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they called Céline a Nazi
they called Pound a fascist
they called Hamsun a Nazi and a fascist
they put Dostoevsky in front of a firing
squad
and they shot Lorca
gave Hemingway electric shock treatments
(and you know he shot himself)
and they ran Villon out of town (Paris)
and Mayakovsky
disillusioned with the regime
and after a lover’s quarrel,
well,
he shot himself too.
Chatterton took rat poison
and it worked.
and some say Malcom Lowry died
choking on his own vomit
while drunk.
Crane went the way of the boat
propellor or the sharks.
Harry Crosby’s sun was black.
Berryman preferred the bridge.
Plath didnt light the oven.
Seneca cut his wrists in the
bathtub (it’s best that way:
in warm water).
Thomas and Behan drank themselves
to death and
there are many others.
and you want to be a
writer?
it’s that kind of war:
creation kills,
many go mad,
some lose their way and
can’t do it
anymore.
a few make it to old age.
a few make money.
some starve (like Vallejo).
it’s that kind of war:
casualties everywhere.
all right, go ahead
do it
but when they sandbag you
from the blind side
don’t come to me with your
regrets.
now I’m going to smoke a cigarette
in the bathtub
and them I’m going to
sleep.

Other works by Charles Bukowski ...



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