National Poetry Month: April 13

Hi friends!

Overcast, gray, glassy skies. Preternatural spring weather: snow? So, Bukowski comes to mind.

I was living in temporary digs in San Francisco, 1988. My first play, “Boink,” was being produced in a One Act Festival for new playwrights at Merry The Dog Theater. As director, I’d asked non-actors to play the lead roles: Danika, a strip club dancer in North Beach took the role of the catatonic wife, who delivered nearly all her lines from the bed. Ted, the painter, was the husband, frenetic and rather like a clown caricature. Steve was the “narrator,” delivering lines from the edges of darkness. The play was a big hit, as was the entire festival. Through that experience I met many more strange characters and one fellow, Jake, who’s favorite poet was Bukowski. He was legendary at that time, especially among fringe and workingman poets. Bukowski’s legacy almost proceeded him. I was fortunate to see Bukowski read at City Lights and also later, in Los Angeles, and was blown away by his simplicity and honest, raw words. His straightforward-no-bullshit approach. Those yellow notebooks. Hunched over, propped up against those pillows.

Today I read “Are You Drinking?” by Charles Bukowski:

Robert Vaughan reads “Are you Drinking?” by Charles Bukowski – YouTube

Are you ill with life? Have you ever been to a horseracing track? How do you find the sun when there is no sign of it for days?


About Robert Vaughan

Originally from NY, Robert leads week long National writing retreats at sites like Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Synergia Ranch, and EarthRise IONS. His poems and fiction are published in over 500 print and online magazines, such as Necessary Fiction, BlazeVOX, Los Angeles Weekly, Literary Orphans and Smokelong Quarterly. He is Editor-in-Chief at (b)OINK magazine and leads round- tables for Redoak Writing in Milwaukee. He is six times a Pushcart Prize Nominee and his fiction and poetry have won awards, including a Micro-Fiction runner-up (2012) and twice a finalist in the Gertrude Stein Fiction Award (2013-14). His books are: Microtones (Cervena Barva Press); Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits (Deadly Chaps); Addicts & Basements (Civil Coping Mechanisms); RIFT, co-authored with Kathy Fish (Unknown Press), and FUNHOUSE (Unknown Press).
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