STREET JOURNAL 7

Standard

by Tom H. Brooks 3

For in this life

we sing not long
but when we rest
remains our song
What purpose does
this existence hold?
It seems everything
is simply bought and sold
Are we here to fight?
to be bankers, postmen,
plumbers, priests, poets?
The mountain understands
because it is here only to be
Does the moon rise
for any reason but
to make us wonder?
It spills rainbows out of eyes
It gives dreams to the lonely
It gives outsiders
a light in the darkness
It casts a cool blue
glow that we follow
through the night….
________
I love the scent of fresh cut grass on a spring breeze
touched with the mist from sprinklers…
________
Embrace the clouds
________
“When I mentioned this notion of being a stranger
to a friend of mine, he replied,
`In the Kabbalah the first act in the creation of the
universe is exile.`  This makes sense to me…”
“I believed myself a stranger wherever I was–for much
of my life I have felt disconnected.  You think of a writer
as in touch and at the center of things, but I have found
the opposite to be the case.”
“Fiction gives us the second chances that life denies us.”
Paul Theroux
________
DEAD RECKONING
________
So I took a bus ride on the 446 express from San Pedro to Downtown LA at about 3pm.  This bus
travels through Wilmington, Carson, Compton and so on, so it is always full of interesting characters.
School is out on a Friday afternoon, May 10th, as I soon discovered in the harshest and most
eye-opening way.  I had just come from beer and complete silence at Point Fermin.  Not a sound,
save the gulls and the ocean.  At Banning High School, the bus instantly filled up with crazed and
boisterous black kids, boys and girls, fresh out of class on a Friday afternoon and ready for trouble.
It was the height of rambunctiousness.  Their energy was somewhat overwhelming being that I had
just come from such a peaceful place.  Just for the record, I was the only white boy on the bus with
a freshly-shaved coconut head.  It was a little more than shocking to go from quiet contemplation
above the sea to go into the midst of a busload of screaming, yelling and wrestling.  I heard the
word “NIGGA” like 500 times in 30 minutes although I must admit some of these kids were awfully
funny, one in particular that kept coming up with witty one-liners like a young Chris Rock.  Truly,
this has been a juxtaposition of polar opposites and an experience that I will not forget.
________
“Relax…there`s too much emphasis on looks nowadays.  That`s why they won`t let Bill Maher
on TV before midnight.”
Homer Simpson
________
“The truth comes in a strange door.”
Francis Bacon
________
“Under the massive benevolence of this godlike mountaintop–this for the moment was all that mattered
to me, and I was reminded of the intense privacy, the intimate whispers, the random glimpses, that
grant us the epiphanies of travel.”
Paul Theroux
________
“Art is perfectly useless
and bad poetry is sincere.”
Oscar Wilde
________
“…the heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit.”
James Joyce
“Ulysses”
________
MacArthur Park
a springtime day with
the heat of summer…
the birds, the insects
the swarming hordes
Latinos Blacks Asians
no white folks here
but that never stopped me before
I am the alien
“what the fuck is this guy doing here?”
they think
and I laugh to myself
I see incredulous expressions
humorous foreign murmurs
mutterings and guffaws
The sidewalks are a mirage
of shimmering heat waves
The asphalt burns in the noonday sun
LA
false smiles and make up
cannot cover her true face
A helicopter flies low over the park
A roaring Harley booms down Wilshire
Mexicans and chortling pigeons are all around me
Sirens People
The hum of energy
of suppressed desperation & anger
I put my finger on the pulse of the city
and I listen–I listen closely…
It is throbbing with hidden lives
and secret desires
It lies swathed in a veil of deceit and treachery
of dreams torn asunder and wishes not granted
Filled with both passion and apathy….
Los Angeles
She lies burning
under the unforgiving eye of the sun
exposed
under the ozone hole
Filled with stories and intrigues
She goes about her business
as if all is well….
but some of us know better.
Let the jackals come for me
I will already be gone…
5/13/02
_________
One of the wall murals in Union Station (It`s supposed to be an Indian, I think)
bears an uncanny resemblance to Keith Richards.
________
I have traveled much in Los Angeles
________
SUBWAY WIND
________
The traffic was quiet (even on the freeway) for an unprecedented 5 minutes
on this gloomy Wednesday in Cahuenga Pass!  Now, for an LA native, this
sounds impossible, yes?  Well, it`s true, I was there…
________
WHATCHUBEENUPTO?
Choppin headz
takin prizonerz
flirting with disaster
shootin pigs
fuckin cheerleaders
reaping the whirlwind
riding the tiger
San Diego madness with JB….dirty Mary`s and a day trip to Tijuana.  Muchas mujeres and debauchery.
JB was flashing his knife around and holding it to my throat and everyone`s.  Drinking too much
tequila but didn`t eat the worm.  In general, very bad behavior and a great fucking time.  Although,
surely, I`ll never remember the details….
_________
“A little less conversation
a little more action
all this aggravation
ain`t satisfaction
C`mon baby, satisfy me…”
The fucking KING   Elvis Presley
_________
Pig, the pit bull, harmonizes with jazz, sings along in his own canine way with Miles Davis,
Brazilian music, anything with horns; it is kind of a shrill and funny keening howl and he makes
a funny face with his dog lips….love that dog, he is such a character…
_________
JB gone totally psycho in Glendale….classic…and I quote him yelling at some guy….
“I`ll slice your throat and stuff you in the garbage can, you fat fuck!!  Go to bed!!”
priceless
_________
It would be an editor`s task of monumental proportions to organize my 14 years of journals,
scrapbooks, photos and writings of all sorts into a cohesive, coherent volume—something
readable, as it were….    (And here I am, 10 years later, trying to do just that…and it is a bitch…)
_________
“The Best is Yet to Come….”
Sinatra
_________
My specialty: breaking down doors, digging graves, and burning bridges…
_________
” `you see too many movies.`
`Don`t blame me, blame Tinseltown and their second golden age; may it never end…` “
Homer Simpson
_________
Signs outside churches:
“If you were a Pastor, you`d be home by now”
“No shoes
 No shirt
 No salvation”
“There`s something about the Virgin Mary”
“Scattered sheep
 Strange Shepherd”
_________
“And for whatever reason, pudding IS funny…”
Paul Thomas Anderson    Screenwriter
_________
“As soon as I opened my eyes I started wondering, by force of habit,
whether I had anything to look forward to today.”
“But write–no, I couldn`t do it.  After a few lines nothing more occurred to me;
my thoughts were elsewhere and I couldn`t pull myself together to make any
definite effort.  I was acted on and distracted by everything around me, all that
I saw gave new impressions.”
Knut Hamsun
“Hunger”
_________
The Ghostman sits quietly in the sun or the shadows, no matter.  It is all the same for one who is
invisible.  He watches the living and the dead passing to and fro, here and there in a never-ending
river of pointless chaos.  Everything goes to the sea eventually.  The Ghost knows this and accepts
it without question.  The waters will run and wash it all clean.  All will be baptized in the spirits of the
cleansing water.  New life will be born upon the ruins of the past.  All this, as the Ghostman sits
patiently upon a bench alone, watching…
  His eyes wander freely, he ponders, his senses open to every conceivable detail…
the man smoking a cigarette next to a child eating candy, the buxom Jewish woman fixing her pancake
make-up under a weight of diamonds, the old lady quietly looking at him write, the Filipina girl selling
sunglasses down the street, the German tourists taking pictures of the fountain and the Japanese
tourists taking photos of him, the fountain, the Germans and everything…..all this strange madness
surges around him in a furious tide but he holds fast, for the present, an immoveable rock embedded
in the moment, which is now and nevermore.  Eventually, yes, eventually the water will wash it all
away, including himself.  There is no stopping it.  The relentless tide rushes ever onward in a furious
and unstoppable mass of turbulence…
(written at the Grove)
__________
“I wanna set the record straight; I thought the cop was a prostitute.
Homer Simpson
__________
“From the deserts to the sea to all of Southern California…”
Jerry Dunphy 1922- 5/20/2002  TV anchorman in LA for as long as I can remember   RIP
__________
AND THE SYSTEM CRUMBLES….
__________
“El vulcan es muy enojado…”
Berto  El Trapiche, Mexico
__________
Sitting here, waiting for a bus that never comes…
__________
“Worlds can`t meet worlds, but people can meet people.”
__________
Morrison fucking Hotel!….Downtown LA 13th and Flower
__________
“EVERYTHING IN ITS RIGHT PLACE”
__________
“The existence of the unknown is the wellspring of my dreams.”
Paul Theroux
__________
“How does it feel?
To be on your own
no direction home
like a complete unknown
Like a Rolling Stone…”
“There must be some kind of way outta here
said the joker to the thief
There`s too much confusion
I can`t get no relief….”
Bob Dylan
__________
“And courage to me meant ploughing through that dull gray mist that comes
down on life–not only overriding people and circumstances, but overriding
the bleakness of living.  A sort of insistence on the value of life and the worth
of transient things.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald
“The Offshore Pirate”
__________
Sunday 5/26/02  The day before Memorial Day
I sit on the roof of the Hollywood Hills house, alone, the vast city sprawled endlessly
far below and all around.  A beauty and a disgrace, a masterpiece and a monstrosity,
a jewel and a blight upon the land…..LA, a brutal paradox beyond understanding, too
much to deal with on this quiet and sunny afternoon so I bake myself here in the warmth,
drinking beer and thinking amongst the trees and the birdsongs….The valley, the canyon,
and the downtown skyscrapers shrouded in smog like giant sentinels watching over
a dreamy wasteland.  And I alone, silence….
__________
The driver of the bus, Tuesday, the day after Memorial Day is a classic character.  Cheerful,
a rare sight on the buses of this city.  He was a black guy rattling off a constant smooth
monologue that was funny and optimistic.  Of course, most of these grumpy bastards ignore
him, but I`m listening, you know it…..”Good morning, sir-Good morning, miss–well, aren`t
you looking lovely today?  So nice to be alive on this misty morning—don`t worry, baby,
you fall down, you get right back up–think a little sunshine, baby–next stop Vermont and Wilshire.”
They just don`t make too many like this guy anymore but he made my day.
_________
“Any writer of talent should be able to write one good novel if he were honest…”
“He looked up and there was the sky that he had always loved and he looked across the great
lagoon that he was quite sure, now, he would never paint and he eased his position a little to
lessen the pain.  `I think I understand.`
`You never understand anybody that loves you.` “
Ernest Hemingway
_________
“I awakened to dryness and the ferns were dead;
the potted plants yellow as corn;
My woman was gone
and the empty bottles like bled corpses
surrounded me with their uselessness.
I shaved carefully with an old razor
the man who had once been young
and said to have genius
but that`s the Tragedy of the Leaves,
the dead ferns, the dead plants;
and I walked into the dark hall
where the landlady stood
execrating and final, sending me to hell,
waving her fat, sweaty arms and
screaming–screaming for rent
because the world had failed us both.”
Charles Bukowski
_________
“This thing upon me is not death,
but it`s as real,
and as landlords full of maggots
pound for rent
I eat walnuts in the sheath of my privacy
and listen for more important drummers.
This thing upon me
like a flower and a feast
this thing upon me
crawling like a snake,
it`s not death
but dying will solve its power.
And as my gray hands
drop a last desperate pen
in some cheap room
they will find me there
and never know my name
my meaning
nor the treasure of my escape.”
Charles Bukowski
_________
“I have a typewriter and now
it no longer has anything to say.
I will drink until morning
finds me in bed with the
biggest whore of them all;
myself.”
“My Grief is Better Than Your Grief, HA!”
“It Catches My Heart in its Hands”
“For Jane, With All the Love I Had, Which Was Not Enough”
“Genius might be the ability to say a profound thing in a simple way.”
Great titles from the Buk:
Flower, Fist and Bestial Wail
Run With the Hunted
Crucifix in a Deathhand
Confessions of a Man Insane Enough to Live With Beasts
All the Assholes in the World and Mine
Burning in Water; Drowning in Flame
South of No North
Hot Water Music
Love is a Dog From Hell
Shakespeare Never Did This
 
Charles Bukowski
__________
On the bridge over the 101 Freeway, a portly man, standing alone with a huge American
flag fluttering in the wind and flashing a peace sign at the honking cars below.
__________
“In the world of affairs we live in our own age–
In books, we live in all ages.”
Carved in the facade of the LA Downtown Public Library
__________
When I walk downtown, I am often staggering around, looking up.  The geometric designs of the
skyscrapers framed against a blue sky is priceless.  I observe the interplay of light and shadow,
of architectural angles soaring and intersecting in an aesthetically pleasing manner—all of it, it
fascinates me to no end.  I don`t see many other people looking up or even noticing anything at
all.  I am afraid they are already dead, imprisoned in the prisons they have built for themselves,
wrapped in protective shells of their own creation, killed slowly by routine and drudgery.  They
see nothing but the pavement in front of them.
__________
“They were still in the happier stage of love.  They were full of brave illusions about each other,
tremendous illusions, so that the communion of self with self seemed to be on a plane where no
other human relations mattered.  They both seemed to have arrived there with an extraordinary
innocence as though a series of pure accidents had driven them together, so many accidents that
at last they were forced to conclude that they were for each other.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Tender is the Night”
__________
“Love is a form of prejudice.  You love what you need, you love what makes you feel
good, you love what is convenient.  How can you say you love one person when there
are ten thousand people in the world that you would love more if you ever met them?
But you`ll never meet them.  We must realize that love is just the result of a chance
encounter.  Most people make too much of it.  On these grounds a good fuck is
not to be entirely scorned.
“Like anybody can tell you, I am not a very nice man.  I don`t know the word.  I have
always admired the villain, the outlaw, the son-of-a-bitch.  I don`t like the clean-shaven
boy with the necktie and the good job.  I like desperate men, men with broken teeth
and broken ways.  They interest me.  They are full of surprises and explosions.  I also
like vile women, drunk cursing bitches with loose stockings and sloppy mascara faces.
I`m more interested in perverts than saints.
“In the morning it was morning and I was still alive.  Maybe I`ll write a novel, I thought.
And then I did.”
“I sat on the rug, feeling the electric light, feeling the drinks going through me like a
parade, like an attack on the blues, like an attack on madness.”
“Then I went to bed with the feeling that all drunks know: that I had been a fool
but to hell with it.”
” `Hang tight, baby, it`s a crazy world.`  And that, as they say, was that.”
“You and Your Beer and How Great You Are”
“No Way to Paradise”
“I pulled her to me.  She was beautiful and young and had insides.  I could be in love
again.  It was possible.  We kissed.  I fell down inside her eyes.  Then I got up and
began running.  I knew where I was.  A cockroach and an eagle made love.  Time
was a fool with a banjo.  I kept running.  Her long hair fell across my face.”
This has been brought to you by the genius of Charles Bukowski
__________
Yes, there is indeed a method to my madness
no matter how obscure…
_________
Fear breeds ignorance
_________
“I was a hippy
I was a burnout
I was a drop out
I was outta my head
I was a surfer
I had a skateboard
I was so heavy, man
I lived on the strand
I was so wasted
I WAS WASTED!!
Black Flag
___________
Each moment
a jewel
embedded
in the mosaic
of eternity
quiet and obscure
perhaps meaningless
Inspiration
come down on me
like a fine mist
Baptize me
in your endless flow
Take me
gently down the river
of time
to a different land
a strange world
where truths come alive
dreams are born
and the wind
is a song
unlike any other…
_______
“Dreams From Bunker Hill”
“Ask the Dust”
“The Wine of Youth”
John Fante
________
“Now I`ve got to find a job, damn it to hell.  I ate breakfast, put a book under my arm,
pencils in pocket, and started out.  Down the stairs I went, down the street, sometimes
hot and sometimes cold, sometimes foggy and sometimes clear.  It never mattered
with a book under my arm, looking for a job.”
John Fante
“The Road to Los Angeles”
_________
“Who`ll give you a job, you swine, who?  There he goes, the idiot with the big book.
A job, HA!  But there`s a beautiful park with green lawns.  Go sit under a eucalyptus
tree reading a book looking for a job.”
“The world was dust, and dust it would become.”
John Fante
_________
“Mockingbird Wish Me Luck”
“Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit”
“The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over the Hills”
“My Beerdrunk Soul is Sadder than All the Dead Christmas Trees of the World”
“Politics is Like Trying to Screw a Cat in the Ass”
“I live without working,
he works without living.”
“but Americans are stricken
with ambition,
they will survive
as powerful and unhappy
neurotics,
right now my tax money
is dropping bombs
on starving people
in Asia as I fight the small fly
that has arrived by my elbow;
remember,
I never bombed anybody,
I can`t even kill this fly.”
Charles Bukowski
_______
If OJ Simpson can get away with cutting off his wife`s fucking head,
then you`d think Pee Wee Herman could get away with jacking off
in public or Winona Ryder could pull off a little harmless shoplifting…
Yeah…..you`d think…
_______
“Be angry at the sun…”
Robinson Jeffers
Not me…
_______
The Silence at the Center
The mockingbird sings
for no one
but me
because I am listening
Streetlamps
veiled in mist
like glowing sentinels
in the night
Cold jewel moon
velvet sky
stars like silver pepper
Footsteps
on dirty sidewalks
steadily
going nowhere
Shadows
A door opens
and shuts
A man lies down
on his bed
with music in his head
and words in his soul
trying to sleep
so he can dream
that there is more…
_______
Darkest depths
of Night
A shadow
darker
than shadows
walks into the
neon brightness
of convenience
with cold steel
grasped
in desperate hands
screaming
unreasonable demands
consumed
with anger and frustration
An explosion
and all is still
for a moment
and then
a scarlet flower
unfolds slowly
across a field of white
Another senseless life
snuffed out
by a senseless death…
They`ll take your soul
if you let them…
_______
6/4/02  Trench work Tuesday
The pinnacle of my career…
What can I say except what a fucking day!!  I was up at 4:30 and heading down the Cahuenga
pass, silver crescent moon hanging in the sky over a neon cross on the hilltop.  Indigo sky as
the sun creeps over a distant horizon.  I go over the freeway and down to Hollywood Blvd.  I have
found some temporary manual slave labor through a work agency.  Most of the guys here are
fresh out of prison.  They sent me out to try to soften me up with trench work and they almost
won.  I busted my ass in the 80 degree sun for dollars and cents.  I worked with a 44-year-old
black dude named Wayne who was a cool and down-to-earth brother.  Sweating beads, we rode
a bus back up Crenshaw from Torrance as I looked at my bleeding and calloused delicate poet`s
hands.  This is not the job for me.  Admit it, you ALL hate this kind of work you convict pricks!
I went to get paid at 6pm, that`s about 13 and a half hours awake if you didn`t do the calculations.
Then I drink some beer and smoke some weed to unwind my aching bones with real medicine.
Hollywood Blvd. again at midnight.  The freakshow rolls on and on, the smell of cannabis everywhere,
a crazed black dude drinking a 40oz on the corner of Hollywood and Highland.  Some homeboy
just happens to sit next to me downstairs while I`m waiting for the subway and starts babbling
drunken gibberish.  He starts punching me on the arm lightly and calling me a crazy white boy
and I say true dat, but you crazy too.  He acts like we`ve known each other for years.  I have no
fear; only the realization that I continue to be a freak magnet of the first degree.  I ditched that
fool and got on the train, he seemed to just be hanging out in the station.  It just keeps getting
weirder.  I didn`t say it was a good day….
Time unknown    6/4/02
________
TOO MANY FREAKS TALK TO ME IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT
________
I just saw a fucking mouse run helter skelter across La Brea.  He made it.
________
It`s now 8am and I`m on the express bus south towards the harbor…AGAIN, to my secret
sanctuary.  We roll swiftly down the 110, the sun permeating the morning smoggy mist,
filling the city with sparkling points of light.  Even Watts looks beautiful with its palm trees
and white church steeples reaching for the heavens …or something.
________
Through the Streets of Anywhere
 
Of course
it is nonsense
to try to patch up
an old poem
while drinking
a warm beer
on a Sunday afternoon;
it is better
to simply exist
through the end
of a
cigarette…”
“I am dying of sadness and alcohol
he said to me over the bottle,
I have, he went on,
betrayed myself with belief,
deluded myself with love,
tricked myself with sex.
The bottle is damned faithful,
the bottle will not lie.
The meat is cut as roses are cut.
Men die as dogs die,
love dies like dogs die.
Love needs too much help, hate takes care
of itself, hate contains truth,
beauty is a facade.
Stick with the thorn
stick with the bottle
stick with the laughter
and horror of death…”
Art
as the
spirit
wanes
the
form
appears.”
“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.
I can look at their bodies and 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 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.
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.
The generals and doctors may kill us,
but we have won.”
Charles Bukowski
_______
Craziness at Sunset and Highland;
3 black dudes talking shit, one of `em talking about murder;
some kind of car to car fight, one dude gets out of car and
breaks off the other guys antenna…WTF is going on here?
_______
AND SO I LISTENED CALMLY
TO THE INFINITE ROAR OF
THE SILENCE
AND WITHIN,
I HEARD THE ANSWER TO ALL THINGS…
_______
“Lovers of prostitutes are
happy, fresh, and satisfied;
as for me,
My arms are broken
for having embraced the clouds”
Charles Baudelaire
_______
“I`ve been thinking about it and I think George Bush is absolutely the
right president to oversee the end of the world.  I don`t think he`s smart
enough to be evil.  He`s like the idiot son of an evil genius.”
Some guy on TV
_______
I just walked down Broadway on a 90 degree day.  It was the usual assortment of ethnic
varieties and Latino music blaring from every store front.  The garbage stinks as it lies
burning and festering beneath the sun.  Turned a corner and came upon a huge group of
bone-white religious folk from some northern clime singing Jesus music on the sidewalk.
The men were dressed in black pants and white shirts and the women were garbed in light
blue, peach, yellow and light green dresses and wearing little white bonnets.  A sign
proclaimed them to be “The Inner City Mennonite Evangelists”.  The sight of them just
screams CULT!  Scary.  Motherfuckas was SCARY!
_______
“Night has come like something crawling
up the banister, sticking out its tongue
of fire.
You`ve got to know when to
let a woman go if you want to keep her,
it`s always a process of letting go,
one way or another,
so I sat there and put the drink
down and made another.
At the sea at the beach in the dark
there was somebody sitting in a car
playing this drum as if in Africa
and I went down to the disappointing sea
and saw two blue lights in the water
and a boat.  I got up and walked
through the sand to the cement
and through a bar door
I saw a black man singing
with a light on his face
he wailed a strange song and the
sound of the song twisted in the air
and everything was empty and dry and easy
and I got in my car and drove back to the city
but I knew I would always remember
the time and the catch of it–
the way the night hung undisturbed
with people walking on it like
some quiet rug and a small boat
rocking bravely by bulldogging water
and the colored pier light like
a broken mind sick in the sea.”
Charles Bukowski
_________
Laugh, Laugh While You Die Slowly
 
Laugh
there in the darkness of the night
alone
while you`re reaching for a light
or a reason
or a remote control.
Laugh
my foolish friends,
Laugh
while the sky fills with smoke
and the helicopters fly above
like noisy metallic monster insects.
Laugh
while the world surrounds us
with its trivialities
and its jokes
and its smothering monotony.
The lights of the city
sparkle under the black
starless cloak of sky.
The only stars you see here
are earthbound.
The freeways hum
like the blood in your veins
and the heart is a drum,
a clock
ticking blood seconds
through eternity.
Distant voices
music
things breaking
like glass
and silence
blessed silence, so rare.
Laugh
while it all comes crashing down
around you
while you work yourself
to death doing nothing,
nothing worthwhile, anyway.
Laugh
while dreams die on the pavement
and Art lies hidden behind a veil
and all meaning slips away
on black wings.
Laugh
at the moon and the sun
and the utter madness of it all,
the screaming days
the drunken nights
the passion and love
and sadness and mirth
and lost dogs and lost people.
Laugh
at the wind in the trees
and the trash blowing
down Sunday streets
like crazed abstract
white pigeons–
Laugh
at the ordinary,
while submerged in it,
we die slowly…
________
“Imbecile night
corkscrew like a black guitar,
the day was heaving hell,
and now you come
crawling down the drainpipes–
You and I, a giant and a midget
locked in disorder, and when the
first sun comes down showing the
spiders at work, caterpillars crawling
on razor threads, you will let me go,
but now you crawl into the tomb
of my bottle, you wink at me and posture,
the wallpaper is weak with roses, the
spiders dream of gold-filled flies, and
I walk the room again, light another
cigarette, feeling I really should go mad,
but now quite knowing how.”
“When Christ began
he had the cross in mind
all along.
If I came down off this one
here
it would only be to find a
better one.”
“that this is the gift
and I am ill with it;
it has sloshed around my bones
and brings me awake to
stare at walls.
Musing often leads to madness…”
“If women must love me
I ask them also
to cook me sauerkraut dinners
and leave me time
for games of gold
in the mind,
and time for sleep
or scratching
or rolling upon my side
like any tired bull
in any tired meadow…”
“The Sun Wields Mercy”
“Praying to a purple god
who laughs and smokes
and sticks his fingers in their eyes
blinding them, as gods will do;
but the rockets are ready:
peace is no longer, for some reason,
precious;
madness drifts like lily pads
on a pond, circling senselessly…”
Charles Bukowski
________
Night Time Hollywood Blvd. Wasteland
 
Tourists
whores
homeless
junkies
freaks
stars to nowhere
dirty
stained streets–
the rumble
and roar
of buses
and motorcycles
dim glow
of sad moonlight
shining down
through the night smog mist
Faces
pass me like
candle flames on the
dark waves of night
each one of them
alone
as we are all
ultimately
alone
The neon snakes
of light
surround me
with their pointlessness…
Yes,
at this moment,
I am alone,
that is to say,
even if someone were here with me….
I would still be alone…
_________
“Destroying Beauty
 A rose
 red sunlight
 I take it apart
 in the garage
 like a puzzle:
 the petals are greasy
 as old bacon and fall
 like the maidens of the world
 backs to the floor
 and I look up at the old calendar
 hung from a nail and touch my wrinkled
 face and smile because the secret is beyond me…”
“I wanted to overthrow the government but all I brought down
 was somebody`s wife.”
“We are in a basin…that is the idea.
Down in the sand and the alleys,
this land, punched in,
cuffed out, divided,
held like a crucifix in a deathhand.”
“So even if you knock
and I don`t answer
and there isn`t a woman in here
Maybe I have broken my jaw
and am looking for a wire
or I am chasing butterflies in
my wallpaper, I mean if I don`t answer,
I don`t answer, and the reason
is that I am not yet ready to kill you
or love you or even accept you,
It means I don`t want to talk,
I am busy, I am mad, I am glad,
or maybe I`m stringing up a rope;
so even if the lights are on and you
hear a sound like breathing or praying
or singing or a radio or the roll of dice
or typing, go away; It is not the day,
the night, the hour;
Sometimes I gather evidence of a kind
that takes some sorting and your
blue eyes, be they blue,
and your hair, if you have some,
or your mind–they cannot enter
until the rope is cut or knotted
or until I have shaven into new mirrors,
until the world is stopped or opened forever…”
“Some people never go crazy.
Me, sometimes I`ll lie down behind
the couch for 3 or 4 days.
They`ll find me there
It`s Cherub, they`ll say, and
pour wine down my throat
rub my chest
sprinkle me with oils.
Then I`ll rise with a roar,
rant, rage–
curse them and the universe
as I send them scattering over
the lawn.  I`ll feel much better,
sit down to toast and eggs,
hum a little tune,
suddenly become as lovable as a
pink, overfed whale.
Some people never go crazy.
What truly horrible lives they must lead.
“2PM Beer
nothing matters
but flopping on a mattress
with cheap dreams and a beer
as the leaves die and the horses die
and the landladies stare in the halls;
brisk the music of pulled shades,
a last man`s cave
in an eternity of swarm and explosion;
Nothing but the dripping sink,
the empty bottle
euphoria
oblivion
youth fenced in
stabbed and shaven
taught words
propped up
to die…”
Charles Bukowski
__________
So I walked through the Nordstrom`s at the Grove
and was musically accompanied by the pianist
playing an excellent easy-listening rendition of
Led Zeppelin`s “Stairway to Heaven”
_________
O blue sea, O gray Pacific
how much time have I spent
at your sandy windswept shore?
Time well spent or time wasted
no matter….
they were cool blue days
of screaming white heat
and clear water
pouring
over me in a
washing machine cycle of
soap sud froth and
oblivion
and all else was forgotten
in those moments.
On the beach
all the tomato-faced tourists
from Kansas
or
Germany
sat on the trash-strewn
sand
staring
with listless eyes…
________
The Venice Beach drum circle is always such a strange experience.  It`s
weird the way the various rhythms come together in a haze of pot and cosmic
consciousness and musical miracles but they do, somehow.  Smoke lingers
in the air twirling in lazy tendrils as people of all types and colors dance, stare,
gawk, photograph, and sleep as the drumbeats pound, pound in your skull
through the lavender-purple twilight taking you to an exotic place if you close
your eyes….maybe…..Africa…..
________
Eyes closed on the night bus, with the window open, as it is flying along the road,
bouncing, wind in your face…there is a sense of weightlessness, untethered from
the restraint of gravity, you move swiftly, shooting like a spaceship down colored
light boulevards like a neon rainbow….
________
The smell of night jasmine
fragrant
in the cool spring darkness
as fountains
trickle their song
in pink palm-lined
courtyards
where banana trees
cast their shadows
across yellow
moonlit walls
cat scratches and
cool songbirds
mark the moment
while the hum of distant
traffic
keeps a steady background
of white noise
and footsteps echo
unnoticed
down empty sidewalks
and the night bird sings
and the siren wails
and the coyote howls
and then
and then
nothing…
________
I Don`t Ask for Much, But if I Were to Ask…..
 
the whole earth would be a tropical climate
food would be flown in to me
from all over the planet
to my Hawaiian bungalow
with the pool and the bar;
I would have a world-class chef
to do all my cooking and she
would be hot
but I`d still make my own sandwiches
because my sandwiches are
the fucking BEST.
I would travel the globe endlessly
first class and in style
like James Bond, 007
and sometimes I would just walk
like a bum (with a pocketful of $$$)
Wars would end
Religions would be abolished
People would finally see the faults in these things.
I would drink Martinis
poolside
with graceful and exquisite bikini-clad
Asian girls–soft and delicate
with soft doe-like eyes and
hair like thick strands of black velvet
shining in the sun.
I would casually puff Cohiba cigars
while reading immortal literature
and I`d swim laps to keep cool and fit and ripped.
I would write world-shaking masterpieces
in beautiful agony in my oak lined library
with the puffy red leather chairs and the fireplace.
I would paint visions of beauty in my art studio
and then I would ride my Harley Davidson
around the island at top speed with
my Mayan princess and we`d gorge ourselves
on enchiladas and beer on the harbor front
and watch the ships passing by.
I would sit reading Bukowski by myself
on a cliff above the sea watching water
explode from a blowhole and drenching me
in the trade wind gusts.
I would hold parties in honor of nothing and no one
and then throw everyone out in a drunken delirium
only to have them back and then do it again.
They would love me for my eccentricities.
I would be able to get away with anything.
I would listen to Jimi and Mick and Miles
and I`d see shooting stars and dreams and neon nights
and I`d dance with beautiful black women
with gorgeous walnut eyes and stunning bodies
and 70s afros like haloes about their shapely faces.
There would be no stopping me or any of us.
Doors would be thrown open and dreams would be born
and wishes would come true and love…..well,
love would be everywhere
while I drank margaritas and went surfing and skateboarding
and had sex romps with lovely women with amazing souls
and eyes of fire spewing golden words from ruby lips
or maybe they wouldn’t talk at all and that would be fine too.
I would be stimulated
satisfied
ALIVE
thinking of spiderwebs woven of gold and light
and birds that sing Mozart
and the sun shining down upon us all
in blessed glory
interspersed
with cool tropical rains
making green the earth
and watering the emerald springtime of our lives…
__________
AND REALLY, THAT`S ALL I WANT…
__________
“You probably have no idea
what I`m talking about–
but don`t worry,
you will someday…”

THB3

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