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January 29, 2005
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now, if you were teaching creative writing, he asked, what would you tell them?
I'd tell them to have an unhappy love
affair, hemorrhoids, bad teeth
and to drink cheap wine,
avoid opera and golf and chess,
to keep switching the head of their
bed from wall to wall
and then I'd tell them to have
another unhappy love affair
and never to use a silk typewriter
avoid family picnics
or being photographed in a rose
read Hemingway only once,
stare at photos of Gertrude Stein
and read Sherwood Anderson in bed
while eating Ritz crackers,
realize that people who keep
talking about sexual liberation
are more frightened than you are.
listen to E. Power Biggs work
the organ on your radio while you're
rolling Bull Durham in the dark
in a strange town
with one day left on the rent
after having given up
friends, relatives and jobs.
never consider yourself superior and /
and never try to be.
have another unhappy love affair.
watch a fly on a summer curtain.
never try to succeed.
don't shoot pool.
be righteously angry when you
find your car has a flat tire.
take vitamins but don't lift weights or jog.
then after all this
reverse the procedure.
have a good love affair.
and the thing
you might learn
is that nobody knows anything-
not the State, nor the mice
the garden hose or the North Star.
and if you ever catch me
teaching a creative writing class
and you read this back to me
I'll give you a straight A
right up the pickle
- Charles Bukowski (c) 1977 from the poetry collection "Love is a Dog from Hell"
NOTE: Profile pic is of me chatting on my soon-to-be-stolen-by-some-nasty-hooker Sony Ericsson P910i, in Nairobi on my way to work in Jan 2006, via some MSN messenger-for-GSM-phone beta-software program, with none other than the great resident writer Tutti Shruti Rao! How I miss that phone... :o(