, with all of your senses heightened;
you're aware of every nuance of your world at that exact moment
and your heart races.

It's in a song, in those words you write that have to escape
it's in your first kiss, first fuck, first love
it's in those times when all of your control cannot tether
your anger,
and you act instinctively, unbound, raw.
Its all of your glories, all of your mistakes
all of your reactions against the world.

Those are your life
those are what you crave,
those that total in the seconds but sustain you
in the years in-between.
Those are what I'm determined to find again,
not this stale, preformed existence.
I second that, and i guess it also really works.
All you need is a small spoon...hold still and trust me.
...but first, try telling her that you just did quit your job and
now its her turn to see:
What a wonderful world, what a wonderful world,
what a wonderful world,


I'm not as good in poetry
nor in drinking
nor survival
but quite as good in losing control
as I proof tonight
and again
and ...

Godfather forgive me.
Or don't.
I'm tired.



stop the penistry
actually, southerngentleman's poem is pretty cool - regardless of being drunk-written or buk-inspired.

hooch, i've been regularly checking your blog for ages - when are going to put some new work up for your fans??

roni, put down your pernod and go to sleep ;)

she's on the bus from chinatown
heading for Boston
"Now I think I'll pack my things and go back for good"
the lady in the hospital said, "Did you ever sleep on a park bench?"
"What kind of question is that?" she asks.
what kind of shrink dresses like that I think
"Well anyone would feel that way in your shoes"
i say that about a 100 times a week
what else can I say?
in her shoes
her shoes are a little bigger than mine
they have to be
to hold the weight
of all that pain
i sob when I put the sheet on that guy in the hospital
his eyes were red from crying
the handcuffs on his hands and feet look kind of fake
but they aren't
the police said he was crying and breaking up his apartment
something happened
it doesn't take much
we know too well
we look at each other
the other guy kept asking, "What time do they serve lunch?"
she looks upset when she realizes
this is
all real
i thought we were in the right place
we were both afraid to use the bathroom
she is on the bus heading for Boston
that's a separate problem
she said the bus smells like fish
I Expected
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As Buk said numerous times: Writing CHOOSES you. It is a disease in the truest sense of the word. You either write what comes to mind or you go mad.

I'm going mad, currently. The only thing I ever wrote that just came to me was a short, unfinished piece of fiction based on a video game I played for a short spell. It was about a tyrant in Egypt, and the violence I described was so brutal I was shocked I had it in me, and scared that my mother might find it and disown me completely (this is highly unlikely as it was on my password-protected computer).
I think this pretty much sums up my argument. This is the reason why I write. I do it because I must, if it leads to a career, then so be it.

sifting through the madness for the Word, the line, the way
by charles bukowski

so you want to be a writer?
my favorite of his.

And just like it says, I do it because if I didn't I'd go crazy. It's my fire.
Interesting thread...

For me, I'd never really thought about being a writer at all until I was 23 years old. Yes, I'd read some Bukowski by then. But writing was more like a hawk that landed on my windowsill, and just kept tapping at the glass until I let him in. Writing soon became the way I processed everything. I had to get that line down, slam it into the page. I had a typewriter then, and I just banged away. Most of the stuff was crap, and I knew it and threw great slag heaps of it away. But a few pages I kept. When I had 4 poems that I really liked, I made 4 sets of photocopies and sent them off to 4 different mags (all of whom didn't mind simultaneous submissions). As luck had it, each mag accepted a different poem. So I was batting 1000, and had only written 4 pieces. Naturally, I was hooked.

Then for a year I could hardly get a thing published. Most likely because I was writing for publication rather than for myself. So I dug deep and started again, just writing from the gut. Of course, the less I concerned myself with publication, the better the poems became. Within a few years I'd published about 50 pieces, and just kept going from there.

Buk was a big influence during this time. I kept trying to find his world in mine, and since I was already a drunk, the search wasn't too difficult. I think tho that there were (and are) alot of college kids who think they can get the writing done without living the life. They talk to a wino or two in the street and think they're pro's. That's unfortunate because they really muddy the waters for everyone. I drank quite few of these guys under the bar in the 1980s.

When I'd been drunk nearly every day for 9 or 10 years, I was separated from my first wife, and most of my friends were strippers and bartenders. Even then, I was just beginning. And I kept sending the poems out. I think, overall, I've had about 200 poems published in about 100 magazines. Someone in this thread mentioned Joan Jobe Smith and Pearl. I was in that one, back in the 80s. A few others included Mudfish, New York Quarterly, Gargoyle, and West Branch.

During this time I married my 2nd wife, who is also a writer, and we lived in a group house with another couple, also writers. In '95 I got a state grant for a manuscript of poems, which I finished, but no publisher wanted it, so it went into a shoebox. My wife and I hosted a few poetry series in the mid-90s, and I got a job writing ad copy for a publishing company.

Then somewhere in 2001, the hawk flew away, and I couldn't write a word. Everything that came out was bitter, full of bile, but not in a funny or artistic way. I'd just become a guy screaming on a streetcorner. And worse, I couldn't blame the booze. Health problems had forced me to quit in '95. I was just a sober guy who couldn't write. And the world has plenty of those. So, with the rare exception, I gave it up, at least creatively. My line of work demands that I continue writing copy for book jackets and advertising brochures, nothing that would make Buk proud.

These days, I spend most of my time helping to raise my baby girl. Which beats all hell out of warming a barstool.

So there you have it.

Now, one of my old poems...

Uncle Drunk

That's what mom called him
when he wasn't around.

Didn't have a job
didn't want one.
Just lived in the back room
on the third floor
of my grandparents' place
and smoked cigarettes

"Shameful," that's what
she said. "A terrible man."

He came to visit once
when I was about five
and I said it:
with a big grin
just like that.

There was silence
and then he laughed
a great joyful whisky laugh
so full and easy
I laughed too.

Never even saw her
backhand coming
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zoom man

Founding member
Buk's Fans' Poetry

I know there are tons of Poetry Forums
Where you submit and critique
(I've lurked, and laughed and l_____ed)
But it would be much more fun to narrow the playing field....

Poetry by fans of Bukowski.

I've really liked some I've seen->
In the Bukowsk Review, I think,
And that little Buk fan mag that I can't at this moment remember the name of (something real obvious too, ...)

And what would be the very coolest->
If we could anonymously rate each, like an individual poll or something
For each post.
Is that possible mjp?
(I'm computer challenged so really don't know, I mean look at my long-standing non-avatar ;))

So, only 1 poem per post
And if we can't somehow 'rate' them,
I don't know,
Maybe,... hell, I don't know

It would just be cool to both receive and give the truth.
I mean,
I wouldn't want anyone to get offended,
And I really feel like I know some of you crazy characters,
And I'd love to see if you write like I envision...
Just an idea,...

(not starting this thread with a poem of my own):D


Founding member
The thread is fine, the rating of the poems though, I would rather avoid, just to keep the peace.

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
I can not write, I am not a poet but I suppose that I use colors like words. A certain blue will show me Greece, will make me see blue birds, German blue eyes , the blue of a tile in a mosque, the indigo blue of a Japanese print, the blue of the blues ,the blue of black and blue, blue green , Yucatan blue, there I go, the blue of "Provence", the French blue, the Wegwood blue, the baby blue, sky blue forever. The colors fill my heart with so much joy and fear, colors bring back memories like cards in a deck. I grab a paint brush and smash it on a surface, smear the oil . The shapes seem to fall in a certain order. Oh! I am in Boston! I was in the idea of Boston. Was never really in Boston. Now it is moving fast, I am taken like a sailboat in the wind. There, that is it, see ?????? That is what I was trying to say. I spilled the beans for everyone to see. I mop the floor . Maybe a little yellow here, not that yellow, one with a little white in it, lighter, somewhere between egg yolk and a cotton ball plus a hair of red. Yeah with a hair of cerulean blue. Now I am in China for a very little while just long enough to evoque the breaking of my heart.
An Observation

Poets and prophets,
pundits and preachers,
are like assholes
is one
(at some point)
some are smooth
and pink
and clean
others are hairy
and bear the stench
of not quite
well enough.

as good a place as any to start a thread such as this.

zoom man

Founding member
Poets and prophets,
pundits and preachers,
philosophers,(an 'and', or a period (.) here)
are (all?)like assholes.
is one
(at some point)
some are smooth
and pink
and clean
others are hairy
and bear the stench
of not quite
well enough.

as good a place as any to start a thread such as this.
Indeed... maybe this could be the
'I'm looking for direction here' thread

Cool, that was cool...
maybe just adding our 'ideas' in red
Thanks a lot Rob
(especially liked 'pink', 'clean', 'smooth' and, well, yeah 'hairy' and 'stench' being 'balled":) into one trip)
Maybe I'm the only one on this forum that is NOT a writer?

Just think of a world where people read and wrote instead of watching American Idol and fretting over Paris Hilton's trials and tribulations.

What a world it would be....
Harder still to find a good word (in addition to a good show).
I will use the breaks, the 'and', and the punctuation. I'm not sure about the (all). That line is a play on the "excuses are like assholes" rant, and I kinda like it the way it is. I will try it on for size though.
Young Heart

As days drifted endlessly into weeks, weeks into months, months into years, and so on. I couldn't help but reminisce on things I endured a fondness and loss for. Things once here and now no longer. Like my first school boy crush in elementary class. Her name was Alicia, yes, I believe that was her name. We sat together for a whole grade. She had long brown hair that resembled the glossy brown of her writing desk. I sat to the left of her. And in a boyish devious way, full of innocence, I would steal glimpses of her attraction. My eyes would admire the way her shoes would tap-tap-tap when in deep thought on a problem, or just day dreaming, as students are prone of doing. I would watch the way she scribbled with her pencil with her soft pale hands, and letting them rest flaccid afterwards when a sentence or problem was completed. Often she would turn to me and ask to borrow a sheet of writing paper, and in my timorous love, I would give her a small stack. Praying in return for some type of affection. But like that writing paper, I was also discarded, along with my hopeless romanticism.

It was not that she chose to throw my love away, it was that I was terribly afraid of another person being able to see me so transparently. I always remained a safe distance from love while still being able to torture myself with its emotion. And I kept this pattern of loving or non-loving all through my growing ages. A fear, a fear of love. A fear of commitment. A fear of knowing and not knowing. A fear of rejection. A fear of hurt. A fear of blind unfoldings.

Now I am here twenty-five years of age and alone. Solitude is quite habitual to me. I no longer know how to act in a socially pleasing way to others without feeling like another soul. I spend most my days either blind drunk or sickly hung over. I've smoked copious amounts of cigarettes, and I often think about death. Not in a suicidal manner, but I doubt I could explain it in a more subtle way, so as to convince you that the noose is not already around my neck, right now.

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
I Am Not A Writer

I am not a writer, I am a painter, let's say I write with a brush dipped in oil, pigments and turpentine. Just the smell of it keeps me alive. I look at the thoughts going through my mind endlessly and life is so short. All these visions to process, all these scenes just for me by me. Sometimes I am one the actorss, sometimes a spectator.
The festival is on. The show is about to start. The tent flaps ripple in the rain. I can hear a sound check. A line up is forming by the pond and the children are squealing as the adults drop orders like weights, signing directions. All this to say with colors. I have to put it down at the bottom of a drawer, on paper or canvas. What a lucky dog in a meathouse I am, thinking to myself. Everything has been killed already for me, by my family and by the religion they had chosen for me. I killed what was left with my disease, my affliction. I am an image finder.
Let's relax now and think of the reason why I did'nt sleep much last night. Captain Slump was on my mind and had to get a new life. He was in need of cosmetic surgery. Last night was one of those precious evenings that Bukowski refers to in "The telephone" but a friend came by seeking a new face for the Captain. Free images please... for a project, for kiiiiids! I had to say YESSSS ! I had to push my visions out of the way to make room for the needed images. Children and more children that he could paste here and there on a screen for Slumpland. There was nothing solved by the morning.
Coming back to the festival scene. The rain is now pouding on the short crowd. A few clowns are hopping up and down the line ups with painted smiles on their stone faces. The kids can see the pain in their eyes and are afraid to be touched by the white gloves. A nightmare on stilts hobbles across the shimmering green grass. Sea doves are crouching through this hell, spotting the sandwich bags.
The tarps are stripes of red and crazy yellow. The gum boots shine like christmas lights, pink, green, yellow and blue. Umbrellas everywhere unfolding like giants flowers.
This is how it gets to be even with eyes wide open to the daily grind as my cat rubs its left canine against my bony ankle.
I am an image finder, Joe

Black Swan

Abord the Yorikke!
I'm going mad, currently. The only thing I ever wrote that just came to me was a short, unfinished piece of fiction based on a video game I played for a short spell. It was about a tyrant in Egypt, and the violence I described was so brutal I was shocked I had it in me, and scared that my mother might find it and disown me completely (this is highly unlikely as it was on my password-protected computer).

Pleeaze ! Ninjerk give us the Egyptian tyrant... LOL

i don't know how to reply to specific people

if life hands you lemons hop in your car, drive tothe store, buy some sugar,ice(if you dont have access to ice),spring water(i prefer fiji), and a pitcher. then make your damn lemonade

jose leitao

Charter Member
Founding member
I write a lot actually, though I've never been published. Some is in Portuguese, some in English which is a second language but not really as I probably have more books in english than Portuguese.

I use pen and paper most of the time, a small fraction is online. I don't do poems, but rather I like to polish small paragraphs depicting detailed real situations or stream of consciousness stuff.

Some examples: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 Short Story: Scars, 8 Short Story 2: Knots.

It's nothing much, but it's a sampler I guess.
the shower - no father luke.

when i was young i'd take long showers;
that lasted an hour or longer.

and i'd pray in the shower;
to God.

and tell him of all my sins,
to take care of my mother, dad, sister and cats.

it felt like a holy cleansing.

then one day my mother asked,
"why do you take such long showers Thomas?"

and my sister shouted in a teasing tone,
"he's jacking off!"

i was fourteen years old then;
i still take long showers,

but i no longer pray in there.

labor day - no father luke.

the rich sleep in today,
the poor wake up early and head to their mundane jobs.

the streets are less flooded,
the only traffic jam is the drunk driver who felt brave 5 minutes ago.

her keys jingle in the ignition,
like for whom the bell tolls.

and at work, we're workers on a holiday.

while the rich are enjoying the sales at stores,
we hustle for the rent, for the power bill, for survival.

and as we drive home,
it does not feel like a holiday.

but we are thankful that the traffic wasn't bad today.
i just wrote this

im failry new to bukowski, but the way he writes inspired myself as a writter to write a poem about a girl.

i want your honest opinions on this.
if you dont like it, tell mee why, i need constructive crit.

i havent titled it yet.

hre it is
The scheduled day was at its close
as i say my goodbyes to joe
i take the first left leading me down a series of winding roads,
the sun beating down on my poorly airconditioned chest
i never would have thoughtthat id find my place of solitude on the road home
Alone in my van
I let my mind wander
it goes where it pleases
sometimes to the days of the past,
sometimes to the days to come
but lately
i find myself more often than not,
thinking about you
sure i have my thoughts of work,
and the songs that seem to get so easily stuck in my head
but subconciously,
i drift off the road
and as i grasp the wheel to return to my path
i get caught up in the things we talk about
i wonder what life would be like with you in it,
i wonder if you wonder the same

as the vehicle of my mind continues to stray from the highway
i realize that i cant stop this new behavior,
and as i think on,
i declare that a man would have to be crazy to want to stop this
i slowly convinced myself that THIS (however dangerous and destructive) is what i want,
and that this is what i need

i feel the van skid,
and i feel it swerve
there are unfamilliar scraps of metal,
and glass
buried deep inside my skin
i can feel heat of the fire,
i can hear the screams of passersby
my head grows lighter from bloodloss
my vision gets hazy

All is calm now,
all is exactly how i left it

I ease my foot down on the brake pedal
as i pull into my driveway
i shut off the car,
step out into the sunlight,
i can see the red door
and i can smell teh summer air

I am home,
but i am not alone.
thanks for reading,

- clay
ProfessorRiffs said:
I have some wheat bread...
THAT is excellent! Very funny. My kind of shit.

I have always been a writer. Not necessarily a good one mind but people like my stuff and I have often been prompted to get my manuscripts in front of publishers. To me writing is a personal thing. An expression. It's nice to share it with others in the hope that they get enjoyment from your words. I've written hundreds of poems and seven draft novels along with countless short stories. Here is a poem I wrote in 1993.........

The accident
The club footed man fell over
he'd slipped on a biscuit
she baked the biscuit
the woman from number 43
She loved those biscuits

....and one from '97


We fall, fall
from grace with ease
and self preserving
Notions of love
filled with gin
and shandy
yet nonsense forms
and beasts eat words
from tongues of whores
and vile it seems
no shoes today
or pairs at least as
one will do
One with a sock
on my left foot
and a hat made of straw
and the suspicious
aroma of death prevails

Be at one they say
for the train comes now
to take your beans
and egg on face you smile
lucky and broke
fat arse swaggers
and purple bishop rises
a new dawn
beat that meat and
let fly white caviar
the fucking bitch
wants more

the whore!

not my best stuff but it's a little taster for now.
thanks for reading


Reading Bukowski encouraged me to consider writing. Most of my poems are pretty different from his, but here is one that is similiar to his style

when we were cavemen we all talked like this...

The bottle runs to a dribble.
The last suckle a perfume scented midrif
A fortifying sanity
In a ring of books
Scenes of winged cloven destruction flash as scythes
Skyborn doom trembles in my heart
trepidation as to my fate.

Charles was a pioneer
Of truisms.
"The earth is not round, it is flat,"
he would say.
"the writing is read in different directions,
in the east right to left, in the west
left to right. This is because the
people are trying to escape the end of
the world by reading away from it."

"god will take who he will
I was seven years old, he took my motha
I wanted to kill him but I'll catch him."

"He takes who he will"

"You meet Eve, then you'll know Steven."
Steve says. Charlie says

I think when we were cavemen everyone talked like "uh uh uh uh'


Bukowski's writing inspires me and uninspires me to write at the same time. It makes me want to mop the floor with him, because at my best I'm a lot better than Bukowski. But at the same time, my values conflict with his strengths as a writer. He simplifies literature into intellectual baby food, and it loses some of its toughness because it's been filtered for meaning. That leaves me a little uninspired, that this guy could have just taken a piss and called it literature.
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Founding member
postino said:
...at my best I'm a lot better than Bukowski. He simplifies literature into intellectual baby food, and it loses some of its toughness because it's been filtered for meaning.
Wow. Well, in that case you should have your own forum. You shouldn't be wasting your time here, wallowing in the slop with your intellectual inferiors. It's a crime, really.


postino said:
Bukowski's writing inspires me and uninspires me to write at the same time. It makes me want to mop the floor with him, because at my best I'm a lot better than Bukowski. But at the same time, my values conflict with his strengths as a writer. He simplifies literature into intellectual baby food, and it loses some of its toughness because it's been filtered for meaning. That leaves me a little uninspired, that this guy could have just taken a piss and called it literature.

then why are you here? I would not waste my time on a forum devoted to the writings of someone that I thought was crap....

And why the avatar that says "viva Bukowski"?



Art should be its own hammer.
Reaper Crew
Founding member
I think postino is just trying to get us to read his blog.
hey, why didn't I think of that?
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