Tag Archives: bukowski

so you want to be a writer?

Charles Bukowski
if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
fame,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
else,
forget about it.
if you have to wait for it to roar out of you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.
if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend or your parents
or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.
don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of people
who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self- love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still
would drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.
when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.
there is no other way.
and there never was.
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Haven’t felt like writing much… just reading. Whatever I can get my hands on really. Getting deep into the hefty Kerouac my allies at MEC shipped me off with when I fled the coop. Plowing through the Surf Survival Handbook. Re-reading the final chapter of my how-to-get-movies made book.

And of course, there’s Bukowski. There’s always Bukowski. The Last Night of the Earth Poems tucks me to bed. This one in particular turned me on so much, I’m compelled to immortalize here.

the man with the beautiful eyes

charles bukowski

when we were kids
there was a strange house
all the shades were
always
drawn
and we never heard voices
in there
and the yard was full of
bamboo
and we liked to play in
the bamboo
pretend we were
Tarzan
(although there was no
Jane).
and there was a
fish pond
a large one
full of the
fattest goldfish
you ever saw
and they were
tame.
they came to the
surface of the water
and took pieces of
bread
from our hands.

read on

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