Tag Archives: poets

BUK rhymes with PUKE

Don't Try

“A poem is often something that is only necessary toward one man–the writer.  It’s often a perfect form of selfishness.  Let’s not credit ourselves too much.  Garage mechanics are more human than we are.”  –Bukowski

Happy Birthday Bukowski!  You old fuck.  It is no secret that us here at Six Ft. Swells Press wave the Bukowski flag proudly.  What can we say?  We love the old, ugly bastard, he was a good duker, as he’d say.  Those of us here, had connected with Buk separately at different times and very different places in life but when we finally found one another under the neons, we were already halfway there in friendship as soon as the first of us threw out a quote from Love is a Dog from Hell or Women.  It was immediate recognition that we were in the presence of someone true, someone who understood.   The booze has flowed freely ever since and we are all the better for it.

There have been years of laughter and lewdness, years of blood, stitches in the morning, broken parts at midnight and car titles lost at bars.  We have had marriages (one that lasted), love affairs, lost loves; loves we thought were lost but found again in the strangest places, childbirths (hell even the mighty Bukowski had a daughter), tremendous arguments and even better make ups, travels across the country and quiet evenings at home just sitting on the couch with a bottle between us.  But always a Bukowski book never far out of reach.  We always return to you Buk for good or ill.  All of your pain, wickedness, clarity, grossness, self-confidence, honesty, bravado and lust.  And why?  The Pabst Blue Ribbon tells me because you make us believe we can do it, or you cut the shit and tell us to hang it up.  Either way, we listen.  and perhaps that’s the beauty in it all.  A voice that makes us listen.  Perhaps that’s what an artist should strive for.

So, in honor of your birthday Charles, the three masted ship that is Six Ft. Swells raise a glass to you from New Orleans, Louisiana, Nevada City, California and Portland, Oregon.  Who knows, one of us may get in a fight or get laid tonight….now that’s a tribute.

Don’t Try,

Six Ft. Swells Press, memorial department


Filed under Drinking, Poetry, Publishing, Small Press, The Writer's Life, Uncategorized, Writer's Block, Writing

Dear, This Year: It’s Not Me, It’s You.

To hell with you, this year. I didn’t even like you anyway. Never did. The whole silly string beginning, out in the cold and the dark, the crap getting stuck in my hair. And where was he when it was time to kiss? He might have/should have been there. I’m sure he was. See, that’s the thing, it wasn’t memorable for me, and it was a bucketload of disappointment for my loved ones. Which could very well be me. Who can tell the difference? That’s what I’m talking about. The whole damn blurry year of one-handed standouts, and the rest is a whirl of nothing. My intention was not to talk shit about 2012 as I plunder toward the last 12 minutes of its stupid life. But I can’t help it. It’s the Jaeger talking. My friend told me once that she gets mean when she drinks Jaeger. I thought she got more friendly and grabby. But it doesn’t matter now.

Everyone in my small household is asleep because they don’t give a flying fig about the year turning a year older. They’d rather dream on soft pillows. So who’s up to face it head on, with only the sound of the ticking of the clock and the clicking keyboard, small glass to the side? That’s right, the poet. This is a night for poets–not lovers making new promises, or businessmen looking forward to another prosperous year–if that’s what they do–no, it’s a night only fit for poets. We are the brave. We are the ones who notice the small details of things, inconsequential or not, and take them to heart. Even a whole year of things. When we’re alone as the clock winds down to midnight, we feel it the most. We know exactly who’s with us, and who’s not. We raise our glasses the highest and drink the fastest. We don’t know where in the hell the next year will take us, but we’ll ride it bareback, galloping into its horizon because something beautiful may be waiting for us there.

The big turning of the clock hands came and went. A few firecrackers whistled their goodbyes on my quiet street. Dick Clark is gone, gone, gone, which I think is sad, and I don’t care what you say. Somewhere a big glittery ball dropped. I’m sure young couples in their early 20’s timed their daily screw to hit right at the big, climactic finish, because we’ve all done that at least once. And now, nada. Silence. Not even crickets. An empty glass, to mark an empty year. And here is my New Year’s resolution: I’m not making any goddammed new year’s resolutions. Que sera, sera. A poet takes what comes and turns it into something to drink about. That’s what I’ll always say.

So adios, inconsequential year. When you have something nice to say, some new secrets, interesting love affairs, and surprising bursts of passion and inspiration for me and my friends, you know where to find us. We’re the suckers staying up at all hours waiting to clutch those very moments in our grasp. Tonight is no different than any other night in that regard.

And guess what, friends? Tomorrow we get another chance to find what we seek. It doesn’t matter what dumb year it is. Poets love tomorrows more than anything. Well, we also love “nows” when they are filled with aformentioned things…. The Jaeger Talking is getting rambly. Not mean, though. No, no. Not ever that. Handsy, yes. Sloppy, maybe. But I don’t have to walk far.

My pillow is calling me….



Filed under Drinking, Poetry, The Writer's Life, Writing