Here’s what’s going on outside

11-18-08.jpg picture by pemerytx



Here’s what’s going on inside:


It’s time for a change.  The look is too stark, too white, a promoter of milquetoast.  Apprehension is allowed to run willy-nilly while its synonymic buddy Trepidation quivers and pees in the corners.  There is a scarcity of attitude and therefore a deficit of it-ness.  There’s an absence of color and therefore a lack of black.


Change has been happening.  The feel, the aura, has been working itself out since the sites and aims days.  Feels like Whippet on the way to Tibetan Mastiff.  Maybe this is just the boof and whimper of a small dog’s dream, but something is happening.  Something’s working its way up from the silt in pangs timed seven hours apart.


In my twenties when I got this feeling, like something significant was going on, I only felt sent for but unable to go, as my grandmother used to say in so many words.  I only felt an impatience that I couldn’t nail down and a sense of hope that this whatever-it-was would provide its own vehicle for whatever-it-wanted-to-do.  That was in the vicinity of Confusion, this is in the infinity of Blogworld.


I may join Mrs. Giovanna in the cuckoo’s nest, put her blue/black birds in the header of a page as dark as the Club De Ville, and bear upon it the fruits of creative writing as taught by Bukowski.  Or, from an aside of thick grey, nearly black, I may fix my one green eye on the temporariness of life and the other permanently dilated eye on the wisdom of a conventional teacher.  Either way, I’ve got to find a way to not try to be.


bukowski05.jpg picture by pemerytx


If I taught creative writing, Charles Bukowsi


now, if you were teaching creative

writing, he asked, what would you

tell them?

I’d tell them to have an unhappy love

affair, hemorrhoids, bad teeth

and to drink cheap wine,

to keep switching the head of their

bed from wall to wall

and then I’d tell them to have

another unhappy love affair

and never to use a silk typewriter


avoid family picnics

or being photographed in a rose


read Hemingway only once,

skip Faulkner

ignore Gogol

stare at photos of Gertrude Stein

and read Sherwood Anderson in bed

while eating Ritz crackers,

realize that people who keep

talking about sexual liberation

are more frightened than you are.

listen to E. Power Biggs work the

organ on your radio while you’re

rolling Bull Durham in the dark

in a strange town

with one day left on the rent

after having given up

friends, relatives and jobs.

never consider yourself superior and /

or fair

and never try to be.

have another unhappy love affair.

watch a fly on a summer curtain.

never try to succeed.

don’t shoot pool.

be righteously angry when you

find your car has a flat tire.

take vitamins but don’t lift weights or jog.

then after all this

reverse the procedure.

have a good love affair.

and the thing

you might learn

is that nobody knows anything–

not the State, nor the mice

the garden hose or the North Star.

and if you ever catch me

teaching a creative writing class

and you read this back to me

I’ll give you a straight A

right up the pickle





bukowski and typewriter from


bukowski poem clipped from

7 responses to “Here’s what’s going on outside

  1. Duchess of Muchness: There is so much to love in this delicious meditation, not least of which is the heart and honesty of its author. Wonderful reckonings of transformation, reckonings of the cosmic Braxton-Hicks tremors at play. Your grandmother is now in my Hall of Fame for that gorgeous sentiment. Beats the hell out of that dog don’t hunt by a landslide.

    Methinks for some reason you are not quite at the chronological doorstep of Saturn’s second return, as is the self-absorbed narcissist. I quaked a bit this morning, when I realized that I am on the stoop once again, but with Ms. Mood’s guidance perhaps I can navigate around that landmass a bit less dramatically than the last time. At any rate, know that all your readership is out here wishing you the very best, though I would go Neopolitan not Tibetan on that mastiffing. Love, peace, and soul, sister.

  2. Lord help me, DOM: As if I didn’t need another brother/sister-spirited website to prowl: now you send me to Misanthropy Today, where I find several of my separated at birth siblings have housed themselves, just waiting for my curmudgeonly anti-Jill Clayburgh alter to join the host personality (or host of personalities) and the partay goin’ on. I shoulda never stepped into the tarbaby of that Bukowski link: thank goodness it’s my off period.

    Rest assured, I’ll now be downloading my lesson plans from the Moliere-ists.

  3. I once heard a window described as ‘the most generous of things’, which I like, as against a solid wall.
    And then there is that proverbial ‘window of opportunity’.
    What gets me is that opportunity seems to only knock upon a door, and must be answered there.
    The choice of sitting by the window or actually going through the door, I think, is the artist’s life issue. Like in so many choices, Life (the GOOD life) hangs in the balance. Or is this just another non-artist’s cop-out? … love your site!

  4. This resonated with my own seasonal tugs and the subterranean quickening I only notice with the arrival of winter’s first blanketing snows.

    Maybe it’s time for something more than Bukowski.
    Looking forward to hearing more…

  5. Thanks for the confirmation on the confusion bit, BJ! I got the big communion gush from it :-) And I got a soft spot for the typewriter, though mostly because the likes of Bukowski would use none other (personally, I couldn’t deal without cut and paste, etc.). And, because you tagged the doorstep first yesterday, you get the door prize: my undying appreciation ;-)

    Man, Paschal, lately you’re doing me like Roberta Flack’s young stranger. Strumming my ego with the best title for me you’ve come up with to date, singing as if you know me in all my dark despair, killing me softly because you’re a merciful dude… I don’t know how you’ll be when Saturn returns to smack you upside the haid, though ;-) If anyone’s magic will work, though, it’s Devil Mood’s. The Divine Ms. Mood… Just repeating those four words will start it for you, just like “Goosfraba” did for Dave Buznik. I’m quite a way away from SR2, so that’s not what’s fixing to pounce, but I’m glad you brought it up. It prompted a trip back to SR1. A lot happened. I moved to TX to start my big telecom career, took a big step in my growing up process, and met the guitar guru and the pilot, two big influences in my life. But you, right now, pre-SR2 pounce, just look how ecstatic you are with tell-tale smudges of misanthropy all over your neck and collar! This is just another example of how the universe works. I drop a line, you get snagged, and you’re off and rolling in today’s misanthropic mud as happy as a French pig in truffles. Unlike the Neopolitan thing, which simply can’t happen, Paschal. Not all jowels like Dylan’s jelly-faced museum ladies, it can’t, it musn’t! Now that’s a dog what kin hunt but don’t!

    What poetically presented pondering points, Bass! They were delightful at first. I knew the answer at first, which was this: as nice as is is to sit demurely by the window with Emily Dickenson, your musings make me feel like tearing all wild out the door after the likes of Kerouac, Bukowski, and Thompson, to suck up some heavy duty, derriere-kicking life experiences. But soon your good points became as an exacting Zen master hitting me with a stick for answering when there is no answer. The trick, I had said, snaps back to an individual’s intuitive ability to listen to innate rhythm, to be painfully aware of personal sine qua nons, and to fully allow those to be guides to their right life. For, I asked, if a person has not come to earth acutely, intensely equipped with those particular abilities then can they be true artists? Smack. Not another word. Not so much balance. And no enlightenment for me today. Only the continued thought that a true artist will burst out of life to live their expression.
    On all of that, you’re a poet, and perhaps might enjoy a piece on Emily D in an old August “The New Yorker” (if you’ve not already discovered it) also online here.
    And of course, I’ve got the blush-and-glow over you loving this site. I hope you’ll like it just as much in darker colors :-)

    anno: that I’ve not pinned down that particular tug may be due to my overwhelming dislike of the time change. My thoughts go like Velcro loops to hooks to the disturbing loss of daylight hours and I can see naught else, OK, not much else. And as I pretend, on the one hand, not to compute your more than Bukowski comment, on the other I’ll tell you of my inquiry to SUNY the other day regarding study. A funny thing about that is a comment I wrote on Devil Mood’s site this past July telling her I felt I was about to hit the wall, that I was close to maxing out what I knew about writing and would soon need to scramble after more knowledge, and I think the time is now. And even if I were wrong about the maxing out point, I can’t be wrong about the fidgeting that’s getting pushier, more desirous of the stuff that I don’t know but do know is out there to be known :-) So I think you’ll be hearing more. I hope so, and that it will be even better over the course of 2009. I just wanna run with the fully matriculated big dawgs like you and Paschal ;-)

  6. On the one hand, I think Bukowski is right: there is no certain prescription for writing; the only way to learn is to read, live, dream, write, and repeat the cycle. That’s the kind of helpful assistance I used to offer my own suffering freshman comp students. But then, I was a crummy writing teacher, which is one reason I’m glad I’ve discovered math.

    On the other, I’ve also seen that a good teacher — and a good class — can encourage people to stay with the process and inspire them work outside their usual style/forms/whatever. I hope you find the good kind at SUNY. And, yes, I’m looking forward to hearing more…

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