By Tom H. Brooks 3




SEEK AND YE SHALL FIND……………………..…………………………………..


“The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.”

William Blake



(like a long email filled with hard-won wisdom…)

be careful not to drop your phone in the toilet



(but I think that goes without saying for most of us…)

I would say I`ve already given you enough anyway…


There`s something here for everyone.

(not really…)



(waiting for spring issue)


Tokyo, Japan


“I’m looking for the face I had before the world was made.”

Yeats ”The Winding Stair”


“I know that I am accused of arrogance and perhaps of misanthropy, and perhaps even of madness. These accusations (which I shall punish in due time) are ludicrous.”

Jorge Luis Borges


“The sounds of the plaza fall behind, and I enter the Library. Almost physically, I can feel the gravitation of the books, the serene atmosphere of orderliness, time magically mounted and preserved. To left and right, absorbed in their waking dream, rows of readers’ momentary profiles in the light of the scholarly lamps.”



February 8, 2014…A record 45-year snowfall in Tokyo, Japan. It hasn`t snowed like this since before I was born. Unfuckingbelievable! OF COURSE it had to happen within the first year of my moving here. I would expect nothing less…




This bullet is an old one.

In 1897, it was fired at the president of Uruguay by a young man from Montevideo, Avelino Arredondo, who had spent long weeks

without seeing anyone so that the world might know that he acted alone. Thirty years earlier, Lincoln had been murdered by that same ball, by the criminal or magical hand of an actor transformed by the words of Shakespeare into Marcus Brutus, Caesar’s murderer. In the mid- seventeenth century, vengeance had employed it for the assassination of Sweden’s Gustavus Adolphus, in the midst of the public hecatomb of a battle.

In earlier times, the bullet had been other things, because Pythagorean metempsychosis is not reserved for humankind alone. It was the silken cord given to viziers in the East, the rifles and bayonets that cut down the defenders of the Alamo, the triangular blade that slit a queen’s throat, the wood of the Cross and the dark nails that pierced the flesh of the Redeemer, the poison kept by the Carthaginian chief in an iron ring on his finger, the serene goblet that Socrates drank down one evening.

In the dawn of time it was the stone that Cain hurled at Abel, and in the future it shall be many things that we cannot even imagine today, but that will be able to put an end to men and their wondrous, fragile life.”



“God grant that the essential monotony of this miscellany (which time has compiled, not I, and into which have been bundled long-ago pieces that I’ve not had the courage to revise, for I wrote them out of a different concept of literature) be less obvious than the geographical and historical diversity of its subjects. Of all the books I have sent to press, none, I think, is as personal as this motley, disorganized anthology, precisely because it abounds in reflections and interpolations. Few things have happened to me, though many things I have read. Or rather, few things have happened to me more worthy of remembering than the philosophy of Schopenhauer or England’s verbal music.

A man sets out to draw the world. As the

years go by, he peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, instruments, stars, horses, and individuals. A short time before he dies, he discovers that that patient labyrinth of lines traces the lineaments of his own face.”

J.L.B. Buenos Aires, October 31,1960

Borges (This man was an absolute GENIUS…)


“‘The truth is, I never got to know him well. He wouldn’t let you. He was a very private person, and sometimes it seemed to me that he was no longer interested in the world. He lived within himself, for his books and inside them – a comfortable prison of his own design.’

‘You say this as if you envied him.’
‘There are worse prisons than words.’”


“Making money isn`t hard in itself. What`s hard is to earn it doing something worth devoting your life to.”


Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Shadow of the Wind



I have decided I want this written on my gravestone:


Tom Brooks

He never got Facebook or Twitter…

* * *

hashtag that bitches!


My life is now an open book for

all the world to see…



I was sitting in the morning sunlight, having my coffee and a cigarette, and a fly landed on my shoe. Now this may seem insignificant, but…BUT, I, being the weather expert that I am, see the bigger picture. After a long, brutal winter, this means that spring is coming, that it is just around the corner. It brought a flood of joy to my heavy heart. I`ve never been so happy to see a fly in my life. My day is made…

Later, while eating lunch at El Torito, I sit there smiling while stuffing my face with enchiladas. Mexican mariachi music ALWAYS makes me SO happy.


“Writing was never work for me. It had been the same for as long as I could remember: turn on the radio to a classical music station, light a cigarette or a cigar, open the bottle. The typer did the rest. All I had to do was be there. The whole process allowed me to continue when life itself offered very little, when life itself was a horror show. There was always the typer to soothe me, to talk to me, to entertain me, to save my ass. Basically that’s why I wrote: to save my ass, to save my ass from the madhouse, from the streets, from myself.”

From Hollywood by Bukowski


“Existence was not only absurd, it was plain hard work. Think of how many times you put on your underwear in a lifetime. It was appalling, it was disgusting, it was stupid.”

“I was feeling unfulfilled and, frankly, rather crappy about everything. I wasn’t going anywhere and neither was the rest of the world. We were all just hanging around waiting to die and meanwhile doing little things to fill the space. Some of us weren’t even doing little things.”

both the previous quotes from his last novel, Pulp…


“That’s the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to

forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.”


“You talk about drinking a lot in your books. Do you think drinking has helped your writing?” “No. I’m just an alcoholic who became a writer so that I would be able to stay in bed until noon.”


from Women…



“Forgive me…you have my soul and I have your money…”


From a live poetry reading…

“There were dozens of ways a man could go mad…”

“I went outside and walked towards the overhead lighting factory, just the sun feeling good, but you had to take what you could get.”

Charles Bukowski


“…youngbloods can’t spell,

but they can rock you at Playstation-

You wanna learn how to rhyme,

you better learn how to add,

It’s Mathematics…”

Mos Def





Alright….just ONE more from Bukowski in this Street Journal….I can`t help myself; some of them are just so damned good…

“Roll the Dice


“if you’re going to try, go all the
otherwise, don’t even start.

if you’re going to try, go all the
this could mean losing girlfriends,
wives, relatives, jobs and
maybe your mind.

go all the way.
it could mean not eating for 3 or 4 days.
it could mean freezing on a
park bench.
it could mean jail,
it could mean derision,
isolation is the gift,
all the others are a test of your
endurance, of
how much you really want to
do it.
and you’ll do it
despite rejection and the worst odds
and it will be better than
anything else
you can imagine.

if you’re going to try,
go all the way.
there is no other feeling like
you will be alone with the gods
and the nights will flame with

do it, do it, do it.
do it.

all the way
all the way.

you will ride life straight to
perfect laughter, it`s
the only good fight
there is.”

Charles Bukowski





It`s a beautiful thing

sitting alone at night

by a river flowing

through the heart of the city


It`s a beautiful thing

to walk through the night park

and see the silver moonlight

wash down through the trees


On summer nights, the warmth

floats through the darkness

in a soft profound glow

to touch your soul with quiet inspiration


It`s a beautiful thing

the way the music of nocturnal insects

drones through the empty streets

on the edge of town


It`s nice to look across the river

at the neon towers of the city

rising into the black night and all

the people walking around over there


It`s a beautiful thing

to sit on a bench beneath a street lamp

and listen to the song of the night

while writing these words for you…


Tom Henry Brooks 3

Tokyo, Japan


It`s awfully hard to follow the great Bukowski, so cut me some slack….!!!!




Beneath the street light

in the windy darkness

a white plastic bag

tumbles down the street



the people walk by

faces lit in the soft glow


a woman strolls by

dressed to kill

no doubt going home

from some pointless encounter


a man in a suit

expressionless face

another day at the office

another day killed by routine


a mother and child,

toddler stumbles and falls

into the bushes and

mother is busy texting

on her cell phone and sees nothing

The child does not yet understand

that this will be the first of many falls

in this life


a taxi drives by

with the driver picking his nose

in the dark anonymity

of his vehicle while looking for a fare


A group of drunks stumbles by,

laughter in the darkness as one

of them carries another along

by the arm and screams in his ear


Beneath the street light

the night quietly fades into silence

and the people become

unusual specimens in the black of night


A lone old man probably

having a bout with insomnia

hobbles down the road

with no destination in mind

but eventual sleep


Suddenly, there is nothing.

The road is quiet and dormant,

lying idle in its own isolation;

no cars, no people…..nothing…

except for one….


Beneath the street light

a man stands with a Kentucky bourbon

and a cigarette

wondering why we are here

and knowing for sure that

he`ll never find the answer…



Tokyo, Japan




gives us the world

and takes it away from us.

In the same breath.”

Paul Auster


“For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and melt into the sun?

And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides?

And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then you shall truly dance…”

Kahlil Gibran


I’m teaching these little Japanese kids how to quote Fast and Furious – “I live my life a quarter-mile at a time.” HA!


I’m such a creature of habit that the nice guy at my regular Sukiya restaurant brought me my standard order of negitamagyu-don (rice beef bowl with egg and green onions) without my even ordering!




It recently occurred to me…




“The most important element in all forms of communication is understanding the language of what ISN`T being said.”


The moon is covered by floating clouds…




To be born into a world

where money is God

and war is a spectator sport


Where we waste our precious time

watching other people`s fabricated lives

on smooth shiny screens


Where people feel the need

to send out a tweet

every time they take a shit


To live in a world

in which working ourselves to death

for greasy pieces of paper is the norm


Where true artists

die unknown deaths, piecemeal

and dreams die even harder


To exist in this life

like an automaton

drained of all spirit


To blunder forward mechanically

seeking nothing more

than a night in front of the television


To live in this world

for some of us, anyway,

seems beyond ridiculous


In spite of all this

I bought the ticket

and I`m taking the ride…


Are you?




Tokyo, Japan







  1. Lykke

    Tom, thank you. Your strong and powerful poem ‘Ridiculous Life’ inspires me and makes me reflect over my own life. Thanks for reminding me that life is precious, and that we at least should consider our choices in life. It makes so much sense to me…Lykke

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