>Charles Bukowski Mondays

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Friendly Advice to a lot of Young Men
By Charles Bukowski

Go to Tibet.
Ride a camel.
Read the Bible.
Dye your shoes blue.
Grow a Beard.
Circle the world in a paper canoe.
Subscribe to “The Saturday Evening Post.”
Chew on the left side of your mouth only.
Marry a woman with one leg and shave with a straight razor.
And carve your name in her arm.

Brush your teeth with gasoline.
Sleep all day and climb trees at night.
Be a monk and drink buckshot and beer.
Hold your head under water and play the violin.
Do a belly dance before pink candles.
Kill your dog.
Run for Mayor.
Live in a barrel.
Break your head with a hatchet.
Plant tulips in the rain.

But don’t write poetry.

>the worst and the best

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By Charles Bukowski

in the hospitals and jails
it’s the worst
in madhouses
it’s the worst
in penthouses
it’s the worst
in skid row flophouses
it’s the worst
at poetry readings
at rock concerts
at benefits for the disabled
it’s the worst
at funerals
at weddings
it’s the worst
at parades
at skating rinks
at sexual orgies
it’s the worst
at midnight
at 3 a.m
at 5:45 p.m.
its the worst

falling through the sky
firing squads
that’s the best

thinking of India
looking at popcorn stands
watching the bull get the matador
that’s the best

boxed lightbulbs
an old dog scratching
peanuts in a celluloid bag
that’s the best

spraying roaches
a clean pair of stockings
natural guts defeating natural talent
that’s the best

rugs with cigarette burns
cracks in sidewalks
waitresses still sane
that’s the best

my hands dead
my heart dead
silence
adagio of rocks
the world ablaze
that’s the best

for me

>Movies in 3D: Peeking Into the Future Through Glasses From the Past

>Looking through Willie Wonka, the 21st century version, goggle-type sunglasses in the vast sea of families seated beside me, with creatures from under the sea mercilessly coming towards me while listening to Jim Carrey’s narrated voice made for some interesting entertainment this morning.
Today, I ventured out to meet my sister and 3 and a half year old nephew to the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. We were experiencing a new underwater film in 3D at the local IMAX theatre. “Under The Sea 3D” transports moviegoers to some of the most exotic and isolated undersea locations on Earth, including Southern Australia, New Guinea and others in the Indo-Pacific region, allowing them to experience face-to-face encounters with some of the most mysterious and stunning creatures of the sea.

As I was watching and enjoying this 45 minute film which depicts some of the rarest and beautiful creatures below the ocean, I came to a thought: Are Hollywood films in 3D becoming a mainstay? Will we see Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Mickey Rourke,Will Smith and others up close and personal, face-to-face? I hope not. The reason I feel this way is because, while the horror film “My Bloody Valentine” in 3D was interesting to watch and gruesome as the blood spatter flew towards me onto my lenses, I was sometimes too occupied trying to keep the gigantic 3D glasses on over my own regular spectacles that I missed parts of what was going on. I’m used to be called four-eyes but six-eyes is ridiculous.
Everywhere now I see movies, mostly children’s, advertising 3D. Like “Journey to the Center of the Earth” with Brendan Fraser where if you do not have 3D glasses all you are able to see is double vision.

While i do see the enjoyment of 3D, with the screen popping out in front of our faces and nearly giving us heart attacks when something or someone unexpectedly comes roaring toward us, but maybe I am old-fashioned and do not understand the 3D spectacle beyond the IMAX and retro theaters. Bringing us back to a time when it was new.
The 3D technology and sunglasses are much improved since the first feature film in 3D, “Bwana Devil,” in 1952. Their advertisement for this new craze promised, “A lion in your lap! A lover in your arms! Newer than television!” It was definitely newer and the industry began to cash in right away with films like “It Came from Outer Space,” written by Ray Bradbury and “House of Wax,” staring Vincent Price. With the 3D bonanza coming in and out of popularity for three decades, having it’s final Howrah in the 1980’s, 3D was the thing of the past.

Yet, as we all now know, things from the past always seem to find its way out of the woodwork and become fashionable and new once again. but i am still unconvinced about this possible born-again 3D excitement. I enjoy the 2D experience and knowing that i can come to a theatre or pop in a dvd at home and not have to worry whether I can see straight or not. Therefore, If Hollywood hopes to profit from 3D, it better learn the lessons from its history, especially the lesson that it can’t make a crappy movie any better.

>Ken Griffey Jr.: Seattle’s Field of Dreams

>I was not born in Seattle but I consider myself a Seattlite. Hell, i gave that distinction to a fellow blogger friend of mine and she does not even live here, but because she loves the Emerald City so much, we thought it would be only right to present her with an honorary “Seattlite” title. Therefore, as a implanted Emerald Citylite, it has been amazing to witness and hear the enthusiastic, thunderous roars of the original natives reacting to the return of Ken Griffey Jr. to the Mariners.

Let me backtrack just for a second. As the 2009 Major League Baseball season begins to rear its bloated steroid filled head, and signings begin or continue to happen, It was a back and forth waiting game between the city, the Seattle Times, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Griffey’s decision on where he was going to play ball this coming season. Apparently his decision was between the Atlanta Braves, his hometown but where he is considered only a named 39 year old veteran past his prime or here in Seattle where he began his Hall of Fame career and is considered the savior and the lifeblood of this city and franchise even after many years away.

This morning it became official. He signed a 1 year deal with the Seattle Mariners. I can hear the rumblings and roars of “World Champs” mushroom this city already. Waking up to my morning sports radio, i found it amusing and thought provoking to hear the talking mouths discuss what it means for the Emerald City and surrounding areas to have “The Kid”, as Griffey was rightly nicknamed, come back home. Amusing for the fact that we now believe the Mariners to be automatic contenders, if not World Series champions when for the past eight years they have been abysmal at best. Thought provoking, for the fact that even though i too am excited to see him back with the team he began his career, as an original Alaskan i cannot see what positive force he will have for this team besides leadership in the clubhouse and the praise and honor of the city crowd, like a true Gladiator winning his audience as he slays his enemy.

As i was listening to the radio hosts display their overt affection and admiration, telling their audience that fathers and sons will now come from far and wide to see Ken Griffey Jr. play and they will tell stories to their youngsters about the first time he played here and the fascination he brought to the game and their lives. It reminded me of Kevin Costner’s 1989 film, “Field of Dreams” and the same way Costner’s character, Ray Kinsella, built his baseball field; Ken Griffey and the Mariners have built the optimism back into this city. As James Earl Jones’ character says to Ray in the film, “The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again. Oh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.”

I might not see right away the positive cause and effect that the Mariners will make this coming season with Griffey in the lineup. They might still be abysmal or they might actually win games, but one thing is clear:

People will come, people will most definitely come.

>More Bailout Money for the Greedy

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The Mayor of Lansing, MI is absolutely right. It is hypocritical of the banks and Wall street to receive OUR money without a second glance while main street and the auto industry plead for their collective lives. In the past i have been skeptical and critical of the CEO’s of the big three auto makers, of any CEO really, when they first came to Washington in private jets but they cleaned up their act and demonstrated that they understand the crunch America is in at this moment.
I cannot say the same for Wall street and their greed is good, self-serving, more more more attitude. I am fascinated by their exuberance and disdain for the true Americans, Main Street.
I realize that the suits’, on their high horses looking out of their high rise corner penthouse offices, attitude and greed will never cease but i do hope if we finally decide to disperse the stimulus money to the people and companies who really need it then Wall street will at least give a second glance if not a second look.

>Charles Bukowski Mondays

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So You Want To Be a Writer?

By Charles Bukowski
if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
fame,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
else,
forget about it.
if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.
if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.
don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.
when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.
there is no other way.
and there never was.

>Searching for My Black Rock

>Before i explain my dilemma, i should explain that “Black Rock” refers to the title of a song by the band O.A.R which apparently is a road and area in Rockville, Maryland, where the band originates. That area is apparently where the lead singer and his band mates went to relax and get away from things, write songs and gather ideas.
I have been searching long and hard for my black rock, where i could go and write freely and have not a care in the world. I believed i had found my rock many times before yet each time i realized it was not for me. I do not know why it seems so frustrating to find a place to relax, write and read where i am.
I have read numerous books on famous writers like: Hemingway, Joyce, Salinger, Whitman, Kerouac, etc… I have read what their daily writing habits were like, where they went to write and get away. They all were different. I have learned that it is not always the place itself but how you feel in that place that works for you and your writing.
Also, It is funny to make this connection but i am reminded as well of the last moments of the movie “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” when Matthew McConaughey’s character confronts Kate Hudson on the Brooklyn Bridge and deters her from leaving New York. She tells him she has an interview in Washington for another publication and McConaughey’s character, Ben, keeps asking her “Where are you going?” And she tells him its the only place she can go to write what she wants to write. Ben tells her that he does not buy that because she can write anywhere.

That is true.

I may struggle in finding my Black Rock but learning and believing that we, as writers, are able to write anywhere. It does not and should not matter where our “place” we escape to is.