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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How Charles Bukowski Saved Broken-Hearted

Were it not for
Charles Bukowski
I wouldn’t be a writer.
My girlfriend of 7 years woke up one morning
and dumped me.
We had met in college
at an overseas exchange program in Paris-
oh la la la la la la la la!
But instead of immersing ourselves in French,
we spent most of the time looking for jazz clubs and museums
and falling in love.  
After college we couldn’t find a job to save our lives,
but when we did,
we wanted to be saved from our jobs.  
We moved to New York City
where I went to film school.
But we couldn’t afford NYC;
and it was driving me crazy
with anxiety and panic disorder! 
She wanted to move near her family and settle down;
I wanted to do the same,
but near my family.
We ended up in Denver(?)
where I proposed to her 3 three times, 
and 3 times she thought it best
to save up our money.  
In the dead of winter,
I bought a used Honda
Drove for 18 hours on icy roads
and could’ve slipped right off 
the Rockies
and wouldn’t have given a damn.
I was broken-hearted.

Without connects or money in the City of Angels, 

I took an office job and avoided film production 
because they paid nothing
or next to nothing.
I now had humongous student loans to pay back,
in addition to
my car, rent and bills.  
One night while speeding home drunk,
I flew my car
over some railroad tracks
and plowed into a parked car.
I woke up
with a sheet over my face
and thought I was
visiting my body. 
But a doctor 
was stitching my face.  
Luckily, no one was in the parked car,
but my Honda was totaled.  
I commuted on 2 buses
from where I lived east of East LA 
to my job on the Westside.  
You’d think I’d enjoy not being stuck 
in infamous LA traffic,
but I
was broken-hearted.  

One day I happened to walk into

the LA Central Public Library downtown
and happened to browse
through the lit section,
where I came upon
The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over the Hills
by Charles Bukowski.  
I’d heard of him
through a classmate 
who claimed
Bukowski was the greatest writer there ever was.  
And there was Bukowski himself, 
all that was left of him anyway,
in my hands, 
his words.  
But man, were they words!  
They came alive
and spoke to me, 
as clear a voice I ever heard.  
Right to the heart.  
No pretense.  
No bullshit.  
As if the man had cut himself open for all to see—
the good, the bad and the ugly.  
I had his struggles as a writer and as a person, 
But what I wanted most
was his lust for life.  
I read his every book.
I wrote my own poems.  
Even in the darkest moments
when I felt like leaving LA, 
giving up on being a writer 
and ever finding someone else to love, 
Bukowski was there like a good friend 
reminding me to keep going 
until the day came 
when I wasn’t 

NOTE:  If you like what you just read, please check out my books of poetry and photography now available as ebooks for the Kindle on

Here's the link to my 1st book of poetry and photography
under the influence:

Here's the link to my 2nd book of poetry and photography 
Greetings from Heaven & Hell:

Please share with anyone you know who enjoys poetry and photography.  And thank you for your support!

Sunday, August 7, 2011


i thought you didn't want to come into this world
i don't blame you
i'm still trying to like it myself

against the bloody torrent
inside your mother's vessel you held fast
while we older, wiser guardians
in our hurry and worry thought you dead

you have many miles and years to travel yet
and as many dangers pose still a threat
so have no doubt that life is precious
and that you're a miracle from the beginning

NOTE:  I initially wrote this after my wife and I thought we had a miscarriage a few months into the pregnancy.  Then we had another miscarriage scare a few months later.  To top it off, Pichin was born a 7-month, 3-lb. premie and spent a month in the hospital.  We cannot thank our families, friends and the Kaiser NICU at Sunset and Vermont enough for their support during this trying time, and we are also grateful to report that Pichin is doing well and growing into normalcy.