Saturday, August 16, 2014

Charles Bukowski Would Be 94 Years Old Today

...and none too happy about it, I imagine.

It’s no country for old men, after all. As Bukowski noted in his later poems, written as the Bush I administration was winding down in the early 1990s (Buk died in 1994), things were becoming much the way they were around the darkest years of the Great Depression that he grew up in. The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting shafted, and then mocked for their troubles in the process. With the brief blip of the Early Internet Age prosperity behind us, we now have a permanent Great Recession. 

Buk would likely still be safe in his plush San Pedro digs, bolstered by continuing sales of his books and the occasional speaking gig. But it’s still a world in which the police can shoot an unarmed man in the street, and respond to protests with military surplus gear, while the media wrings its hands over wealthy comedians suffering from depression, prompted by the suicide of one who never once in his life had to fear sleeping in the streets, as Buk had numerous times before his eventual success.

It’s been a particularly bad week in the Empire. I expect the Last Poet Who Mattered would have been happy to have missed it. Bukowski knew better than to be surprised at the behavior of law enforcement officers, or even the astonishing gullibility of a public that accepts these routine examples of bad behavior as “something that happens only every once in a while, by ‘bad apples.’”

In the end, it’s “well, what can you do?” and we already know the answer to that. 

In other news, in the wake of Bleeding Kansas’ success in my ancestral homeland, Luzifer-Verlag has taken on Grace Among the Dead for translation and publication in Germany. The “blog tour” hosting I did for Sara F. Hathaway turned out well for me in terms of page hits, and I like to think some of the visitors even checked out my own books.

I’d enjoy this bit of good news more, along with my release from my latest temp gig, but I’m sick from an opportunistic infection caused by sheer exhaustion. I’ve been in an out of bed all day. It’s hard to work up the energy to attack my latest book, The Wrong Kind of Dead.

I’ll just have to give myself the weekend. And as much as I say I won’t do this again, I’ll likely get called in again around Christmas and New Year’s as I was last time—and I’ll likely have to go if I want Christmas paid for. This time I know I’ll have to schedule a day off during the marathon 14-day forced march. I’m simply too old for this shit. This time around damn near killed me.

On the other hand, what if I catch a really good second wind and I don’t have to go in? That I promote my books in such a way that I can pay off the credit cards with the royalties? It could happen.

If I can just get past this damned summer cold...I’ll just have to give myself the weekend. After that, I’ll let something far worthier do me in. I’m not a wealthy comedian with million-dollar houses on the market and two ex-wives howling for alimony (with a third potential ex-wife who, judging by her behavior before his suicide, apparently didn’t give a shit for him), so I can’t kill myself. I have people counting on me. Not sociopathic, gold-digging parasitic whores. Actual family.

So, I’ve got that, too. If I can just have my health back, there’s a chance.