Confession

Charles Bukowski

waiting for death
like a cat
that will jump on the
bed

I am so very sorry for
my wife

she will see this
stiff
white
body
shake it once, then
maybe
again

“Hank!”

Hank won’t
answer.

it’s not my death that
worries me, it’s my wife
left with this
pile of
nothing.

I want to
let her know
though
that all the nights
sleeping
beside her

even the useless
arguments
were things
ever splendid

and the hard
words
I ever feared to
say
can now be
said:

I love
you.

Late Nights with Navin R. Johnson

Father: “You see that?”
Navin: “Yeah.”
Father: “That’s shit. And this, “shinola.”
Navin: “Shit, shinola.”
Father: “Son, you’re going to be all right.”

(Navin immediately steps on a warm pile of horse crap)

If only more parents and teachers taught their children the basics!  Forget everything else you’ve learned.  Don’t waste your time trying to capture another person’s voice and make it your own.  No, create your own voice, one that’s founded on your very own personal experiences.  Be warned only that “shit and shinola” is out there, and you need to watch out for it.  Someone’s shit might be your shinola.  Conversely, your shit might be someone’s shinola.

Mr. Johnson (Navin’s father) might as well be a distant relative to one of my favorite philosophers, Rousseau:

“People who know little are usually great talkers, while men who know much say little.”

Keep it simple, stupid.  And even then, sure – you might step in a little shit, but keep walking, wash off your boots, and get ready to step in some more.  After while, you’ll step over the shit when you recognize it!