Charles Bukowski envy is worse than penis envy.  The man drank too much, let’s be honest, he was a drunk, a raging alcoholic.  Doctors told him, many years before he actually died, that if he took another drink, he would die.  I’ve heard this claim many times from AAers.  “If I drink again I’ll die.”  Well he didn’t die; he fashioned himself, somehow, into a functional alcoholic.  He sent out scores of poems, many times without keeping a carbon copy for himself, and he eventually began to attract notice.  His first story was published in the aptly titled, Story magazine, and it’s called, “Aftermath of a Rejection Slip,” and can be found online.

I envy him because he had guts.  He forged his own way in the world.  When he wanted to see the country, he did, taking Greyhound buses, living in flophouses, and for a long while subsisted on a nickel candy bar called, ironically enough, Payday (candy bars were a nickel back then–in the not-so-distant past).

 He smoked non-stop, worked a dead end job for years at the post office, and was told, many years before he actually died at 74, that he didn’t have much time left.

He forged ahead anyway.

He didn’t make time for relationships, but somehow, women turned up and inserted themselves into his life.  In particular, a wealthy Texan poetry magazine editor named Barbara Frye published him, and they started a correspondence.  They fell in love long distance, and married just as soon as they actually met.  The marriage lasted two and a half years.

But in spite of all his trials and tribulations, Charles Bukowski forged ahead.  I need to find some kind of God, only for me my God cannot be alcohol, I need some kind of God to direct me so that I can write honestly instead of aiming to write lyrically.  I’m still trying to find my voice.

God grant me patience, but give it to me now. 

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