“Corny Stuff”

One of my favourite pieces of writing by Charles Bukowski comes from his correspondence with Sheri Martinelli.

It’s a short account of his haemorrhoidectomy and it’s quintessential Buk.

It goes:


the month of March is over. I went into the hospital on the 2nd., was sliced on the 3rd., and there was a bit of horror and disbelief—locked in with the whining crowd. and their T.V. sets and many of them with imagined ills, only wanting the great Mother because society has cut their balls off and they have lost touch with the undiscovered and important gods. no souls—just mouths, bodies pewking the misery of the sell-out. the bit of pain from the knives was nothing compared to being locked-in with them! at least on the job, you know that in a dozen hours you will be walking down the street alone—4 a.m.—with the last of the moon sinking into your skin and bones, the quiet air giving you no con-game… you slowly fill again, you go home. the mirror is hell, but that’s where you came from. but there’s always that stirring inch LEFT! that something you held all the way through. a seed. a lucky charm. love. guts. spinach. you name it. you know it. but in a hospital—that’s it. they’ve got you—(the docs and the nurses and the patients)—to talk to, fondle, slice, arrg. but I found me a little Mexican mop-up girl—all eyes and sadness, we had some laughs, corny stuff, I’d say, “Hey sweetie, you come to mop my white socks again?” “do they need it?” “oh yeah, once lightly!” and the little wench mopped my socks again! laughing. I always seem to meet these little Mexican girls working at dirty jobs, for nothing. beautifully real and easy. “If I could get out of this bed I’d chase you all around the room!” “why don’t you try it, you might catch me!” silly stuff, I guess. she’s 25 years younger than I am. old horny goat, Buk. but a lift. sure. she brought me a new pair of stockings when I left, threw them on my chest. “here! for your big stinky feet!” I didn’t have the guts to ask for her whereabouts when she wasn’t working.

Note: the Mexican mop-up girl he talks about is around 75 years old today—if she is still around somewhere.

.

I wonder…

.

Did she get the experimental jab?

Where does she live?

Does she remember Buk?

Does she have kids?

What is her go to ice cream flavor?

When was the last time she smiled and why?

.

.

speaking of favourites…

.

I like to prowl ordinary places
and taste the people—
from a distance.
I don’t want them too near
because that’s when attrition
starts.
but in supermarkets
laundromats
cafes
street corners
bus stops
eating places
drug stores
I can look at their bodies
and their faces
and their clothing—
watch the way they walk
or stand
or what they are doing.
I’m like an x-ray machine
I like them like that:
on view.
I imagine the best things
about them.
I imagine them brave and crazy
I imagine them beautiful.

I like to prowl the ordinary places.
I feel sorry for us all or glad for us
all
caught alive together
and awkward in that way.

there’s nothing better than the joke
of us
the seriousness of us
the dullness of us
buying stockings and carrots and gum
and magazines
buying birth control
candy
hair spray
and toilet paper.

we should build a great bonfire
we should congratulate ourselves on our
endurance

we stand in long lines
we walk about
we wait.

I like to prowl ordinary places
the people explain themselves to me
and I to them

a woman at 3:35pm
weighing purple grapes on a scale
looking at that scale very
seriously
she is dressed in a simple green dress
with a pattern of white flowers
she takes the grapes
puts them carefully into a white paper
bag

that’s lightning enough

the generals and the doctors may kill us
but we have
won.

59 Cents a Pound

The Candid Are a Little Wild

“Honesty’s on short supply and we subsist on mendacities in times of grave crises. We cannot afford such luxuries as truth or common sense in drastic times.”

Norman Spineles

.

.

they are worse than zombies. they are holier than thouing their willfully blind way through the china shop of your conscience.

.

The meek shall inherit the earth.

the hell,

all that the meek can accomplish is be weak

and thus a vehicle for evil.

.

it’s only the little wild

who can

open their heart a little wide.

.

On the Flip Side

Read:

(a thought-provoking article by Georgi Dinkov)

.

Meditation practice that doesn’t arise spontaneously (or comes to one organically) might only add to the stressload of everyday life.

Same goes, probably, for yoga and exercises of all sorts.

.

Which reminds me of good intentions—paving the road to the proverbial hell—and a great quote by Robert A. Heinlein:

“Goodness without wisdom always accomplishes evil.”

I’m not sure about the ‘always’ in that sentence but goodwill has indeed proven to be quite slippery a virtue over the last century.

.

What exactly is the connection there? Well, try and figure it out. The key word is spontaneous and organic . . . as opposed to programmatic.

Remember

there is enough treachery, hatred violence absurdity in the average
human being to supply any given army on any given day

.

and the best at murder are those who preach against it
and the best at hate are those who preach love
and the best at war finally are those who preach peace

.

those who preach god, need god
those who preach peace do not have peace
those who preach peace do not have love

.

beware the preachers
beware the knowers
beware those who are always reading books
beware those who either detest poverty
or are proud of it
beware those quick to praise
for they need praise in return
beware those who are quick to censor
they are afraid of what they do not know
beware those who seek constant crowds for
they are nothing alone
beware the average man the average woman
beware their love, their love is average
seeks average

.

but there is genius in their hatred
there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you
to kill anybody
not wanting solitude
not understanding solitude
they will attempt to destroy anything
that differs from their own
not being able to create art
they will not understand art
they will consider their failure as creators
only as a failure of the world
not being able to love fully
they will believe your love incomplete
and then they will hate you
and their hatred will be perfect

.

like a shining diamond
like a knife
like a mountain
like a tiger
like hemlock

.

their finest art

.

Charles Bukowski

.

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

.

Kent M. Keith

.

.

The ‘New Normal’ is The Same Old News

We’re discouraged from doing more and more of the things that help us evolve while encouraged to do things that keep us psychologically stunted.

.

.

becoming an adult is to arrive at the understanding that you’ll be shamed and punished for your virtues and rewarded and exalted for your sins. that society will not encourage you to be humble and enlightened. on the contrary: it will condition you to perpetuate the ratcheting neuroses and pretense that undergirds it all.

Bukowski on the Technocracy

auto-generated sonnets (by courtesy of GPT-3 say) all but vindicate Charles Bukowski. when in regards to art and the creative process he wrote:

AS THE SPIRIT WANES THE FORM APPEARS.

yes.

and no:

machines will never be able to emulate the intuitive intelligence of an artist. approximate: yes. but to replicate? no way.

machines may only (impeccably) embody the empty and formulaic aspects of the human. the mind. as it were. without the heart.

which is plenty meager.

Herbert Brün on Political Correctness

.

German artist Herbert Brün talked a lot about floating hierarchies. or social systems based in growth and evolution—rather than stagnation and custom. an ecology of the shared mind that thrives beyond the pale of good and evil.

here’s a couple of succinct and eloquent pointers offered by him regarding the issue:

AGREEMENT IS A NONVIOLENT WAY OF MAKING ANOTHER PERSON SUPERFLUOUS.

PEACE IS SATISFIED BY US BEING ABLE TO HAVE OUR CONFLICTS [WITHOUT VIOLENCE].

OUR CONFLICTS SATISFY OUR NEED FOR PEACE.

WE HAVE TO FIND A METHOD OF LANGUAGING THAT DOESN’T ASSUME PEACE AS A REWARD BUT AS A CONDITION FOR CONFLICT.

WE CAN ONLY ARGUE WITH EACH OTHER WHEN THERE IS PEACE.

WAR PREVENTS US HAVING OUR CONFLICTS.

which are great counterarguments against the trending consensus of policing micro-aggressions and the excesses of the PC culture in general—incidentally.

also:

A VICTIM IS A PERSON WHO CANNOT ESCAPE A SITUATION WITHOUT VIOLENCE [WHICH DOESN’T MEAN THAT THE PERSON CAN ESCAPE THE SITUATION WITH VIOLENCE]

which brings to mind the greyer areas of the Me Too movement as well. but let’s not step on that landmine here.