The Genius Of The Crowd

there is enough treachery,
hatred violence absurdity
in the average human being
to supply any given army on any given day

and the best at murder
are those who preach against it
and the best at hate are those who preach love
and the best at war finally are those who preach peace

those who preach god, need god
those who preach peace do not have peace
those who preach peace do not have love

beware the preachers
beware the knowers
beware those who are always reading books
beware those who either detest poverty
or are proud of it
beware those quick to praise
for they need praise in return
beware those who are quick to censor
they are afraid of what they do not know
beware those who seek constant crowds for
they are nothing alone
beware the average man the average woman
beware their love, their love is average
seeks average

but there is genius in their hatred
there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you
to kill anybody
not wanting solitude
not understanding solitude
they will attempt to destroy anything
that differs from their own
not being able to create art
they will not understand art
they will consider their failure as creators
only as a failure of the world
not being able to love fully
they will believe your love incomplete
and then they will hate you
and their hatred will be perfect

like a shining diamond
like a knife
like a mountain
like a tiger
like hemlock

their finest art

– Charles Bukowski, 1966

a girl named fred + zip the pinhead + agora aconteceu + airport sitter

today is charles bukowski’s birthday.

your hero. the greatest writer of all time. american or otherwise. the reason for everything.

today i write to you from hollywood california, where the king of the world once lived. lived for a long time. drank mostly, but lived a lot too.

bukowski, savior to the underclass, defender of the forgotten. hope to the ugly and the scarred and the uncool and the sick.

proof that poetry can come from everywhere, even the drunkard in the corner with the bag around his bottle.

like most great things, the Lord showed me bukowski in a library. procrastinating as always i roamed the 8th floor stacks in santa barbara and found a tidy little row of one bukowski novel after another. mixed in were poems. quick little ones, longer ones.

lines that floated in space

gave you time to think about them

everyday language in everyday settings like diners and hotel rooms and train stations and factories.

bukowski showed us that the hero of the story could have a nickel to his name and bad breath

and maybe not even the best intentions even, but he was alive and therefore somehow important, and the story would explain what first glance couldn’t.

the lesson of bukowski is the lesson for anything: don’t give up, you might not be an american idol at nineteen, you might not be born with the looks of a kennedy, you might not always have the luck o the irish, you might not even ever have a number one best seller on the ny times list. but you still have a shot at being the best because being the best isn’t about movie star looks, units moved, or luck.

being the best is about banging it out every day and every night better than the next guy, and definitely better than the pretty boy. its about taking back the night. its about picking fights until everyone knows that you’re in the ring and you might not be the king of each battle but you’re a force to be reckoned with. somehow.

bukowski didn’t have to speak french in his novels the way hemingway did. he didn’t have to tap dance around his drinking or stick his pinkie out or have to use the right glass or be international. he just fucking drank.

hem talked about wars and signed up and fought and buk fought too except he didn’t have the luxury of leaving after a few years, hank fought for decades. and lost for decades.

hemingway was 24 when he wrote the sun also rises and it was published immediately.
bukowski never had a steady publisher until he was nearly twice that, hell, he didn’t even start writing seriously until he was in his late thirties, but as soon as he started writing he never stopped. not even his mindless fulltime job at the LA post office that nearly killed him after his third year got in the way of his writing. in fact, when he returned to the grind and stayed there 12 more years, he finished his run by knocking out one of the finest novels of the american working class “Post Office.”

As a matter of fact, once John Martin launched Black Sparrow Press out of his own pocket, pretty much just to allow bukowski to quit his job and write as much as he wanted, he reeled off an impressive string of novels and poetry collections of high quality, creativity, and depth.

Notes of a Dirty Old Man, 1969
Post Office, 1971
Mockingbird Wish Me Luck, 1972
South of No North, 1973
Burning in Water Drowning in Flame, 1974
Factotum 1975
Love Is A Dog From Hell, 1977
Women, 1978
Play The Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin To Bleed A Bit, 1979
Dangling in the Tournefortia, 1981
Ham On Rye 1982
Hot Water Music, 1983

i like bukowski because he barely bitched about his lot in life. he didn’t run around saying oh woe is me. he didn’t write about how ts eliot was kicking his ass in book sales. he didn’t whine about how a certain young lady said she wouldn’t f him even if she lost a bet.

one thing bukowski did that i wish i had the guts to do was send his shit out to the world. he mailed off his poems and his stories and his everythings out to the publishers and magazine editors and newspapers and they mailed pretty much everything back.

far too punk rock for the good paying literature mags of his day, bukowski was forced to write for sex papers underground magazines and collections of unheard poets and writers. but unlike van gogh he kept at it. getting little nibbles here and there. writing regardless. telling the stories of everyday life in americas lower class.

he married a wealthy five-foot tall texan with a stiff neck, divorced her, and then married two other times.

late in his life good luck found him and not only did he die wealthy and famous, but he lived the last decade of his life respected for staying true to himself, never selling out or changing for the times or for the big bucks.

his stories and novels live on. his poems resonate stronger now than ever. theres not a writer alive who match him with the one-two punch of poetry and fiction, longevity, and production.

and unlike papa hemingway and the other quote unquote important american writers other than twain, bukowski could make you laugh.

flash + kyle + riley dog + xtracyx

nothing happens in a vaccuum

nothing. theres not even vaccuumming happenning in a vaccuum.

member when i told you about my relationship to tsar? how we all worked at the daily nexus at ucsb including two members of tsar.

108. mimi

well the lead singer of the band is jeff whalen, who was pretty damn good at the paper his own self, but his brother was just that much better. jeffs brother is named pat.

now the first time that i started reading the nexus was when steve elzer was running the ship. and back then he had a freshman sports editor named pat. pat became editor in chief as a sophomore, which is unheard of, especially when you realize all the talent that was overflowing at the paper. and mind you, we knew even then how much talent was all up in that shit. so for pat to be running the show at 19 years old tells you who he is.

pat was definately my hero at the paper. i approached him when i first walked in the doors and i saw him face down on the couch and i passed him by and asked if i could speak to the editor. someone nodded to the heap on the couch and i was all oh. and then i was all, i love this place.

when pat wasnt passed out he was writing the best news stories and telling the best tales and debating everyone about guns n roses or turning dudes like me onto the geto boys.

now we nexus boys all pretty much live near each other in hollywood. but pat lives in prauge. however for the last few weeks he has been vacationing in his childhood home of long beach.

the other day ben sullivan of the science blog started a little email chain among we nexus males. he tossed around the idea of drinking of booze and eating of greasy meats and potatoes.

maybe they do that sort of thing, but i dont. i stay at home or i head over to hot babes condos or i patrol the meanstreets of la keeping this fair city safe.

but ben hardly ever bothers me and pat is still pretty much my hero, and even welch will tell you that if it wasnt for pat, none of us would be the writers that we are today. everything we did was to be better than him. and sometimes, but not often, we acheived it.

so yes, for pat, i would get off the babysitter and spend the evening out in the bars and in the restaurants and party and reminice and hang out.

best laid plans… the party ended up at my house. everyone brought lots of booze and pretty much all of it was consumed. me and os picked up two pizza pies and some arbys for good measure and welch came over with a costco box full of chips.

i passed around some pictures of our glory days and we laughed and pointed at people and judged and ridiculed and at one point one of my new neighbors came over intrigued by the merriment and asked to join in. why not.

i took a baseball from my shelf and got all the boys to sign it because how often do a dozen of your best friends all come over and hang with you. yes there were some missing pallies. but those who were here all signed my ball and we took pics and we listened to good music and just hung out.

i dont know why i never do that. i dont know why i will give girls all my attention or crooks or bosses or traffic or the internet or television all my love and not my friends but i do. and tonight it was great to take a break driver eight and drink beer out of a can and kick everyone out at two so i could write you and pass oout.

wade + floorpie + thor garcia + sploid