This is who Art of Starving turns into after 4 beers and approximately 3 shots of Makers Mark:
He was a bastard and a genius. Charles Bukowski. Los Angeles’s greatest writer. More well-known in Europe than his own hometown. Wrote the movie ‘Barfly’. That sometimes gets a response.
I wanted to be him when I was a young writer.
I wrote poems like him. Tried to at least. This was one of them.
Drunk on beer
at three in the morning
the cat is in the yard
talking to the moon
and the cars come down the street
ten minutes apart
with their conical lights
piercing the dark
and the cat darts
and hides in the bushes
as I open another beer
fart and sigh
Bad… I know.
Starting out I also wrote stories about a character named Packer Dulce. He was sorta my Hank Chinaski. He was a man always causing his own bad luck but finding the meaning to keep on struggling in the most mundane, overlooked miracles.
It’s the little things that allow us to get out of bed in the morning. That was the point of Packer Dulce. A plane flying overhead, leaving a jet trail. Watching children swinging at a pinata. A bird pecking at a french fry.
It took a few years, a small fortune in alcohol, and many wasted nights; it took poem after poem, story after story until I finally wrung the Bukowski out of me. There were countless road trips, and always one more beer that never seemed to end.
From Los Angeles to Boston and towns in between.
One day though I woke up and realized I had lost the Packer Dulce character out there on the road somewhere.
Now: Art of Starving. Tomorrow: who knows?
Writing is a river, I’ve just barely built my canoe.
It was a splendid day in Spring
and outside we could hear the birds
that hadn’t been killed
by the smog
— Charles Bukowski
On second thought, I lied. There’s always going to be a little Bukowski in me.