Sunday, August 24, 2008

Charles Bukowski

I'm reading a bio on Charles Bukowski. Not too bad either. Gives a lot of info on Hank's "Process," which usually included a pint of whiskey and two six packs.

Also decribes the timeline of his ascent and lotsa stuff about girls and fights. My kinda book.

But the real thing was better.

Bukowski came to Rio Nada City College when I was a wee college student and poet (So I thought. HaHa). A whole bunch of us thought we were poets. Some of us actually went on to be very successful writers. Not moi.

There was a Prof. at RNCC that really had us youngins writing like crazy. A wonderful experience. His name was Dan Chortle.

As I said, Bukowski came to read. 200 or so showed to watch. He came on with a thermos of screwdriver and a half dozen of Heinekins. He read. We laughed.

At one point he said "Are there any questions?"

Art Droll said "Why did you write that poem?"

Hank replied "Why did you shit this morning?"

Art said "How did you know that?"

Hank replied "I know these things!"

Much laughter and cheering.

When he ran out of beer, he begged us to give him a beer, rather pathetically.

We had none.

Afterwards, there was the after show party at Miguel Clerk's house, where it is said Hank became an obnoxious buffoon and broke things and probably showed his ass a few times.

A few years later, I called him on the phone (His number was listed). We talked for about 15 minutes. Pleasant, accessible guy he was. I hung up and wrote a poem. Probably called "The Night I Called Bukowski". Since lost and rightly so>

When I heard Bukowski had died, I felt empty for a bit and then remembered all the crazy lunatics I hung out with in those crazy writing days: Lackey, Susie Rhinegold, Art Droll, Ray Fitzhew, Justice Price, Cath Christian, Joe Bob Jones, Dan Chortle, Uncle Lee, and Crazy Henry, who once Xeroxed his willy and handed out copies to us all and said it was his latest poem.

It was scribble and read, scribble and read all the way back then.


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