Saturday, August 17, 2013

Day 223 of the 365 Days of Blogging

The author, Dane F. Baylis





Yesterday would have been the 93rd birthday of a writer few heard of in his prime but who touched many of us forever. Charles Bukowski was an original in every sense of the word. A writer who turned out volumes of prose and poetry in an alcohol-driven, hard-knocks style, but who never seemed as driven with a need for accolades, as he was simply a man with a need to write.
I first encountered him in "Cavalier", one of those euphemistically categorized, gentleman's monthlies, from my misspent youth. Without the window dressing, it was a soft core porn magazine. (Yeah, I'm a throwback at times. So what's your point?) Charlie supported himself and his other writing this way. The style was so compelling and raw, I had to look this guy up. This was pre-Internet ,so I ploughed through the card catalogues at the local library trying to find his name and came up with...NOTHING!
It took a trip to the well known Brattle Street Books in Boston before I found any of his more (and I'm using the term so very loosely) mainstream works. But I was hooked. He was dark and satiric, hard edged and so vulnerable. He was an unrepentant male when so many men were committing emotional castration. He spoke to the kind of streets I kept finding myself on and informed his writing with much of the reality of how not to go irrevocably mad in a world that was determined to homogenize everyone into an unflavored and unsavory mass media puree.
I was fortunate enough to catch him at a reading in San Francisco just as the rest of the world was waking up to him. Eventually though, Hollywood took note and propelled him into that meteor-like notoriety they are so good at fostering. This was a joy - and a shame. Charlie finally got the kind of recompense talent like his deserved at the price of the Andy Warhol 'fifteen minutes of fame' thing.

If you've never partaken of any of Charlie's works, you need to. If only to see what damned good writing looks like away from the phony domains of the bestseller lists and what's trending at your on-line dealer of choice.
Charlie, wherever the hell you've been condemned to, here's a round on me!

If you'd like to sample some of Bukowski's words try this link Hank Chinaski's Birthday .


Double verbs are the use of equally weighted verbs to express existence, action, or occurrence (in other words action) in a single sentence. Almost any time you choose to do this, the first verb is going to be dead weight and a drag on the action.
For example:
John stood there and watched the train go by.
As before, this really doesn't sound all that bad at first blush. There are any number of people who would say this in real life. In fiction writing, the "stood there and" only adds another layer of verbiage to the sentence, muddying perception and adding friction to the words. A better, edited example would be:
John watched the train go by.
We really don't need to be told he stood there - do we? If he had been running along beside the tracks while watching the passage of a train, then we might want to use the extra words. As it stands, they're unnecessary. Writers will fall into this type of usage when one action implies another or is included in it. The elimination of the more passive verb sharpens the meaning and moves the action along smoother.
Just another helpful hint from your Uncle Dane.
UNTITLED 2/19/13

Dane F. Baylis 

 I’ll be honest
This isn’t about you
Even if you’re reading it
In your darkened room
Just you.
The fame thing?
It’s over rated
Strangers standing there
Speaking candied falsities
A second before you
Become the focus.
It’s harder to be a counterfeiter
Or cop
Or drunken neurosurgeon
Poets are just
Petty thieves
Flashing down like crows
Stealing shiny baubles.
The best ideas
Are just lying there
In the newspaper
On the table
Available as inebriated barflies
Willing to give it up
For a pack of smokes
Or a shot and a beer.
When morning comes around
You will lie in bed
Smelling the pillows
Then make up lies
Of passionate desolation
That you will imprison
In bottom drawer dungeons.
You will stand at the podium
Clasp your breast and sob
“All of my best moments
Are as degenerate
As Easter
Amongst the Spanish flagellants
Raking off flesh
With spiked chain flails
In my deepest heart
I cry for clarity
And long to lick their wounds.”
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------, love, write.
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Dane F. Baylis




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