I think your wrong about Bukowski.
he's great. you just have to sift through
piles of his drunken bullshit to find the
occasional corn kernel, but trust me,
they're there, I've found them. you should
go back and try it again.
when I read his stuff it's like I'm right
there in his crappy apartment at 3:00a.m.
sitting on his Goodwill couch watching
things go from bad to worse and when
I go to the kitchen to get some more beers
and flick on the light and get dirty looks from
interrupted cockroaches I don't feel sad that
I have no reason to leave and nowhere else to go.
it's not what you write about,
it's how you write about it.
the train conductor who counts his sober
moments down to the hours just told me he
loves Bukowski, read him all the time when
he was drinking too much in North Beach and
thinks he should go back and read him again.
he was smiling too hard and talking too fast
and I was glad he wasn't driving the train.
when I congratulated him for putting himself on
the right track, all the excitement left his body
and he dropped his head and mumbled some Bill W.
bullshit about facing your demons instead of living
with them. You could tell he really missed visiting that
I didn't have the heart to tell him
that going back and reading Bukowski
probably wasn't the best idea for him
but for you
try it again.
for B. M.
Ken Owen Van Niddy Press November 2015