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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.

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,
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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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)

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.’


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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Time For More Bukowski

No matter how outrageous his life or his writings, I always feel better after I’ve read a few pages of thispoet, wisdom, Charles Bukowski genius’ poetry.  I came across a couple today that really spoke to me…when does he ever not speak to me?

this       by Charles Bukowski ©

being drunk at the typer beats being with any woman I’ve ever seen or known or heard about
Joan of Arc, Cleopatra, Garbo, Harlow M.M. or any
of the thousands that come and go on that celluloid screen
or the temporary girls I’ve seen so lovely
on park benches, on buses, at dances and parties, at
beauty contests, cafes, circuses, parades, department
stores, skeet shoots, balloon flys, author races, rodeos,
bull fights, mus wrestling, roller derbies, pie bakes,
churches, volleyball games, boat races, country fairs,
rock concerts, jails, laundromats or wherever

being drunk at this typer beats being with any woman
I’ve ever seen or

this from a woman writer     by Trisha Sugarek ©

being sober at the keyboard beats being with any man
I’ve ever seen or known or heard about
Prince Charles, Donald Trump, Alan  Rickman, Liam Neisen, Edward Norton,
Anthony Hopkins, and yes, Hank Bukowski or
any temporary men like the sailor who drugged me with a sensual
world with no rules, the marine who I spent half my life with, the construction
man on the streets of NYC whose eyes
had a minute affaire with mine,
gone in an instant with much regret on
both our parts more »

The Dark Days of…Poetry

Time for a bit of Bukowski and yours truly!

how is your heart? Charles Bukowski ©poet, wisdom, Charles Bukowski

during my worst times
on the park benches
in the jails
or living with
I always had this certain
I wouldn’t call it
it was more of an inner
that settled for
whatever was occurring
and it helped in the
and when relationships
went wrong
with the

it helped
through the
wars and the
the backalley fights

to awaken in a cheap room
in a strange city and
pull up the shade–
this was the craziest kind of
and to walk across the floor more »

Time to Take a Breath…Time For a Little Poetry

crazy ladyWhat a week!  Wrangling with a small so-called, publisher and their poorly written contract, (which I turned down). Writers! Beware of scam artists that call themselves publishers!  A week of being in the clutches of an editor (just kidding…it’s a wonderful experience, writers, you should try it) and trying to survive record-breaking summer temps in Savannah.

I said to a friend, just today, (when she said she was taking a few days off but would continue to work from her mobile.)  ‘BALANCE’,  turn your phone off. more »

Nostalgia…and Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski, drunk, reprobate, genius

‘Hank’ with his beloved Remington typewriter

It’s a well known fact that I have an on-going love affair with Charles Bukowski, poet, drunk, homeless bum, reprobate, genius.  We haven’t been back to visit with him lately and it’s way past time.  If you search my posts you can enjoy my other thoughts about his writings and poetry.  My favorite is an interview I conducted with him…posthumously.  Yes, nineteen years after his death.  If that seems crazy to you…then let me be insane.  But, read it before you judge.


magic machine ©  by Charles Bukowski

I liked the old records that
as the needle slid across
grooves well
you heard the voice
coming through
the speaker more »

There’s a Tinge of Sadness to my Laugh! Charles Bukowski

Bukowski.More from Charles Bukowski……..His insight is pure truth but who among us would think in quite this way?  Never a glass far from his hand, never a woman far from his arm, never a stubby pencil far from his fingers, never a cat not winding its way around his legs, never many days going by without watching the horses race…the genius wrote and wrote and then wrote some more… and very little of it was false.  A lot of his humor was cloaked in irony if you look very closely.

wearing the collar  © Bukowski

I live with a lady and four cats
and some days we all get along.

some days I have trouble with
one of the
cats. more »

Charles Bukowski…Tired and Worn Out

famous authors, Charles Bukowski, interviews, best selling authors

Bukowski’s ‘safe place’ when it just became too much

You Get So Alone at Times that it Just Makes Sense’    While I find everything Bukowski writes has something in it for me this collection has a different ‘feel’.   More down, more depressed, more complaining.  Not much fight left.

But since it was published later in his life, just eight short years before he died,  maybe the flavor of this book is just because he’s older, worn out, and sick.  His joints hurt, his liver is shot (probably), Jane is dead, the IRS is sending him letters informing him that interest is compounding DAILY and, worse, the horses are not paying off.

Don’t misunderstand, I love his work (how can there be any doubt if you’ve read my blog for any length of time) and I continue to be inspired by his insights about life, people, politics, writing and his razor sharp truth about HIMSELF. more »

Charlie and I are back…with our Poetry (Charles Bukowski)

It’s Charles Bukowski month!!! No secret.  I am in love with the guy’s raw, tell it like it is, writing So here’s a work of his and a work of mine.  I’m fully aware that my scribbles should not be on the same page or in the same room as this great writer…….(so please don’t write me) I am just sharing a frame of mind.  I believe that if you lay down with dogs you get fleas.  If you read great writers, just maybe some of their brilliance will rub off or teach you something.

Try your hand;  there are no fast and hard rules to poetry anymore…at least none that I pay attention to.  (and I’m in good company with this sentiment)  It’s far more important that you write your thoughts down.  Bukowski believed that too.  He couldn’t have cared less what his critics thought….no pentameter?  no rhyme?    So What!!??


Apocalypse ©Apacolypse

The whale sings
and I weep,

The world groans
and I ache,

The wind gusts
and I bend,

The surf sighs
and I rage,

The babe cries
and I mourn,

The mountains shift
and I flinch,

The ebony sun melts
and I rail,

The earth dies
and I wear black.  T.Sugarek

more »

“I’ll Take It”….Bukowski and Me

From his later life writings and his book, “You Get so Alone at Times that it Just Makes Sense” Bukowski wrote about how he felt bukow.typwriterhe had beaten the odds….poetry gushing faster than he could write it down and grateful that he was still alive after the hard life he had lived.

I can relate….although I had been writing since my eighth grade history class (Thank you, Miss O’Connor) I certainly didn’t consider myself a ‘writer‘.  Then very late in life, (1994) I began in earnest.  Writing my first full length play. The next one came even easier….then the next one…it’s never stopped, the ideas.

Then friends who read my plays insisted that they wanted the ‘rest of the story’.  What happened to a particular character?  Did Bill ever get out of prison?  Did Monty kill Samantha?  Did Charlie make good his escape? Did Violet get her kids back? So…now I’ve written seven novels, stage plays and countless poems. more »