February 4, 2005

I need a fix, don't need an apology

* in oak, in elm provides an early highlight to his trip to Russia:

"clients taking me out for dinner in red square with many beers and 3 bottles of vodka followed by the cute office assistants taking us out for russian karoake with many more beers and 2 bottles of vodka. blacking out the rest of the evening, though i was apparently quite the charming conversationalist. waking up the next morning fully clothed with no recollection of how i got home. passing out on the flight to chelyabinsk. being held by a giant polish man as i violently threw up out of the sliding door of a passenger van downtown (lots of pedestrian traffic) and literally minutes later speaking to an assembly of 100 or so russian college students followed by a series of personal interviews and a short stint in front of the camera of a local news station. then being treated to dinner at a joint that had belly dancing and a strange and very bacchanalian show put on by young aspiring russian models in skimpy underwear, somehow mustering the strength/courage/stupidity(?) to suck down the hair of the dog and sharing numerous 'big beer' and 4 more bottles of vodka."

A couple of poems by Charles Bukowski:

close to greatness

at one stage in my life
I met a man who claimed to have
visited Pound at St. Elizabeths.

then I met a woman who not only
claimed to have visited
but also to have made love
to him—she even showed
certain sections in the
where Ezra was supposed to have

so there was this man and
this woman
and the woman told me
that Pound had never
mentioned a visit from this
and the man claimed that the
lady had had nothing to do
with the
that she was a

and since I wasn't a
Poundian scholar
I didn't know who to
but one thing I do
know: when a man is
many claim relationships
that are hardly
and after he dies, well,
then it's everybody's

my guess is that Pound
knew neither the lady or the

or if he knew
or if he knew

it was a shameful waste of

one thirty-six a.m.
I laugh sometimes when I think about
Céline at a typewriter
or Dostoevsky...
or Hamsun...
ordinary men with feet, ears, eyes,
ordinary men with hair on their heads
sitting there typing words
while having difficulties with life
while being puzzled almost to madness.

Dostoevsky gets up
he leaves the machine to piss,
comes back
drinks a glass of milk and thinks about
the casino and
the roulette wheel.

Céline stops, gets up, walks to the
window, looks out, thinks, my last patient
died today, I won't have to make any more
visits there.
when I saw him last
he paid his doctor bill;
it's those who don't pay their bills,
they live on and on.
Céline walks back, sits down at the
is still for a good two minutes
then begins to type.

Hamsun stands over his machine thinking,
I wonder if they are going to believe
all these things I write?
he sits down, begins to type.
he doesn't know what a writer's block
he's a prolific son-of-a-bitch
damn near as magnificent as
the sun.
he types away.

and I laugh
not out loud
but all up and down these walls, these
dirty yellow and blue walls
my white cat asleep on the
hiding his eyes from the

he's not alone tonight
and neither am


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