Monday, March 2, 2009

Bukowski On Writing

"...unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don't do it.

unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don't do it.


when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was."

9 comments:

Buskitten said...

Wow! What brilliant and deeply inspiring words, Katie - I really enjoyed that! Thank you - that's set me up for the day!

Eva Sutter said...

What about taking time to develop the craft of writing?

Richard B Jr. said...

More Bukowski: "Sex is interesting, but it's not totally important. I mean it's not even as important (physically) as excretion. A man can go seventy years without a piece of ass, but he can die in a week without a bowel movement."

K. Grace said...

thank you Richard. I needed that.

and Eva, I think I agree with Bukowski when considering writers who are only thinking of the end deal.

Jeff Ircink said...

i agree and disagree. i'm Switzerland. i don't schedule writing time. i don't force myself to write. but i agree with eva that there's something to developing your craft. maybe THAT writing doesn't have to be anything consequential. could be emailing or letter writing or blogging. anything to stimulate your thoughts and get the juices going . all THAT may add up to the moment when you're ready to spill your guts onto paper.

K. Grace said...

i think the best writing gets done after a bowel movement. so, Richard's point is clear and poignant. regularity is the key.

parody said...

I was, initially, going to disagree with what Bukowski has to say here. Then, I read his Wikipedia page. Then I read the rest of the poem Katie has quoted.

I think I can safely conclude that Bukowski's beliefs embody everything that I have come to beleve and have learned as a writer thus far.

Now I'm going to the library to find his books because I'm pretty sure I have a new favorite author.

So....thanks katie.

p.s. (if anyone is curious)
the poem
http://oldpoetry.com/opoem/43542-Charles-Bukowski-So-You-Want-To-Be-A-Writer

HCB on Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Bukowski

Richard B Jr. said...

parody, don't check his books out, steal them, he'd appreciate that. I remember reading once that his are the most often stolen books from bookstores too -- I wish I could write one book like that. Here's another of his poems about writing:

The Rape of the Holy Mother
Charles Bukowski

to expose your ass on paper
terrifies some
and
it should:
the more you put down
the more you leave yourself
open
to those who label themselves
"critics."
they are offended by the out-
right antics of the maddened.
they preferred their poesy to be
secretive
soft and nearly
indecipherable.
their game has remained un-
molested for
centuries.
it has been the temple of
the snobs and the
fakers.
to disrupt this sanctuary
is to them like
the Rape of the Holy Mother

besides that, it would also
cost them
their wives
their automobiles
their girlfriends
their University
jobs.
the Academics have much to
fear
and they will not die
without
a dirty fight

but we
have long been ready

we have come from the alleys
and the bars and the
jails

we don't care how they
write the poem

but we insist that there are
other voices
other ways of living the
life

and we intend to be
heard and heard and
heard

in this battle against the
Centuries of the Inbread
Dead

let it be known that
we have arrived and
intend to
stay.

from Septuagenarian Stew, 1990

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