Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Bukowski Prescription, 1st Repeat.

Two days ago I felt like I had been defoliated by napalm. Or acid rain. And instead of giving me a sensation of stripped back, fire engine-like sleekness like I imagine that naked and fleeing Vietnamese girl experienced moments before her charred flesh slid from her bones I just felt unclean. And a little loose-ended, like my edges were drooping.

This was what cashiers who fuck up your grocery total and then scatter your change across the conveyer belt eye-rollingly and faux self-deprecatingly refer to as "one of those days", insinuating all the while that it is you, fool-customer, who is the bane of their lowly-employed existence. Bitches. *Ahem*, where was I? Oh yes. Dogshit days. Downlow days.

The most sensible thing to do on days like these is to turn to Bukowski. I like to open a volume of his letters at random and run my fingers over the page like I imagine believers do with their Bibles in holy reverence. The page I opened to had two short letters written in 1985 that were dark and grim and searing with lurid truth and beauty. Funny, too. Because Bukowski is always blazingly funny, in a terrible, up-against-the-blade way.

A few months ago I was at a swap meet in Castlemaine looking through a pile of DVDs alongside two women. Raw-boned, salt-of-the-earth women. You know the type.
-"...And 'The Cable Guy'...that's a black comedy, that one"
-"Is it a black movie? Black people?"
-"No NO, a black comedy...you know, where you don't know whether to laugh or not?"
-"Oh. No. Definitely not"
-"Yes. Bit disturbing"
And yesterday I was in Savers, looking through the books. Two more raw-boned women. Victoria is lousy with them.
-"Plenty here"
-"Yes but we need to find our kind.."
-"Yes. We don't want dark"
Black, dark, and me eavesdropping while rifling through second-hand goods; yes, there's a pattern here, well spotted.

So. Bukowski burning; blazing, black:
 Got into a giant speed duel with some asshole on the Pasadena Freeway, this morning, the three bottle of Gamay Beaujolais hangover rising from my balls and out of the top of my Vilon head, I got it up to 85 on the Devil's Curve where meat and bone are often separated in a flash of flaming nothingness and he fell back gasping, shifting down from 5th to 4th and flashing his front headlights in surrender. That'll teach 'em to fuck with a suicide.
Sometimes I wish I were this old guy sitting on the mountaintop subsisting on berries, grasshoppers or whatever. I wouldn't have to deal with the glazed eyes and lying dullness of my fellows, but I've got to admit I'm a sucker for modern plumbing and the racetrack. Well, I've built my own little dungheap and here I sit flinging the shit about. There are minor and major regrets. And it's a hell of a thing to say but - I never met another man I'd rather be. And if that's a delusion, it's a lucky one.

It's a marvellous and mysterious thing, this business of arranging words, and reading Bukowski's rattles the loose wires in my brain and makes my heart hum with the horror and the impossibility of being human in these weird times.

Also, he said this:
"Sometimes I feel like a lamppost with a dog pissing on it."
So do I, Buk, so do I.
Either that or the Vietnamese napalm girl. Depends on the day, really.

Well, fuck. She lived? Who knew.
Talk about the trembling of the lightning.

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