Important Disclaimer

Since I currently have several employers/supervisors/churches/etc., please know that none of the words on my blog represent them or their beliefs. This blog is my own creation.

It also does not represent my children's perspective, nor my mother's; they think I am funny, but misguided.
(Quick update: only my mother thinks I'm funny now.)

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Solace of Charles Bukowski

My Grandpa Jim, James G. Ewer
I was in a mood tonight for fifty-eleven reasons, so I stared at my bookshelves for a while, waiting for one of my friends to speak to me. Charles Bukowski's collection of poems and stories, Betting on the Muse, caught my eye. Charles Bukowski is not to everybody's taste, which he wrote about extensively and in rather crude terms, telling most of the world just where to go. He lived, astonishingly, from 1920 to 1994, a full 74 years, running full tilt into booze and women, homelessness, addiction, and lousy eating habits. Curmudgeon doesn't even come close. But at moments his crudity, anger, and self-indulgent angst hit a chord with me. Sometimes one needs the company of friends who know what it is to be a mess. It's why my Grandpa Jim used to get wasted on Friday nights and call everybody in his phone book, slurring his greetings, which were nonetheless filled with love for my mother.

So on nights when I can imagine losing myself to madness, abandoning all responsibilities and obligations (despite the joy to be found in such things), I pull out Bukowski and his grunge. And I guess he knew about that too, cuz he wrote this poem:

the luck of the word                

throughout the years
I have gotten letters
from men
who say
that reading my
has helped them
get through,
go on.

this is high praise
and I know what
they mean:
my nerve to go
on was helped
by reading
Fante, Dostoevsky,
Lawrence, Celine, Hamsun
and others

the word
raw on the page,
the simliarities of
our hells,
when it all comes
through with
those words and
what they speak
do help
get our asses
through the

a good book
can make an almost

for the reader
the writer.


  1. Hang in there Katie. My prayers and thoughts are with you. Suemoon/Carla

  2. I was just struck by how much Son#1 looks like Grandpa..


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