“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.
Six Ft. Swells Press, memorial department