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My Letter to Charles Bukowski

A buffoon for a leader
Gauche, socially inept, dangerous
Waving his arms around trying to find words
In his non-existent vocabulary

A little yellow man waits, with a warhead,
To blow our west coast into the sea

The Russian bear awakes from a
decades long sleep
Sniffs around the buffoon and his
weak spots
Where to strike first?

Muslims take the rap for all the violence against the fat, over-indulgent, rich country and its infidels

A country known for taking in ‘your tired, your poor, your huddled masses’ locks its doors
Goes from house to house, plucking out the illegals, leaving families decimated
Children in cages
Has Hitler finally reincarnated?

Meanwhile the planet warms so that one can hardly recognize it

Dear Hank,
Nothing new here

TS: I found a letter Bukowski wrote back in 1993 which inspired me to answer him in 2017.
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning, April: Poet, Joe Albanese and May: Boo Walker 
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In Honor of National Poetry Month

I’m a humble poet, a rambling rhymester, a free verse fanatic, a Haiku sycophant. I love other poets and their scribbles and I worship at the altar of Charles Bukowski. For the month of April I celebrate National Poetry month with some of my own scribbles. 

Fragrance of Life © Trisha Sugarek

Cool rain drums on blistering
asphalt, the scent streams into
the nostrils–hot, grassy smell of
summer, freshly cut-smoky
cedar lingers on the air

Fresh popcorn drenched in
butter, I sit in the dark, musty
movie house. Childhood
memories of Tom Mix dashing
across the screen

A breath, deep of rain-damp wool,
heady peat of whiskey
neat. Old butt-imprinted leather
and the dusty, pulpy smell of a
well thumbed book as the page
is turned

The mule drawn plough turns the
rich, boggy earth beneath an
autumn sky. With luck and some
rain the larder is full at harvest
time

Wrapped in strong arms, nose
pressed to warm skin smelling of
soap and outdoors. Drinking the
heat in with the smell of the
man, your man

Sweet puppy breath. Pure
doggy conviction that you will
love him as much as he loves
you

Candles and incense in the
great cathedral… the heart fills
with faith, hope, and
expectation

Soft curls, sweet skin, the babe
squirms closer… powdery
newness, innocence, and trust

Briny, sharp tang of the northern
sea. Balmy, yielding, essence
under the Southern Cross
Green aftertaste, fishy decay
and salty fresh scent of the
clean-swept beach

Sultry air twines itself through the
Quarter, crushed sugar, wet
pavement, yeasty bouquet of
hot beignet. Warm beer,
praline sweet, heady grape
Old river water slugs along

Stifling, coppery smell of blood
be it the battle field, hospital,
crime scene, butcher shop, or
birthing room…

Cloys in the nostrils sticks in the
back of the throat like old
mucus,

Icy sweetness of winter air,
frigid sting of snow to come…
sharp pine tantalizes the senses,
as harsh breath smokes the air

Steaming manure in fresh straw,
roasted peanuts, pink spun
sugary sweet…
the pungent animals stalk the
cage. Sawdust under old
canvas glows like old gold in a
shaft of sun light.
The Big Top!
Childhood rushes back

The smell of her on your
mustache… you don’t want to
wash your face… lose the
intoxicating scent of her love

New trees struggle to rise above
a sea of old petroleum.
Pine sol lies still on the cold tiles,
stale baloney on old bread.
Rancid tired clothes reek of
cheap cologne
The truck belches halitosis

Move on down the highway

Sharp fall gusts through the
quaking aspen,
pitchy sap barks in the
crackling fire,
snowy air assaults the senses

The loon sings, warming and
plucking at the heart.
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning, April: Poet, Joe Albanese and May: Boo Walker 
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‘Windstill’ ~~~In Honor of National Poetry Month

Windstill © by Trisha Sugarek

Subtle silence
Windstill
trees await the next
message on the air

Windstill
not a whisper of birdsong
not a leaf-rustle intrudes
as it falls
fluttering to the ground

The wind has departed
beyond the next hill
leaving in its wake
Windstill

Will it return? The breeze
dancing amongst the leaves
to the tune of the forest

Shall the still wind haunt
amongst the trees?
or come roaring back, shrieking?
Windstill
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There isn’t anything lovelier than receiving reviews from my fellow poets as I celebrate Nat’l Poetry Month.  My free verse, “Dear John” was featured on the home page of Poetrysoup.com and received these: 

‘Trisha,this poem spoke to my heart. Very raw with emotions and beautifully written, Keep that fire burning,it will light up the pathway for your John.’ Chinwe Igbozurike

and

Trisha, I really enjoyed stepping behind your eyes for a brief eclipse with your heart! Wondrous writing!’  red barchettadrive
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning, April: Poet, Joe Albanese and May: Boo Walker 
To receive my posts sign up for my   On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 

In Honor of National Poetry Month

I’m a humble poet, a rambling rhymester, a free verse fanatic, a Haiku sycophant. I love other poets and their scribbles and I worship at the alter of Charles Bukowski. For the month of April I celebrate National Poetry month with some of my own scribbles. 

FOGGY NIGHT © Trisha Sugarek

The white orb, tidal
saturated with huge flows
pierces through the veil
a ghost ship shrouded
in fog slips up the channel
Night gulls sing and cry
day is gone, night creeps
fog seeps in, the tide rolls out
water glistens, gold

Night soft, edges blurred
trees in ebony, drift by
damp seeps into bones
Fog casts tents of light
Hunters of the sea own night
swoop, dive, attack, eat
Fishers, feathers stark
white against the night shadows
palm trees shape the gauze
brushes hard with paint
Pilings sway, waists cinched with rope
the craft finds its home

There isn’t anything lovelier than receiving reviews from my fellow poets as I celebrate Nat’l Poetry Month.  My free verse, “Dear John” was featured on the home page of Poetrysoup.com and recieved these: 

‘Trisha,this poem spoke to my heart. Very raw with emotions and beautifully written, Keep that fire burning,it will light up the pathway for your John.’ Chinwe Igbozurike

and

Trisha, I really enjoyed stepping behind your eyes for a brief eclipse with your heart! Wondrous writing!’  red barchettadrive
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning, April: Poet, Joe Albanese, and May: Boo Walker 
To receive my posts sign up for my   On the home page, enter your email address.  Thanks! 

In Honor of National Poetry Month

I’m a humble poet, a rambling rhymester, a free verse fanatic, a Haiku sycophant. I love other poets and their scribbles and I worship at the alter of Charles Bukowski. For the month of April I celebrate National Poetry month with some of my own scribbles. 

 

The Long Trail © by Trisha Sugarek

The Circle Heart brand on the wet rump rippled
the horse shivered with exhaustion
the sun lost its battle with night and
dropped behind the far desolate peak

Chaparejos, worn thin and soft fit his legs
As if they had grown there
dusty spurs jangled as he trotted down the main
street of the sleepy town
a saddle that had seen a thousand miles creaked
and complained as he stepped down
the crown of his hat stained with sweat
from the hard ride

Reins dangled in the dirt
the horse hung his head, relieved
to not be moving

A drink or two to wash the Santa Fe Trail dust
from the cowboy’s throat
he stepped up onto the boardwalk,
turned and gazed at the town
and the mountains beyond
the color of old blood as the sun lost its glory

He pulled a cigarillo out,
one smooth movement wiped a match on his pants,
the tiny flame ignited
he puffed and blew smoke into the night air
watched the town close up for the day

Across the street a cur scurried around a corner
a merchant keyed his shop closed and
lit the gas lantern beside his door

The work had been good at the Circle Heart ranch,the grub even better
But the trail was his siren, always calling him, luring him over the next hill, 
down the next wash,
up the next canyon
sleeping next to a small camp fire,
staring at a billion stars
wondering if someone, something out there
was staring back

He wanted to settle but he hadn’t found
the right place
the right woman
the right time

Flicking the smoke into the street, he turned
and sauntered into the saloon,
honky-tonk piano played
the doors behind him whispered back and forth

The patrons saw another dusty, tired cowpoke, looking
for a few hours of pleasure
some music, some whiskey, and if he could afford it
the soft arms of a woman

The cowboy saw weak town folk,
forever saddled to their days
the bit in their mouths dictating their lives
wary of any stranger, their gaze shied away

Set ‘em up and keep ‘em comin’, the cowboy barked

Show me your coin, the barkeep growled

His days were numbered,
the boys from the Circle Heart ranch
would find him and the horse
They would take their horse and probably string
him up to the nearest tree

There isn’t anything lovelier than receiving reviews from my fellow poets as I celebrate Nat’l Poetry Month.  My free verse, “Dear John” was featured on the home page of Poetrysoup.com and recieved these: 

‘Trisha, this poem spoke to my heart. Very raw with emotions and beautifully written, Keep that fire burning,it will light up the pathway for your John.’ Chinwe Igbozurike

and

Trisha, I really enjoyed stepping behind your eyes for a brief eclipse with your heart! Wondrous writing!’  red barchettadrive
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MY BLOG features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   December:  Jayne Ann Krentz (Amanda Quick)  January: Molly Gloss.  February: Rick Lenz, March: Patrick Canning and April: Poet, Joe Albanese
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Haiku Poetry

 

 

 

 

 

Like an Animal, You Have to Lay Down and Wait…

Charles Bukowski, writing, creating, writers  I posted this several years ago and it bears repeating:

I had not worked on my latest novel (#9) for several days and I was getting itchy.  I have learned that it’s okay…not to write. 

I have several good ideas rattling around in the ‘attic’ and I am reading voraciously and posting on my blog.  It’s a recurring theme, from me to my readers,  about not forcing it, not to beat yourself up because it is not coming.

Summers are hot and humid here and not my favorite weather so I spend a lot of time indoors.  I spent this summer with the man in my life…poet, Charles ‘Hank’ Bukowski.  God!  I love his genius!  And the best thing about having an imaginary playmate is that they always agree with you.    He wrote this beautiful metaphor about laying down and waiting for the inspiration and creativity to come to you.

And you know what?  This can apply to how you live your life too.  Don’t push it!  Wait!  Be patient and good things will come.

in the center of the action (c)
by Charles Bukowski

you have to lay down like an animal
until it charges,  you
have to lay down
in the center of the action

lay down and wait until it charges
then you must get up
face it, get it
before it gets you

the whole process is more
shy than
vulnerable so

lay down and wait sometimes it’s
ten minutes sometimes it’s years sometimes it
never arrives but you can’t rush it push itfamous quotes, famous writers, Bukowski, Churchill, famous men
there’s no way to cheat or get a
jump on it you have to

lay down
lay down and wait like
an animal.

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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    July: Janet Macleod Trotter, author of Tea Planter’s Daughter and in August we said ‘hello’ to Cheryl Hollon.   September: Dylan Callens and October’s author will be Donna Kauffman. 
                                                                                   
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Motivational Moments…for Writers #29

All works in a series, sequel or trilogy must stand alone. Therefore the writer must duplicate information (set-up) about the characters, place, time, etc., in each book.

Being an avid reader and fond of series, I noticed that it didn’t bother me that I was reading duplicate information. It struck me that it was probably true of most other readers. I doubt readers even notice unless they are ‘binge’ reading an entire series.

My message here to you other writers, is don’t let it worry you. Each book must be written as if it’s the only book that your reader will read of yours. 

It’s also acceptable to throw in teasers from books in the series. For example I tell (in book #7, World of Murder) of my detective going to a cake tasting in preparation for his wedding.  This might ‘tease’ my readers into wanting to know how O’Roarke and Summer met, fell in love, how he proposed and so on.
And nothing is sweeter than to have a fan ask if there will be a sequel or if the first book will become a series. Both has happened to me!

“words like wine, words like blood, words out of the mouths of past loves dead. words like bullets, words like bees, words for the way the good die and the bad live on…”  Charles Bukowski

“Mostly, we authors must repeat ourselves…that’s the truth. We have two or three great moving experiences in our lives…experiences so great and moving that it doesn’t seem at the time that anyone else has been caught up and pounded and dazzled and astonished and beaten and broken and rescued and illuminated and rewarded and humbled in just that way ever before.”  F. Scott Fitzgerald

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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?    February’s author was Sheryl Steines. Johan Thompson (South African author)  joined us in April.   June: Mehreen Ahmed.  July: Janet Macleod Trotter, author of Tea Planter’s Daughter
                                                                                   
                                        
Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

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New Book of Poetry Available Now!

AVAILABLE NOW!   Moths and Machetes

Moths and Machetes begins where Butterflies and Bullets left off.  A collection of free verse poetry, Haiku and musings about life, loss, love, and grief. Some fall on the ears like the touch of moth fluttering against the light. Others slice into you like a knife.  The poet’s inspiration was taken from life’s experiences.

Sample:

Ruin  (Renku)

The barn, sad and old
forgotten  still standing strong
cob webs in sun beams

recycled boards raped
floor torn away, back bone gone
dust haze dance in light

the barn sad, noble
survives the last season proud
the roof falls, barn death

‘A fascinating mélange of sensual experiences. Your poem reads like a mosaic — never tiring us by lingering too long on a particular stimulation. Every line is fresh and invigorating.’ ~ Review:  Fragrance of Life

Superbly crafted word images — descriptive, picturesque and imaginative. Superbly crafted word images — descriptive, picturesque and imaginative.‘ James Toil

Rain on the Face of Africa  ©

The great Serengeti‟s broad
face lies in the African sun,
dry, weathered, cracked,
thirsty for the season‟s tears.
Storm clouds gather on her
brow like an old lady‟s curls.
Promises, promising.
An empty promise.

The rains are too late…..

 

 All books, plays and poetry available at www.amazon.com

Book Cover Art by David White
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MY BLOGS feature INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months?   December: Reed Farrel Coleman, contributing writer for Robert B. Parker series. January was Dinah Jefferies and February’s author is Sheryl Steines. Johan Thompson (South African author) will join us in March.
Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!

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A Chip Off the Old Bukowski Block

My efforts have lain elsewhere of late…re-energized with my most ambitious novel, Song of the Yukon and maintaining a blog that is a never ending job.

But this poetry came to me, as it often does, with no apparent rhyme or reason.  I had just been reading some Bukowski and he always inspirespoet, wisdom, Charles Bukowski
me. I don’t suggest that I am even on the same planet as Hank, with regard to poetry, but I do admire his harsh, poetry reality.
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A Chip Off the Old Bukowski Block ©  by Trisha Sugarek

i sit here on the toilet
looking at the cane by my side
when did this happen?

its pronged feet could, at any moment,
scamper into a tidal pool, so much does it
remind me of a robotic crab

my mornings now consist of pills,
shuffling to the next room,
with the aid of my robotic crab
to pour cereal
then work up a shit before I can
leave the house
When did this happen?

bodily functions take priority as
I can no longer trust this body not
to embarrass me in public
when did this happen?

my knees are shot to hell
my bowels rumble and twist
my arthritis tears at me with sharp little teeth
my vision is perfect, cataracts
blasted away by another robot
when did this happen?

the other day my mind went on a holiday
leaving me behind, confused and blank,
frightened
is this a harbinger of what’s to come
when did this happen?

Have you discovered my regular postings:  Motivational Moments…for Writers?

“An intellectual says a simple thing in a  hard way.  An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.”  Charles Bukowski

My INTERVIEW with Bukowski
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DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS! In April, a long awaited interview with Kathleen Grissom (The Kitchen House)   Michael Saad, Canadian author, was June’s author. Robyn Carr is July’s author. Check out Motivational Moments…for Writers!

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My Interview with Charles Bukowski, Poet, Drunk, Reprobate, Genius

I would pay a lot of money to interview the great authors of our time.  Steinbeck, Bronte, Hemingway, Austen, Twain, London, Service, John McDonald, Robert Parker.  But at the top of my bucket list would be Henry Charles Bukowski {1920-1994}.  So I asked myself would it be so very strange or inappropriate to pretend what it might have been like? Post an interview with ‘Hank’ Bukowski even though he’s been dead almost twenty years? The answer was no!

I imagined I was sitting with him, in a corner booth, in some  neighborhood watering hole.  Old die-hard drunks sit up at the bar minding their own business.   I can see tree roots growing from the seat of their pants into the seat of the bar stools. Wet, green tendrils curl around the stool legs.  They don’t speak.  They stare into their empty glass or into their own smoky reflection in the mirror on the back wall. What do they see? A long-lost heaven?  A nearby hell? 

  Bukowski has already finished his first drink and signals the bartender for another.  I am paying of course.   (viewer discretion advised ~ language)
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The Interview:

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing?

CB.  Anywhere they’ll leave me the hell alone.  I’m not particular.

Q. Do you have any special rituals when you sit down to write? 

CB.  A fifth of bourbon, a couple packs of cigarettes. Quiet. Enough paper, which can be a problem when I’m between jobs.

Q. What is your mode of writing?

CB. A pencil or pen, I don’t care.  Paper. My Remington typewriter if it’s not in pawn.  Sometimes the bartender will let me have the left over stubs of pencils from around the bar. Many years ago, this drunk in a suit was sitting next to me, over there at the bar.  He was complaining that his company had bought something called a ‘computer’ and they were making him learn how to do his sales reports on it.  He hated it but he said,  ‘I fear that it is the face of the future, Hank.’  Goddamn machines, taking over the world and us  bit by bit.  I’ll stick to my pencil and paper.

Q. Do you have a set time each day to write or do you write only when you are feeling creative?

CB.  Listen, girl,  I wish there were more times when I didn’t ‘feel creative’; didn’t need to write.  Occasionally when I’m f—ing or I’m blind drunk, or both, I can take a break and forget.

Q. What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?

CB. Legitimate writers don’t procrastinate.

Q. How does a writer begin? How do you write, create?

CB. You don’t try. That’s very important: not to try, when it comes to Cadillacs, creation or immortality. You wait, and if nothing happens, you wait some more. It’s like a bug high on the wall. You wait for it to come to you. When it gets close enough you reach out, slap out and kill it. Or if you like its looks you make a pet out of it.

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing and for how long?

CB. I’m lost right now.  Wait fifteen minutes…..(he stared into space) nope, still lost.  Does that answer your question?

Q. Who or what is your ‘muse’ at the moment?

famous authors, Charles Bukowski, interviews, best selling authorsA.  Ha! You’re funny.  Let’s see, junkies, slant-eyed women, barkeeps, dogs, cats, mocking birds, my landlady, bums, women….oh yeah, women most definitely.  War, rain, politicians, pigs, beautiful young girls as they walk by, Jane, the shoeshine man, booze, my father, gravediggers, whores in Mexico.

Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

CB. I don’t remember…a long, long time ago.

Q. How long after that were you published?

CB.  Decades.  I sent my stuff to every sex rag, publisher, and agent I could find.  It was always  rejected until one day It wasn’t.   I’d sell my blood so I could buy stamps.

Q. What makes a writer great?

CB. You can’t have rules.  No woman who is so important that she gets in your way.  No job that can keep you from what you have to do. Knowing that sometimes when you’re drunk you are a better writer.famous authors, Charles Bukowski, interviews, best selling authors

Q. ….and the all important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like? 

CB. There’s never ‘no book’ for me. It might not be down on paper yet, but it’s always there.  When my head gets so full it might explode then I find a pencil and write it down.  I don’t give a shit if a book is ‘finished’.  That’s what publishers are for.  I just send them my stuff and if they print all of it or some of it, I’m happy.  The thing that I won’t let them do is change anything.  Not a word.  It drives ’em crazy.

Q. What inspired your stories and your poetry?

CB.  Mostly the streets of L.A.  And don’t call my shit ‘poetry’. That’s what the suits call it so people will buy it.   “…my poems are only bits of scratchings on the floor of a cage…”  Mostly I just write what I see and how I feel about it.  And I see a lot of sick shit.  And I don’t feel so good about it.

    Q. Is there anything else you’d like my readers to know?

CB. Yeah, a few things:  ‘We have wasted History like a bunch of drunks shooting dice back in the men’s crapper of the local bar.’  and……

‘There will always be something to ruin our lives, it all depends on what or which finds us first. We are always ripe and ready to be taken.’  and….

‘The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don’t have to waste your time voting’……. and finally,

‘I don’t like jail, they got the wrong kind of bars in there.’

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MY features INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!   Did you miss the past few months? March: Mystery (and Western) writer, Larry D. Sweazy.  April: World Traveler, Tal Gur. June: mystery author, Manning Wolfe.
                                                                                   
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