NEW FICTION: Bourbon & Blondes has arrived!

From the bus stations of Rt. 66 to the smoky, neon-tinged jazz dives of the big cities, these wanton tales of longing introduce us to vixens on the fringe and those shifty men that drove them there.

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Watch: The 'Bourbon & Blondes' Book Trailer

Get your shot glass ready because you're about to enter a retro world of showgirls, drifters, barmaids and thieves.

The eternal question for scribes?

In this new social media landscape, the question becomes: Is blogging dead? It just may be...

Watch: The 'Front Page Palooka' Book Trailer

Read the pulp novella that one reviewer called 'A potboiler in the style of old school writers like Mickey Spillane, Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler...'

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


We all know that Chuck Buk loved him some cheap hooch. In other words, beer. Lots of it. The cheaper the better. Found this on digg and just had to share...

The 1980s were nuts: cocaine, brick phones, Kirk Gibson and Reaganomics. But most importantly, it was the decade in which the campiest, and most ridiculous beer adverts were created. These commercials have a distinct playfulness to them, rather than the sex-laden advertising efforts of the 1990s, and the absurd or relatively high-brow commercials of today. They were also, overwhelmingly montage-based and very low budget, when compared to today’s standards. If you notice, each commercial also has a jingle, which is nice. Savor the cool, refreshing flavor of these sweet advertisments and feel free to pour some out for the brands that no longer exist...

Click HERE to check 'em out.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Here's hoping your 'HOs' are plentiful.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Just saw this on DIGG and had to share...

Via Joshua Glenn:
Some of the most gorgeous, evocative, and strange science fiction art you've ever seen comes from the covers of novels written between 1904-33, in SF's "pre-Golden Age."

Readers, here is the long-awaited second installment in my Pre-Golden Age SF series. I can't afford first editions of PGA SF novels, but I've managed to collect images of their dustjackets and "boards" (as bookbinders call the paper- or cloth-covered stiff cardboard forming a book's covers). The following 10 SF novels boast the most thrilling and evocative cover (board or dustjacket) illustrations and design from 1904-33.
To see the rest of the covers, click HERE.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Well, I don't think so... But it might not be the End-All Be-All of superhero movies as most people think.

I posted an item yesterday about The Guardian calling "The Dark Knight" one of the most ridiculous plots of the year. I wanted to take another stab at the flick after writing the post and came to the (probably blasphemous) conclusion that there are indeed more-than-a-few flaws with the lauded superhero flick. Here's what I think:

* It's WAY too long. There I said it. It goes on for at least a half hour longer than it should have. Imagine how effective it would have been in those final scenes of Bats zipping along on his Batpod vigilante-style had it clocked in at a lean and mean 120 minutes.

* It was way too dense. Kudos to the Brothers Nolan and scribe David S. Goyer on their multi-layered approach to make Gotham as realistic, relevant and current as possible, but geez, if there was ever a flick to watch with the captions on, it's "The Dark Knight." Every bit of dialogue, character nuance and glance means scores to the plot. My copy didn't have subtitles and I'm afraid that I may have missed a few things (even after a couple times in).

* It simply wasn't fun. I'm very well aware that Batman is the brooding James Dean superhero in the DC Universe, but man, talk about your downers. Even without the stunning and Gothic art direction of the Tim Burton Batman films, "The Dark Knight" is one bleak piece of moviemaking. And yes, before everyone goes all nuts on me, I'm well aware that this is "The Empire Strikes Back" of comic book films. The Godfather Part II" if you will... 'Empire' ended on a downer and I'm all for a downtrodden ending but there was zero, zilch, zip fun in the entire film.

While the action scenes were deft, precise and explosive, there wasn't that element of razzle-dazzle fun. The only iota of fun came when the Caped Crusader is chasing the Joker on his Batpod and literally scales a wall and turns around at 90 mph in a second or two. THAT was fun. We needed more of that. And for those who tell me the film was an allegory for what's happening in the world today, please... Get over yourselves. I don't want a comic book movie to do that. Entertain me. I have the news for all else.

* Is Clint Eastwood in this film? For the love of all that's holy, why in the world did Christian Bale sneer, whisper and growl his way through his Batman scenes? Honestly, most of the time I couldn't understand what he was saying. My call? Hands down, I'd say that Michael Keaton put on the best Bat voice in terms of menace. Bale was doing God knows what. Let's all pray he drops it or at least takes it down a few notches. Totally dopey.

* Never thought I'd be saying this but take a cue from Marvel. The once film-fledgling Marvel is going to great lengths to instill a sense of continuity in their films. Example? It builds excitement when Sam Jackson shows up as Nick Fury in "Iron Man" or when Robert Downey, Jr. shows up as Tony Stark in "Hulk." It's geeky yet cool. Would it kill WB and DC to do a little more of that? It's awesome that Christopher Nolan is going to great lengths to incorporate a massive sense of realism but take it one step further and mention Metropolis... Throw in a Lois Lane appearance... I dunno ... Something. Build their universe and the continuity. It'll work wonders.

* Again, as with most Batman films, there are simply too many characters, namely villains. Between Heath Ledger's awesome Joker, the duality of Aaron Eckhart's Two-face, Eric Roberts' stereotypical gangster, the Asian corporate invader/thief, and all the hoodlums and henchman and you've got a jambalaya of dare I say stock criminals (with the exception of the first two). Why does this always happen? The Bat cannon is full of great villains. Let's not use them all at once. Which leads me to...

* Nolan wrote himself into a pickle. What I mean by that is that his Nolanverse is so authentically realistic, writing in such A-List Bat villains as Catwoman, The Riddler and The Penguin (especially) will be near impossible. Take his Joker, there was no origin ala the Tim Burton film or from the famous comic book lore. I mean, it sorta worked in this instance -- a wacko shows up in clown paint and is a lunatic. But I don't think that ambiguity will work so much for the others. Hmmm, is that why he's yet to sign on for a third film? Has his Nolanverse run its course?

Monday, December 15, 2008


Of all poeple, Kim Kardashian on Spike TV introduced the video game adaptation to the long rumored game, EA’s "Dante’s Inferno." Based on the first book in Dante Alighieri’s trilogy “The Divine Comedy,” it's an epic poem about Dante’s travels through the three stages of the afterlife, guided by poet Virgil.

In the first book, "The Inferno," Virgil guides Dante through nine rings of hell. Each ring houses different class of sinners. As you get deeper their crimes get worse. The trailer for the game breifly outlined each of the 9 rings and showed short clips of each ring.

It appears as though the player will be some sort of crusader that is traveling through the rings. Being that it is an incredible story you can bet that the game will already have an incredible storyline.

It was reported last week, that Johnny Depp is quite interested in appearing in a film adaptation. Would be awesome. In any case, check outthe creepy vid (which seems to have borrowed its look from David Fincher's "Seven."

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


... And not just any lit classic. Infinitum Nihil has acquired films rights to Nick Tosches 2002 novel "In the Hand of Dante" that will be developed as a potential star vehicle for Johnny Depp reports Variety.

The story revolves around Dante Aligheri's masterwork "The Divine Comedy," and tells parallel storylines involving Dante in 14th-century Italy as he tries to complete the work, and a contemporary storyline involving Tosches, who is asked to authenticate what might be Dante's original manuscript.

What's more, Depp also begins work in March on "The Rum Diary", an adaptation of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson's work in which Depp will play the late cult figure (yet again). Bruce Robinson directs.

To read more, click HERE.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


... Just as long as it is a blend, of course. We don't dabble in single malts. The master would never have it. Anyway, welcome to Bukowski's Basement.

Think of our subterranean dwelling as the red headed stepchild of Hemingway's Lounge. Over here, we'll showcase some of our grittier creative writing posts that seemed a little out of place over on Papa H's blog. We'll also be exploring the writings of some of our skid row luminaries. There will also be musings, videos, amazing podcasts, book reviews and the like.

So pour yourself some cheap hooch and settle in because we're here to celebrate all things wondrous in the gin-soaked literary landscape of Chuck Buk, Jack Kerouac, Tom Waits and Raymond Carver.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Chuck Buk wants you to have a happy (and sexy) Turkey Day!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


It's easy to see how the sensibilities of musician Tom Waits and author Charles Bukowski easily coincide with one another. Here, Waits reads Bukowski's "The Laughing Heart" (posted below)

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

Monday, November 24, 2008


NEW YORK - With e-book sales exploding in an otherwise sleepy market, Random House Inc. announced Monday that it was making thousands of additional books available in digital form, including novels by John Updike and Harlan Coben, as well as several volumes of the "Magic Treehouse" children's series.

Random House CEO Markus Dohle said in a statement that "more people everyday are enjoying reading in the electronic format and Random House wants to extend our reach to them with more of our books."

The publisher already has more than 8,000 books in the electronic format and will have a digital library of nearly 15,000. The new round of e-books is expected to be completed within months; excerpts can be viewed online through the publisher's Insight browsing service.

To read more, click HERE

Thursday, November 20, 2008


... For starters, you hire a comic, a C-list actor (an annoying one at that) and that gawky-lookin' kid who saw dead people in "The Sixth Sense."

Seriously, you take one of the coolest tough-guy plays and you make it a mockery... Robert Falls' Broadway production of "American Buffalo," starring John Leguizamo, Haley Joel Osment and Cedric the Entertainer, perhaps will be headed for a very quick curtain call.

The show opened in New York on Monday -- and if you can imagine, already posted a closing notice -- for this Sunday!!

That would mean the official Broadway run will be one week. One of the shortest runs for a revival in Great White Way history.

The producers have said they'll extend if ticket sales suddenly spike, but that seems hardly likely.

The official plot: The play concerns a team of men, Don, Teach, Bob, and Fletcher (who does not appear in the play, but is referred to), who are conspiring to steal a coin collection from a wealthy man. Don, who owns a junk shop, sold a nickel to a man for much less than what it was worth. Out of revenge, he and his friend-in-training, Bob, plan to steal the man's coin collection after suspecting that he went away for the weekend. Teach, an experienced and misanthropic friend of Don's, persuades Don to release Bob from the job because of what Teach feels is inexperience and potential disloyalty. Towards the end of the play, Bob, out of a need for money, attempts to sell Don a rare nickel, similar to the one Don sold. In a culmination of anger, Teach hits Bob on the head, believing that he stole the coin back and betrayed them. Fletcher, the outside man who never appeared in the play, ends up getting mugged and beaten by thugs. The play ends with the plan called off, and Don and Bob making amends.

The play won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best play of the 1977 season. And lookee who starred in it:

Jon Hamm would have been my choice for the new revival.

This play was also adapted to the screen with Dennis Franz and Dustin Hoffman starred in it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Being that Bukowski's basement deals more with tidbits of the more creative nature or rather, stuff that would appeal to creative types, this is pretty damn amusing...

Someone out there is excited about the utterance, "Meh". The expression of indifference or boredom has gained a place in the Collins English Dictionary. Publisher HarperCollins announced recently that the word had been chosen for inclusion in the dictionary's 30th anniversary edition. Go figure... At least you can now use it in Scrabble.

To read more, click HERE.

Monday, November 17, 2008


OK, so now that I have a kid and all I think it may be time to introduce him to the Chuck Buk world of kiddie poetry. Enjoy this hilarious video


Enjoy this probing 1989 documentray "Dreams Are What We Wake Up From" about minimalist master Raymond Carver. It's directed by Daisy Goodwin and includes contributions from Richard Ford and Jay McInerney. BTW, why are all the good documentaries about American masters all made abroad? Oh, I know ... Cuz we're all too busy following the likes of Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian.


How deliciously vintage is this pulpy cover for John fante's "Ask teh Dust," a true favorite of mine.

The under-appreciated Fante's second outing chronicles the adventures of the writer's alter ego, Arturo Bandini, a struggling young writer who tackles Los Angeles in the late 1930s. He gets it right and sets it down in his Chianti-steak-and-potatoes style, with prose both simple and rich.

Fante was born in Colorado in 1909 and began writing in 1929. He published numerous short stories, novels and screenplays in the following decades. "Ask the Dust" is a coming-of-age novel set in the City of Angels and was first published in 1939.

Says Charles Bukowski in the preface:

On his first encounter with Fante's work...

"Then one day I pulled a book down and opened it, and there it was. I stood for a moment, reading. Then like a man who had found gold in the city dump, I carried the book to a table. The lines rolled easily across the page, there was a flow. Each line had its own energy and was followed by another like it. The very substance of each line gave the page a form, a feeling of something carved into it. And here, at last, was a man who was not afraid of emotion. The humour and the pain were intermixed with a superb simplicity ... that book was a wild and enormous miracle to me."

John Fante died in 1983.

The book was made into a halfway-decent film starring a miscast Colin Farrell and the hot as hell Salma Hayek


Thanks to Gizmodo for this... For you Bram Stoker-types, check out this authentic vampire kit made circa 1800 and sold at auction for $14,850.

In this hand-carved walnut portable suitcase comes loaded with all you need to killthe likes of Lestat including:

• Creepy-looking cross
• Bible
• Hand gun and silver bullets
• Holy oils
• Holy water
• Mirrors
• Candles
• Garlic
• Badass wood and metal stake with added cross for vampiric extra-pain
• Extra wood stakes, just in case


"The Sandman" has always been one of my favorite comic titles, if not most favorite. Writer Neil Gaiman infused gothic sensibilities, horror, supernatural, fantasy and drama all under one wickedly entertaining book. If you haven't checked it out, run to your bookstore.

In any case, this week saw the 20th anniversary of the release of the first issue of the series and everyone pretty much agrees that Gaiman's now-classic fantasy series rewrote the rules of mainstream comics more than once in the 75-issue run.

Without Sandman, you'd never have comic titles like "Fables," "Y: The Last Man" or "The Invisibles."

To celebrate Morpheus' 20th birthday, the web site 109 has drummed up five ways in which entertainment is different because of comics' favorite dream god.

Click HERE to read them.

OK ... I'M LAME!!!!!

God, how lame am I?? I haven't updated in way way too long. No excuse... I will try to keep the creative juices flowing as well as bring you items that slant towards the creative sensibilities of Chuck Buk and Co.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Since 1982, the American Library Association has sponsored Banned Books Week to pay tribute to free speech and open libraries. The tradition began as a nod to how far society has come since 1557, when Pope Paul IV first established The Index of Prohibited Books to protect Catholics from controversial ideas. Four-hundred and nine years later, Pope Paul VI would abolish it, although attempts at censorship still remain. TIME presents some of the most challenged books of all time.

To read the list, click HERE.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Atlantic City could be a haunting place. Amid billion dollar casinos, glitz and bright lights, lies a level of poverty, decay and urban blight rarely seen in modern US cities. Enjoy the video and lyrics to Bruce Springsteen's "Atlantic City," a haunting ode to the ultimate downtrodden seashore town and it's once glorious past as "America's Playground."

Well, they blew up the chicken man in philly last night
Now, they blew up his house, too
Down on the boardwalk theyre gettin ready for a fight
Gonna see what them racket boys can do

Now, theres trouble bustin in from outta state
And the d.a. cant get no relief
Gonna be a rumble out on the promenade
And the gamblin commissions hangin on by the skin of his teeth

Well now, evrything dies, baby, thats a fact
But maybe evrything that dies someday comes back
Put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty
And meet me tonight in atlantic city

Well, I got a job and tried to put my money away
But I got debts that no honest man can pay
So I drew what I had from the central trust
And I bought us two tickets on that coast city bus

Now, baby, evrything dies, honey, thats a fact...

Now our luck may have died and our love may be cold
But with you forever Ill stay
Were goin out where the sands turnin to gold
Put on your stockins baby, `cause the nights getting cold
And maybe evrything dies, baby, thats a fact
But maybe evrything that dies someday comes back

Now, I been lookin for a job, but its hard to find
Down here its just winners and losers and dont
Get caught on the wrong side of that line
Well, Im tired of comin out on the losin end
So, honey, last night I met this guy and Im gonna
Do a little favor for him

Well, I guess everything dies, baby, thats a fact...

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I usually try to find companion photos with all of my original poems. That said, do you know how damn hard it is to find a pic of a cool, elegant dude playing baccarat? The closest representation of who I'm writing about is none other than Don Draper. If you don't know who Don Draper is... click HERE.

His crisp white shirt pressed
Black loafers,
spit-shined to perfection;
The Hair? dapper as ever.
Thanks to the pomade.
And that gorgeous suit,
direct from Saville Row,
the one he bought
for last year's party
(but never wore) waits
on the old valet;
Hasn't been worn since.
The silk tie itself
a piece of art,
would make Cary Grant proud;
especially because it
meets perfectly at his

His cologne,
spicy and musky,
dolloped behind each ear;

After adjusting his good luck
cuff links through
each jacket sleeve,
he fingers her paisley
handkerchief into his pocket;
His good luck charm;
A token he'd never gamble without;

Fussing with it,
he can still smell her perfume,
a mix of sandalwood and rose;
he finds it intoxicating.

His Cartier tank reads 7:45 p.m.;
right on schedule.
He's ready to tango
with Lady Luck;

where the action is,
he wades through
the crowded casino floor
and sits at the high-limit
baccarat table.

Fellow gamblers
greet him by name;
Immediately, a cocktail girl
jets over and smiles
a tad more than she should;
he orders a Jameson, neat;
He wins when he sips it
every 7 minutes;

He lights a Dunhill
and greets the dealer
who simply nods
after he places a
modest bet;

Everyone knows now
that the gentleman came
to play

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Enjoy this video and lyrics for "Hold On," one of my favorite Tom Waits songs. Chuck full of old school imagery, the tune has a solemn, sad energy about it. Please enjoy...

They hung a sign up in out town
"if you live it up, you won't
live it down"
So, she left Monte Rio, son
Just like a bullet leaves a gun
With charcoal eyes and Monroe hips
She went and took that California trip
Well, the moon was gold, her
Hair like wind
She said don't look back just
Come on Jim
Oh you got to
Hold on, Hold on
You got to hold on
Take my hand, I'm standing right here
You gotta hold on
Well, he gave her a dimestore watch
And a ring made from a spoon
Everyone is looking for someone to blame
But you share my bed, you share my name
Well, go ahead and call the cops
You don't meet nice girls in coffee shops
She said baby, I still love you
Sometimes there's nothin left to do
Oh you got to
Hold on, hold on
You got to hold on
Take my hand, I'm standing right here, you got to
Just hold on.

Well, God bless your crooked little heart St. Louis got the best of me
I miss your broken-china voice
How I wish you were still here with me
Well, you build it up, you wreck it down
You burn your mansion to the ground
When there's nothing left to keep you here, when
You're falling behind in this
Big blue world
Oh you go to
Hold on, hold on
You got to hold on
Take my hand, I'm standing right here
You got to hold on
Down by the Riverside motel,
It's 10 below and falling
By a 99 cent store she closed her eyes
And started swaying
But it's so hard to dance that way
When it's cold and there's no music
Well your old hometown is so far away
But, inside your head there's a record
That's playing, a song called
Hold on, hold on
You really got to hold on
Take my hand, I'm standing right here
And just hold on.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Elvis Presley died 31 years ago today. Let's bow our heads and listen a little rockabilly.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Very few people have read any fiction I've written, much less a story which happens to not be my particular favorite. In any case, a few months ago, I posted this poem. It was an ode to a teenaged Vegas elopement and the bar they visited soon after. After thinking about it, I figured it was the perfect companion piece or sequel to a short story I wrote eons ago about the same subject. If anything, the only thing I can say is that they ultimately belong together at this point. First this story, "The Two Elvises" which I'll post in three parts, and then the poem from the other day - Honeymoon at the Atomic.
"The Two Elvises" - Part Three

So here they were, a week later, standing in the tackiest house of worship they've ever known. They were about to join the ranks of individuals who go the extra mile in romanticism. The unconventional notion of packing up everything with your loved one and eloping, is a proposition people with no courage can only dream about. Besides, if the town was able to marry big shots like Paul Newman, Jane Fonda, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Michael Jordan, two snot-nosed kids from Chicago probably wouldn't have many other options.

"So what should we do, baby?" Carol asked him.

He shrugged his broad yet bony shoulders. "Doesn't matter. How 'bout the Elvis one? It'll be fun, I guess." She smiled in agreement and turned to the minister who was prepping himself for a 7:30 p.m. ceremony -- a black couple from Georgia were renewing their vows after 42 years of marriage.

"'Scuse us, father. I think we're gonna go with the Elvis wedding?"


"How much extra we talkin'?" Stu asked.

"The Elvis wedding is an extra hundred."

"Are you kiddin'?" Stu said, frowning.

The minister pulled up the sides of his trousers. "Be rest assured son, that our Elvises are the best in the biz," he defended. "Jake Peters was named best rockabilly Elvis by Presley's own fan club."

"Really?" Carol asked.

"Yesiree. Three years running. He's got that one-man review show up in that hotel... Venice."

The couple conferred. Stu told her that an extra hundred could easily be used for gas or even more important, lodging for at least a couple of nights.

"But I want to," his bride-to-be insisted. "We'll remember it for the rest of our lives."

"Carol, are you thinking about where we're gonna sleep? As it is, our money is already starting to disappear."

"Only because you had to stay up all night playing blackjack."

"Hey, I won back everything I lost. So you can't count that."

Stu saw the corner of her bottom lip begin to quiver. "I thought you loved me," she said to him.

"Oh, Jesus Christ, it has nothing to do with loving you, Carol."

"After all we've been through"

Stu shut his eyes in aggravation saying, "God damn it Carol --"

The minister snapped his Bible shut and said as kindly as possible, "Excuse me son, can you watch your language? We're in The Almighty's house after all."

The boy knew he was wrong and held up his palm to the minister, embarrassed, "See what your doing, Carol, making me curse in a place of worship. And besides, when did you suddenly start liking Elvis?"

Carol ignored Stu. "We'll take the Elvis package," she told the minister, pulling out a small bundle of tens and twenties.

"What the hell is that?" Stu asked.

"I'll pay for the Elvis thing, okay?"

Stu was still dumbfounded. "Carol, where did you get that money? Did you call them? Did they wire you money?"

She stopped counting the bills. "Remember after the buffet at breakfast you had to go the bathroom?"


"I slipped off to a slot machine and won about $190. I was gonna use it to buy you a wedding present but since you're bein' such a creep, I'll pay for the Elvis. That's my present to you. Happy fucking wedding day."

Stu knew to just keep his mouth shut. He'd smooth things over later. Besides, Carol was going to feel so euphoric after the ceremony, chances are she'd forget about it.

But things got confusing again. "Which Elvis would you like?" the minister replied.

Carol wasn't really getting the gist of what he was asking. "Anyone'll do. Whoever's available."

The minister chuckled, shaking his head saying, "You don't seem to catch my meanin'. Would ya'll prefer rockabilly Elvis or jumpsuit Elvis?"

The kids looked like they were just asked to explain the square root of pi.

"Big difference you know," the minister continued. "Big difference."

Stu never really thought about Presley as two separate entities. As far as he was concerned Elvis was... well... just Elvis. He decided to fess up and asked, "What's the difference?"

"Well," the minister explained. "Rockabilly Elvis was the young Elvis. The one y'all probably seen from the clips of the Ed Sullivan Show. He was vibrant, charismatic and good lookin' too," he said glancing at Carol and pointed to a photo from one of the wedding catalogs. "You see, the is what rockabilly Elvis looked like."

Carol's eyes lit up. "Elvis was a babe, huh?" she said to Stu.

"Yeah, I guess. Too bad he became fat and bloated."

The minister gave Stu a look as if he'd committed blasphemy. It was sacreligous to refer to the King -- in the town that he helped put on the map -- as fat and bloated. "I beg your pardon, young man," the minister corrected, "the king had a little bitty problem in his twilight years." The minister took a long pause before he tried to diplomatically explain. "In the seventies, the King put on a little weight so to speak and he couldn't fit into them tight leather numbers he liked to wear."

"Those cool suits didn't fit him either, huh father?" Stu asked.

The minister agreed and sadly shook his head. "Let's just say they weren't very conducive to his..." the minister said trying to find a harmless word. "...Girth."

The minister flipped through a couple more pages in his catalog and pointed to a photo of Elvis from his last concert. In all the splendor that was The King, there he was in full Technicolor -- the gaudy white jumpsuit, the bloated puffy cheeks and the huge gut -- an inflated icon that once made millions scream.

The minister shook his head in a weird kind of despair, "It's a damn shame," he said as if just hearing about his death on that dreadfully hot August afternoon. "Yep, it's a damn shame what them drugs'll do to you." He tried to lighten up and turned to the kids, "So which will it be?"

The married couple walked out of the chapel. Carol held onto Stu's hand like a vice grip to the point where he had to fake checking his watch to have her let go. Stu noticed his wife was beaming. Happy at the world. Happy that she was finally someone's wife. Stu's wife. Not quite knowing how to feel yet, Stu smiled back and stayed quiet. In his young life, if he figured out anything, it was that when you don't know what to say, you don't say anything.

Noticing a hot dog stand on the corner, Stu asked Carol if she was hungry."

"I was hoping that our first meal as husband and wife would be a little more special," she said.

"Hon, If I don't get something in my stomach, I'm gonna faint. Besides, I had so many butterflies in there, I think it might be good to eat a little something."

"Oh, all right," she said kissing him.

There was a small line ahead of them at the stand. A family of three, seeing the city, sightseeing; a casino worker, probably a dealer; and a woman with a small duffel bag. She was absolutely stunning. Stu put on his sunglasses to get a better peek without getting snagged by the misses. He took her in at least from the back -- dark brown hair, caramel complexion, and a rear end that favored a small basketball. If there was a 'Best Ass in Vegas' competition, Stu thought she'd win, hands down.

"Do you know what you want?" Carol asked him.

"Uh, yeah," he said. "A hot dog."

"I know that, Stu. I mean what are you getting on it?"

It was useless. Stu took off his sunglasses and turned to Carol. "Uh, I don't know, Carol. Why?"

Carol shrugged her shoulders, "No reason. 'Scuse me for asking. Forget it."

Stu knew it was wrong to snap at her, especially since they tied the knot just 15 minutes ago. He kissed her on her cheek and playfully bit her earlobe. It was his way of apologizing. She knew it and put her arm around him. Her way of saying, "It's okay, but don't let it happen again."

The happy couple stood there waiting, arm-in-arm, as everyone ordered their dogs. Stu watched the pretty woman in front of him order two franks with relish and quickly remembered how much he despised relish. He watched her stroll over to a nearby bench and eat the foot longs. Man, it was a pretty erotic sight. A vision that he tried hard not to frustrate him. After all, he was a newlywed and there was definite sex in his immediate future. If he played his cards right, he and Carol would be in the sack by dusk.

"What do you want on your hot dog?" Carol asked, sounding peeved.


"'Cause the guy's waiting for your order?"

Stu turned to the vendor. "Do you have chili?"

"No chili" the man answered in an unrecognizable accent. "Just bean."

"That's fine."

Stu paid the peddler and he and Carol walked over to a bench parallel to the one the girl was on. The sunglasses came on again. "Man, this sun is bright, huh?" he said to Carol. "Where's your sunglasses?"

"Left them in the car."

"What did you do that for?" Stu asked, chomping into the dog.

"It was cloudy before, remember?"

"Oh yeah," he answered.

Carol looked as if something was bothering her, but Stu didn't notice. It wasn't until he heard her sniffing that he knew something was wrong.

"Honey, are you okay?"

Carol didn't answer.

"What's wrong?" he asked again, sitting closer to her and altogether forgetting about the sexy stranger across from them.

"Did we make a mistake today?" she asked him, blowing her nose with one of Stu's napkins.

"Why are you saying that?" Stu wanted to comfort her and let her know that everything was going to be okay. He rubbed the back of her neck and he felt her loosen up a bit. "I love you, Carol." he said. "I plan to be married only once in my life, so you're stuck with me whether you like it or not."

"Look at us," she said to him. "Where we gonna wind up? Where are we gonna go?"

He scarfed down what was left of his hot dog and sprinted to a newspaper vending machine. As he trotted back to Carol, Stu held the paper up like a paperboy and said, "What's next? We find jobs -- that's what's next."

"Really?" Carol didn't know how to respond. The thought of settling in Vegas was never really propositioned. At least not seriously.

Stu went on. "We get jobs, get a cheap place and..."

"And what?" Carol asked, somewhat excited at his burst of enthusiasm.

"And... I try to look up my dad. Last I heard he was out here making a living."

"He's still here?"

Stu shrugged his shoulders. "Who knows? We'll see."

"What's he do?"

"I heard he was a pit boss in one of the casinos but got fired."

"What's he do now?" Carol asked.

"My mom said he's a professional card sharp or something."

"He gambles for a living?"

"Who knows if he's even still in town. He could be pumping gas in Alaska for all I know. Who knows if he'd even want to see me." Stu switched gears. "The important thing is that we plant some seeds to grow roots of our own. Me and you. Know what I'm saying?

Carol didn't say anything. She was weighing what Stu was saying.

"Please don't ever doubt what we did here ever again, okay?" Stu said watching Carol getting the napkin out of her pocket and blowing her nose. This time, tears of happiness were flowing down her chin and she whispered, "I love you. You're so right, baby."

"Don't worry about a thing," Stu said, hugging his wife and noticing the sexy stranger get up from the bench and walk across the street into the Sugar and Spice Lounge. A banner attached to the building advertised an all-day go-go rama with over fifty girls. Stu thought she must have been one of the fifty.

He wanted to see her on that stage, wrapped around a pole. He couldn't help it. One thought ran through his mind repeatedly.

"How can I get her phone number?"


Tuesday, August 12, 2008


OK... As I said the other day, I feel like I'm going out on a limb here. Very few people have read any fiction I've written, much less a story which happens to not be my particular favorite. In any case, a few days ago, I posted this poem. It was an ode to a teenaged Vegas elopement and the bar they visited soon after. After thinking about it, I figured it was the perfect companion piece or sequel to a short story I wrote eons ago about the same subject. If anything, the only thing I can say is that they ultimately belong together at this point. First this story, "The Two Elvises" which I'll post in three parts, and then the poem from the other day - Honeymoon at the Atomic.


"The Two Elvises" - Part Two

They met a year ago when Carol's dad met Stu's mom at The Drink Cart, a small bar inside of the main terminal in Chicago's O' Hare Airport. Stu's mom, Bette Holmes, was an over-the-hill flight attendant whose days were numbered. It's not that she was incompetent or belligerent to passengers, but simply, she wasn't the youngest flower in the bouquet anymore. Years of flying cross-country have begun to take their toll. And after training an endless number of pretty young girls to work with her on the plane, she knew, from watching them bounce up and down the aisle with their bubbly smiles, peddling earplugs and magazines, that she was through. When it got slow, she'd sneak into the bathroom and gaze in the mirror, inspecting the wrinkles that resembled the topography she often flew over.

It didn't stop there. Her golden brown hair that once flowed in wavy strands now resembled frizzled hay. The eyes, once bright and optimistic, now peered with darkened suspicion. And the hourglass figure that used to make male passengers melt behind their Newsweeks, evoked the shape of a bowling pin. It was obvious -- what little looks she did have were quickly whisking away, like the dry leaves in a late autumn breeze.

So in drowning her sorrows after a long flight from LAX, Bette met Roger Nichols, a copier salesman, just back in town from his company's annual convention.

When the subject of family came up, Bette said, "I have a son. Stuart. Just turned twenty."

"Really?" Roger said, sounding surprised. "My daughter's gonna be twenty on March 7."

Bette smiled, as if they were sharing the same secret. "They'll drain you, huh? Drive you batty. What's her name?"

Roger saw the face of his baby girl. "Carol," he answered, pulling out a small snapshot from his wallet. "Isn't she a doll?"

"Oh yes," Bette said. "Stu would love her..."

So Stu and Carol were introduced about a month and a half later at a Labor Day barbecue held on the grounds at Roger's company. At first Stu thought Carol was a little primadonna, with her shoulder shrugging and one word answers. But he soon realized, after knowing her a bit, that's how she acted when she was nervous. As for Carol? She thought Stu was a typical jock, sophomoric and stupid at the same time. But after she got to know him, she realized it was his free-spirited nature, easy-going and relaxed that made him appear so juvenile.

"You live in town?" was the first thing Stu asked her. After Carol answered yes, he was stuck and really didn't have much else to say. Neither did she. The initial small talk of young love can be excruciatingly scary and the lack of chit-chat between these two kids were perfect examples. When Roger jogged over and asked them what they wanted from the grill, a small part of Stu and Carol were relieved. They thought they were saved, but Roger, not wanting to intrude, took their food requests and went back to the barbecue. They were back at square one.

"So..." Stu said stumbling for something to say, "is that your red Miata?"

She nodded. "I got it used about a month ago. You like it?"

"Who wouldn't? Is it a stick?"

She crinkled her nose. "Yeah, but I can't really drive it that good," she said. "I stall alot. It took me a half hour to get here today because I had to find a way with no hills."

Stu knew this was his area. "Carol, you've come to the right guy. I've been driving five-speeds ever since I got my license."

"Do you have any pointers?" she asked.

A young man's cockiness overcame Stu. "The way I can teach you, you'll be driving NASCAR by Friday."

So there was the common ground. He helped her drive like Mario Andretti and she let him take her out a couple of times after the lessons. Usually it was to Friendly's for ice cream. Once they tried to buy beer, but got carded by some kid working the register that was younger than them. Stu called the kid a prick and they left the store.

They eventually became friends and it wasn't soon after, that their hormones got the best of them. It was only natural, therefore, that things became sexual.

When their folks announced wedding plans, it was Thanksgiving night and Stu and Carol didn't quite know how to deal with the fact they would soon be related. Both of them just stared into their plates filled with beets and turkey to the point where their parents wondered if they were ill.

"What should we do?" Carol asked later over the echoes of a football game.

"Stu flicked on MTV and put the volume louder so their parents wouldn't overhear and said, "Do you think we should stop seeing each other?"

"Stop seeing each other? Stu we're gonna like see each other every day. This is serious."

"Didn't you think that our parents getting married was a possibility? I say we do nothing. They fell in love. Why can't we?"

Carol thought about it. Stu was right. "Should we tell them?"

"No," he said. "They'll find out soon enough I guess."

So Bette and Roger wed about three months later in a quaint bed and breakfast ceremony and technically, you could say, Stu and Carol became step-brother and sister.

The family moved into a quaint tudor in the Chicago suburb of Englewood Heights. To the naked eye, Stu and Carol looked like any other step-brother and sister - the hogging of the bathroom, the fight for the remote control and even the quarrel as to who would take the garbage out wasn't uncommon. But behind closed doors, the two were falling deeper in love.

If Bette and Roger went upstairs to bed, then Stu and Carol would descend to the basement where a finished off den gave them all the privacy they needed. And for the evenings when Bette had overnight flights and Roger had sales meetings five states away, the kids played house, doing everything young couples do.

And it was those little things that almost got them caught -- like the time when Roger noticed the fireplace had been used when no one was supposed to be home. When he saw all the mood music scattered about, he just had to ask Stu, "Didn't you go skiing this weekend?"

Stu thought quick. "Bobby's water pump busted and my car wouldn't have made it that far, so we had to cancel."
"Did you have a date?" Roger asked examining the back of a Barry White CD.

"Not really. Some girl I knew from high school came over and she got a little cold, so I lit the fireplace."

"Was Carol here? Didn't she cramp your style."

"Luckily she went out with her friend Jackie and slept over there."

"I hope you scored at least."

Stu smiled. "I sure did Roger. I sure as hell did"

"That's what I like to hear kiddo," his stepdad said as he walked out of the den. "Do it while you're young 'cause gettin' old is a bitch."

Their luck, though, had to run out sometime. One Saturday morning -- when Bette always did housework -- she found something very odd and alarming. While emptying Carol's trash basket next to the bed an electric blue Stallion brand condom wrapper fell to the ground. It was Ribbed. She'd been home for the past three days and hadn't seen any boys come over to see her step-daughter. It didn't set right especially since her husband used the same brand. She thought about it a little more and came to the conclusion that something funny was indeed going on. She saved the wrapper and decided to show it to Roger when he came home from work.

"I found this in the trash today, Roger," Bette said throwing the condom wrapper in front of him as he sat down at the kitchen table.

"The kid works fast," Roger said to himself, but still letting Bette hear.

"What?" Bette asked, not understanding.

"Hon, don't worry. The other day Stu asked me if I had any extra rubbers. The kid's been seein' some girl lately and I've been asking him how it's been going. I guess he's starting to trust me a little."

Bette didn't know how to tell him so she just blurted it out. "I found it in Carol's bedroom."

"You found it where?"

"I was cleaning her room when I found it in the trash."

Roger's face turned beet red. "Are you thinking what I'm thinking..."

Bette sat down and fanned herself with a coupon circular. "Rog, no one has been in this house for a couple of days and unless you've been sleeping with her, I think our kids may be --"

"I'll kill him, Bette."

"Let me talk to him," she said. "Just calm down. Maybe there's a good explanation for this." She knew, however, there couldn't have been. There was a protocol, a decorum, that was broken. Nothing could fix it now.

About three hours, later Stu came home from work and Carol was up in her room on the phone. When their parents called them down to the kitchen, Stu knew they were caught. "What do we tell them?" Carol asked, petrified.

"Let me handle it. I'll do all the talking. Don't say a word."

But Carol did and Stu reacted to their parents like any twenty year-old would -- with angst and anger perpetuated by just the right amount of fear that makes people do the craziest of things.

"We love each other," he said. "You guys fell in love, why can't we?"

"Because, you little shit, it's dysfunctional," Roger snapped. "Did you ever see Marsha Brady sleep with Greg?"

Stu walked towards the door saying, "I don't have to take this."

Roger trotted after him and spun his stepson around and said, pointing into his face, "We are not done talking. Get back into that kitchen."


"Then get out!"

"Roger!" Bette screamed. "This is my child! Now, let's just all sit and talk about this."

"Daddy!" Carol piped in every couple of seconds during the confusion. She finally said when all was quiet, "If he goes, so do I."

Roger grabbed hold of his daughter's arm. "You're not going anywhere."

It was at that point where Stu drew his line in the sand, pushing Roger as hard as he could, clutched Carol's wrist and dragged her out of the house with him. "I love you, mom" was the last thing he said before slamming the door. All he heard as they ran down the walkway was his mom crying from inside.



OK... Making this one was fun. So there are plenty of Kerouac videos out there. This is a short video I created that tries to capture the aura, essence and bravado of the tough guy scribe. Have a scotch for me, Jack, wherever you are...

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Zampano Films, an outfit in sunny California, has filmed "The State of Poem," their ode to the form of poetry. Thank God. We need films like this for the form to survive. Shot by director
Alveraz Ricardez, it's a comprehensive view of contemporary poetry across the United States. Look for it in the Spring.

The State of Poem (extended trailer)

Saturday, August 2, 2008


...You probably won't find more haunting images of the Deep South than in this short video. Dunno where or how this one popped out of my brain. Took me a very brisk two days to finish. If anyone ever wants to know how, why or where the blues emerged, look no further. Hopefully this can explain... And you also have to love Blind Willie Johnson's haunting moans.

WARNING: Some scary images of brutality may not be suitable for younger kids.

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Tom Waits is adding an extra stop to his sold-out "Glitter & Doom" summer tour: NPR Music's "Live in Concert" series. NPR Music is the only place to hear a full concert from Waits' tour, which will be available for both free streaming and podcast at

During the show, recorded at Atlanta's historic Fox Theater on July 5, Waits gives a two-and-a-half hour performance, featuring songs he's never played outside a studio. The 25-track set includes "Hold On," "All the World is Green" and "Hoist That Rag," followed by an encore of "Anywhere I Lay My Head."

Waits is the latest musician to have an entire performance streamed by NPR Music, which frequently webcasts rock, pop and indie concerts as part of its extensive "Live in Concert" series. The series has featured more than 100 events to date.

In March, NPR Music and Member stations traveled to Austin, TX, to live webcast and broadcast 14 concerts from the influential music festival South by Southwest, among them R.E.M., My Morning Jacket, Vampire Weekend, Bon Iver and Yo La Tengo. All SXSW performances are archived at the site. This summer, NPR Music is also webcasting and broadcasting performances from the Newport Folk Festival and JVC Jazz Festival Newport in Rhode Island.

NPR Music launched in November 2007 as a free, comprehensive music discovery destination, featuring content from NPR and 12 NPR Member public radio stations, as well as original-to-NPR Music features such as live performances, studio sessions, interviews, reviews and blogs. Specific sections of the site are dedicated to rock/pop/folk, classical, jazz/blues, world and urban music. The site culls from NPR's and the stations' extensive music archives to present thousands of features; its popular Concert section offers hundreds of regional and national web concerts, with more than 15 new performances added each month. NPR Music also has dozens of original music podcasts.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I've long said that had Bruce Springsteen not been a rock god of the highest order, he'd surely make a fabulous showing as a poet extraordinaire. For proof, I suggest snagging a copy of his lyric book "Songs" at Amazon.

As an example, here's the lyrics for "The Ghost of Tom Joad," an ode to Americana, hard times, and the open road and where it may brings you -- be it a soup kitchen or a bread line.

The first video for the tune is a quiet, solemn version Bruce did in the studio. The second video is an electric version and a truly fucking amazing duet with Tom Morello that was shot live... Holy shit, the guitars!!!

Men walkin' 'long the railroad tracks
Goin' someplace there's no goin' back
Highway patrol choppers comin' up over the bridge
Hot soup on a campfire under the bridge
Shelter line stretchin' 'round the corner
Welcome to the new world order
Families sleepin' in their cars in the Southwest
No home no job no peace no rest
The highway is alive tonight
But nobody's kiddin' nobody about where it goes
I'm sittin' down here in the campfire light
Searchin' for the ghost of Tom Joad

He pulls a prayer book out of his sleeping bag
Preacher lights up a butt and takes a drag
Waitin' for when the last shall be first and the first shall be last
In a cardboard box 'neath the underpass
Got a one-way ticket to the promised land
You got a hole in your belly and gun in your hand
Sleepin' on a pillow of solid rock
Bathin' in the city aqueduct

The highway is alive tonight
Where it's headed everybody knows
I'm sittin' down here in the campfire light
Waitin' on the ghost of Tom Joad

Now Tom said "Mom, wherever there's a cop beatin' a guy
Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries
Where there's a fight against the blood and hatred in the air
Look for me mom I'll be there
Wherever there's somebody fightin' for a place to stand
Or a decent job or a helpin' hand
Wherever somebody's strugglin' to be free
Look in their eyes Mom you'll see me."

Well the highway is alive tonight
But nobody's kiddin' nobody about where it goes
I'm sittin' down here in the campfire light
With the ghost of old Tom Joad

Monday, July 28, 2008


Our favorite hard-drinkin' techno ambient groovemeister is back with the eclectic and eerie tune "Stupid." Watch it in the dark... it'll freak you out.

Of the poetic tune (read the lyrics first), Groovespook says on his blog:

"So I have finally completed STUPID. It took me literally MONTHS of gradual frame by frame masking of both my eyeballs (it's called rotoscoping in professional circles) Great learning experience and got me some mean chops with a few key shortcuts. Seriously though, I looked at the first test I did and it was FEBRUARY!!!! So it really has taken me nearly 6 months to complete.

It is not highly apparent either that all of my two eyes through the entire video have been painstakingly masked. 6736 frames to be exact. That is like drawing a vector shape onto a layer in Illustrator or photoshop and applying a 3 pixel feather 13472 times. I soldiered on like a.. ... soldier, I guess, for MONTHS.

I am very proud of it. My mind is boggling at the future of my videos now this is complete. Options options options are almost LIMITLESS - aside from my damn time!!! I want to employ my good friend Gregger to direct the next one, in a huge green room he has access to. ooooooh. It will not be the Matrix but it will feature more effect heavy rendering and fun. I presume. Better lighting too no doubt.

Here are the lyrics...


he sold his belongings again
took what was left
of his friend's advise to heart
round the bend to
begin this legend this great one's defences end

spilled whisky and shunned one to win
the eyes of such beauty his world went out to end
round the bend to begin this legend this princesses stories end


Now both of his remaining wits end
struck out for the one bastard ravers intent
round the bend to begin this legend
this young drivers next stupid
this young drivers next stupid
this young drivers next stupid
this young drivers next
this young drivers next


Sunday, July 20, 2008


... Only more poetic and with no dopey political or environmental agendas like saving the tsetse fly or rare leaves in the Amazon. He's a hard-drinkin', eclectic techno artist whose lyrics are thought-provoking, dark, ambiguous and timely.

If one takes a look at the playlist at right, it's obvious that the musical vibe of Bukowski's Basement isn't exactly ambient or techno-driven. Yup, as we stir our whiskey with a rusty nail, we gravitate towards those tunes that akin to the underbelly. But that said, we do love to chill every now and then, so meet Groovespook. His quirky, grim, two-toned lyrics are a perfect fit for Bukowski's Basement as are his simplified, disturbing videos (constructed in his own basement).

Here's some lyrics...

The Shape of it was cool,
The eye of any fool
could name it's origin but for the mix that lay within

The feel of it was cool
the touch of any fool
could tell the presence of a forethought kept on ice
on ice
the taste of it was cool
the look of any fool
could send a weaker man to mirror such a weaker man
than I am
than I am
than I am

And the video...

So how just how did "Twas Pink for a Minute" come about? "I came directly home from having to work Saturday and Sunday of the long weekend that was the 4th of July," he explains on his blog.

"Nothing could be more depressing for a 36 year-old really," said the musician, who's real name is Porl Gordon, an Australian transplant who lives in New Jersey. He goes on to say that after getting home from work, he built himself the aptly-named "Gordon" (a simply awesome Martini with secret ingredients) and sat down and did the following:

1. Wrote a poem about it.
2. Turned it into a tune.
3. Performed it.
4. Recorded it.
5. Visually recorded it.
6. Visually performed it.
6. Merged the three (almost seamlessly)
7. Imported them into After Effects and added... ummmmm... After effects? Or is that too stupid?
8. Exported it to a happy format for You Tube.
9. Uploaded it.
10. Watched it and finished the Martini

Born in England and raised in Australia, he started penning music when his parents gave him a Yamaha DX7 synthesizer at 14. Ever since, he started buying more equipment and developing his own style which led to a self-produced disc called "Broad Water Moods."

Gordon says he's inspired by the likes of Thomas Dolby, Tears for Fears, Peter Gabriel, Massive Attack and Portishead. In addition to the ivories, Gordon also plays flute and bass and uses his voice in his recordings. He worked as a deejay in his native land down under and when he was 26, he headed to London and continued to work the steel wheels at various music venues. "I did raves in London. I would do eight hours of music," Gordon told his local paper. In 1999, he came to America.

Here's his other hypnotic creation, "FAILURE AT THE CAVE" which we think may have fanboys wetting their pants.

I walked right in
not me scared
not of him
not a lizard hissing
could sweat me pissing my
x wing trousers

he said I wouldn't need my light saber
the little wizard said backwards clever things
not three more minutes
till I'm face to face
with a nasty man

in a trench coat
and a garbage can
redesigned to keep his
scorched dead skin
from flicking all right off of him

Of course I couldn't know that then
because of lying old man Ben
and the little green wizard
shot glances between me and him
under my x wing
swamp weed
wouldn't need my light saber
the little wizard said backwards clever things
not a pained long focus
could have let me see who the nasty man was

in a trench coat
and a garbage can
redesigned to keep his scorched dead skin
and showing Luke Anakin

Now check out his video for it...

Monday, July 14, 2008

WAY LATE (poem)

This is my schizo ode to nighttime. That uncertain time of night when nothing positive can possibly happen and the safest place in the world is on the couch with a bottle or under your sheets watching Carson.

Nothing safe comes after midnight.
At least that's how
I've always seen it.

Useless alley cats howl
like a dying infant,
haunting your dreams

The phone rings;
It's the death call
--the one we
all dread getting.
Mom's dead,
Dad fell.

All at night,
and way late.

And then there's our ailments
The tooth hurts more;
Fever rages
way late.
Pain throbs
and throbs

Way way late.

And that dude driving late
at night? Why, of course he's
drunk. Couldn't say no to
just one more

What about that car next door
that just parked?
Blowjob? Meth?

Your shady neighbor,
the one who looks down as
you pass him, keeps looking
out that broken window
Up and down, slammin’ it shut.
Way late.

Oh, and then there's the
white trash down the way.
Bottles clankin';
broken glass scatters
a scream
a slap

Siren light
revolves through your bedroom.
It reflects odd colors,
multiplying in the mirror.

You’re groggy, half awake;
The image of a faded
memory gives you
a mini nightmare.

way late

But then
the birds chirp,
and chirp
some more

In bed, you mellow.

An early jogger;
the pitter-patter
of expensive kicks;

Someone taking out the trash;
An engine starting;
A door slams a quick,
responsible slam;
Someone far sayin', “Morning”

The alarm darts alive
another day.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


If there's one contemporary crooner out there that good 'ol Chuck Buk would be all over, we think it just might be Diablo Dimes. Cut from the Tom Waits School of Music, Dimes is Blues, Americana, Ragtime, Boogie Woogie, Dixieland, and Rock n' Roll...all in one.

Self described as "Honkytonk, hooked, hop, hophead heebies, and a full orchestration at a barrelhouse" this dude is the real deal. His approach is sincere, primitive, and nostalgic with a smoky freight train for a voice box, he's an authentic seasoned multi instrumentalist.

In the last few years, Dimes has managed to have his music featured in a myriad of expression. HBO's original series, "Mind of the Married Man". Twice on TLC's "Miami Ink". Six months on the National College Radio Charts, and a featured performance on long time friend and collaborator Chuck E. Weiss' new album, "23 & Stout", on Cooking Vinyl Records. Not to mention, numerous independent films, play productions, and musicals.

He always thrills with company, weather it's the solo carnival like Medicine Show, or with his band, The Bloodhounds. A true original, raw and passionate, with enough charisma to fill a concert hall or... a dirty juke joint brawl. Ya' won't be disappointed. Most recently, Dimes has self released the full lenghth, "Rainin' Wine On Sunday", and is currently recording a follow up.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Enjoy this candid Bukowski interview (via Belgium) where Hank waxes on about his strained relationship with his father and how he felt after his death.

Friday, July 4, 2008


Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Let's all just take a breather from all this serious stuff on the site and just chill as we listen to this gorgeous ditty about diner culture. Grab a shot, a coffee, whatever your poison and dig the vibe of the sheer cool of vintage Tom Waits, circa 1976 from "The Mike Douglas Show." P.S., stick around for the hilarious interview afterwards... Vinatge Waits, for sure...

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Somewhere up there - in that great beyond - I hope that Chuck Buk isn't laughing. While I would in no way fancy myself a poet, I will say that the form itself is a wonderful way to tell a short story. It's slightly abstract and perhaps a tad mystical. I hope everyone enjoys.

The mystic told me to stay away
in that cold way they do.
I didn’t know if she truly
did know anything but
shit, she certainly sounded
like it, looking at me
all suspicious and
knowing. Like she had one up.
What a gift, to be able
to see through people
and all of their bullshit.
I wish I had that. I’d know
if I was wasting my time
here or there.
As she spoke, I kept looking at the
ocean, onto the horizon, wondering
how far it went...
But I did hear her.
Stay away, she advised once more.
She kept asking me odd questions as
if I knew what she meant. Then she
asked if I wanted the full reading.
After asking what it entailed, she
broke out a beat-to-shit deck of
tarot cards. I remarked on them
and she told me they were a gift
from her aunt,another mystic.
She dealt my hand and all sorts
of weird shit popped up. I thought
I’d have a better chance inside at
one of the casinos, but what did I
know? I’m the one sitting here.
She told me things I didn’t want or
care to hear. She drudged up
old memories, feelings. Images.
And then I could swear I smelled
the smells of ten years earlier.
I panicked. This was a mistake.
The full reading, I mean.
And then she turned her cards over
and asked me for my fifty dollars.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


The genius that is American writer, Raymond Carver...

While post upon post can be written about Carver's life and work, let's just say that for all intents and purposes, his simplistic, yet utterly effective prose will send shivers down many a spine. He wasn't only one of the world's finest writers of short fiction, but also one of its most large-hearted and affecting poets.

Like Carver's stories, the more than 300 poems are marked by a keen attention to the physical world. His unflinching talent compressed vast feelings into three or four words and was truly a voice of conversational intimacy. The best aspect of all of his writing, however, was that he knew when to stop at the most precise moment.

Enjoy this Saturday's poem ... It's filled with a staggering sense of dread. Let's hope none of us have to go through something like this.

What The Doctor Said

He said it doesn't look good
he said it looks bad in fact real bad
he said I counted thirty-two of them on one lung before
I quit counting them
I said I'm glad I wouldn't want to know
about any more being there than that
he said are you a religious man do you kneel down
in forest groves and let yourself ask for help
when you come to a waterfall
mist blowing against your face and arms
do you stop and ask for understanding at those moments
I said not yet but I intend to start today
he said I'm real sorry he said
I wish I had some other kind of news to give you
I said Amen and he said something else
I didn't catch and not knowing what else to do
and not wanting him to have to repeat it
and me to have to fully digest it
I just looked at him
for a minute and he looked back it was then
I jumped up and shook hands with this man who'd just given me
something no one else on earth had ever given me
I may have even thanked him habit being so strong

-- Raymond Carver

Poetry Collections
Near Klamath (1968)
Winter Insomnia (1970)
At Night The Salmon Move (1976)
Where Water Comes Together
with Other Water (1985)
Ultramarine (1986)
A New Path To The Waterfall (1989)

Poetry Compilations
In a Marine Light: Selected Poems (1988)
All of Us: The Collected Poems (1996)