“Sometimes you just have to pee in the sink.” - Charles Bukowski
Charles Bukowski is still my favorite poet and I don't care who knows it.
He lived a crazy life and he wasn't afraid to plainly put the sordid details down on paper for the whole world to read. He spit out his pains and emotions without it sounding contrived or cliched. He found a way to do it that was captivating. He had a way of drawing the reader into his wild world.
His life was full of booze, cigarettes, weed, women, crappy jobs, old cars, bad apartments, horse races and the torture that is often writing. In many ways reading his work reminds me of my late grandfather, who was among other things, a man of that generation and a partier extrordinaire.
Most all of his life was spent in the Los Angeles suburb of San Pedro, a hilly, run down old fishing town bordered by the ocean, Palos Verdes and dirty oil refineries. I spent five years of my life in San Pedro, before I had ever heard of Charles. He is buried in a San Pedro cemetary, just over the hill from my father-in-law, another man of that ilk. So, knowing that place as I do, and understanding Southern California, I feel connected to Charles for that reason, as well as for the fact that I too am a struggling writer. I too have battled personal demons. I too have found myself with a huge hangover in the morning after a long night of writing and listening to music in the heat of the summer.
Here's to you, Hank. Thank you for your words.