I’d had a go at a few short stories, there were also the few autobiographical musings that had made it into writing and out of my head; and so far, those children of mine had no home to call their own.
I’d also started reading Charles Bukowski. Apparently as America’s leading contemporary poet at that time he was labelled America’s most copied poet too. It was easy to see why. An accessible style of prose in short sharp stabs about things we all know and in a way we can all understand. Mostly I think his real talent was finishing each of them with a concluding observation of his subject matter in a soft blow of despairing humour. You’ll more than likely laugh at times. But you’re not laughing with Bukowski. And you’re not laughing at him either.
Most copied poet in America? Challenge accepted. So I ran out a whole bunch of my own Bukowskis yet where he had humour to play with I didn’t for the most part. At the time I was playing with prose poetry life wasn’t much fun. What came out was hard, dark, depressing lunges at why I didn’t human like the rest of the faces you’d bump into day to day. There were lighter offerings which were fun. And the short stories weren’t too depressing. But as a collection it’s grim. It questions what happy might be and why it’s missing for so many.
And that’s why this isn’t on any bookshelf right now. It’s not hard to read between the lines in my other projects to what was going on and where my head might have been but that doesn’t mean I’m comfortable just throwing it out there for anyone to see. For anyone to judge me for being a broken human. And these aren’t reading between the lines guesses. These are telling it exactly how it was. And it could be a long time before I’m ready for everyone to know my secrets.
For those few who have a copy of Shorts, you know why you do. You know what you did. And you’re the ones who get to know Mikey’s secret, what’s up with Clark, why the devil wants Zane’s soul and what the hell that painting is hiding.