This could be the night I hit the dust

I write something every day. It’s like eating and sometimes, most times, I do way too much of one and not the other. There’s a nervous edge to a corner of my brain that is supposed to be the creativity center…not sure exactly where that is, but it has been scratching at me lately. There’s not a lot of creativity, so to speak, flowing from its cup. Usually, at least the last three Octobers, I’ve had months of research finished for the upcoming National Novel Writing Month. I’ll mess around with some ideas in mid-summer and by the end of September I have a faint idea for some scenes in a story-line. This year, time is flying by and I have many other “things” that I have taken on and oops—no research. zilch. nada. nothing. And I’m taking the month of October to visit family in the Hoosier Heartland. I could be in trouble. 50,000 words in 30 days in November? About what? Yeah.

Many writers have some great quotes on writing. I have printed many of those in this blog. One guy I like to turn to is the late and famous Charles Bukowski. Time magazine rightfully named him “a laureate of American low-life.”  He was drunk most of his life, hanging out in the bars of skid-row in Los Angeles. Yet, before he died at age 74, almost 20 years ago, he wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels. In all he published over 60 books. Here’s a great quote on trying to write something when there’s no apparent ideas to write about:

Writing is something that you don’t know how to do. You sit down and it’s something that happens, or it may not happen. So, how can you teach anybody how to write? It’s beyond me, because you yourself don’t even know if you’re going to be able to. I’m always worried, well, you know, every time I go upstairs with my wine bottle. Sometimes I’ll sit at that typewriter for fifteen minutes, you know. I don’t go up there to write. The typewriter’s up there. If it doesn’t start moving, I say, well this could be the night that I hit the dust.”  –Charles Bukowski

So, while thinking about and writing about Mr. Bukowski I have to also send you one of many of his great poems, called Bluebird.



there’s a bluebird in my heart that

wants to get out

but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going
to let anybody see
there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
in there.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
you want to blow my book sales in
there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody’s asleep.
I say, I know that you’re there,
so don’t be
then I put him back,
but he’s singing a little
in there, I haven’t quite let him
and we sleep together like
with our
secret pact
and it’s nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don’t
weep, do

About bakoheat

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