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...'

Friday, October 30, 2009


... This is what he'd look like. Happy Halloween to all of my peeps...

Seriously... How hilarious is this?

Thursday, October 29, 2009


OK... I couldn't help it. Born and bred in The Garden State, this is prolly what would go down if you got directions in any large New Jersey city... Thanks to Michael S. for the spark... Also check out the New England version.

Who's this guy walkin' towards my car? Whats he want?

He don't look like a beggar and if he carjacks me, I got my Club and'll knock him on his ass.

What'd he say? Do I know how to get where??

"Yo Pal, what don't you go to the gas station over there... I look a map?"

Moron. You should have yourself a nav anyway. Creep...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mr. P (flash fiction)

Every Halloween season I remember this quirky English substitute named 'Mr. P' who replaced Ms. Clemm after she caught a mysterious ailment.

He was an odd chap who'd slam down his dusty books every morning, tinker with an unkempt mustache and speak in an formalized and grand English we never really heard before.

Unconventional and odd, he ignored our given text and asked us kids for help in his own compositions, thereby illustrating to us the ins and the outs of the language.

Being that it was the creepy season, many of us concocted different frightful stories -- one in particular -- was about a man who entombed his friend alive.

Well, it wasn't long before a some persnickety parent saw his child's notebook and needless to say, that was the last we saw of Mr. P.

Imagine our surprise when Ms. Clemm, who, after mysteriously returning, had us read something called "The Cask of Amontillado."

Funny, we all seemed to get an A on that particular pop quiz.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Every so often, I'd like to present on the blog some lyrics that I find pretty damn noteworthy to me -- poetic. That said, I give you Leonard Cohen's "Waiting for the Miracle."

This is a feature I wanted to start at Bukowski's Basement for a while. I guess you can say that the Oliver Stone film "Natural Born Killers" pushed me to do it since the song I'm featuring is on the soundtrack. Watching the film (again) the other night on cable got me thinking about how incredible the lyrics to Cohen's breathtaking tune "Waiting for the Miracle" actually is (Another Cohen gem "The Future" is also featured in the film).

The All Music Guide refers to Cohen and the disc the tune stems from as:

literate and

... In other words, right up our alley.

The brooding tune is chock full of eerie sentiments and comes pretty close to spoken word at times. In fact, most of the disc resembles poetry set to music than simply mere songs. The entire album comes off as one long manifesto calling all to challenge the concepts of righteousness and despair in Cohen's modern world.

The All Music Guide calls him "one man against the world with nothing but a gruff voice and a cause." And what a gruff voice it is...

That said, play the tune below and follow the lyrics. As always, enjoy...

Baby, I've been waiting,
I've been waiting night and day.
I didn't see the time,
I waited half my life away.
There were lots of invitations
and I know you sent me some.
But I was waiting
for the miracle...
For the miracle to come.

I know you really loved me,
but you see, my hands were tied.
I know it must have hurt you,
it must have hurt your pride
to have to stand beneath my window
with your bugle and your drum...
And me I'm up there waiting
for the miracle...
For the miracle to come.

I don't believe you'd like it,
you wouldn't like it here.
There ain't no entertainment
and the judgements are severe.
The Maestro says it's Mozart,
but it sounds like bubble gum
when you're waiting
for the miracle...
For the miracle to come.

Waiting for the miracle
There's nothing left to do.
I haven't been this happy
since the end of World War II.

Nothing left to do
when you know that you've been taken.
Nothing left to do
when you're begging for a crumb
Nothing left to do
when you've got to go on waiting,
waiting for the miracle to come.

I dreamed about you, baby.
It was just the other night.
Most of you was naked,
ah, but some of you was light.
The sands of time were falling
from your fingers and your thumb,
And you were waiting...
For the miracle, for the miracle to come.

Ah baby, let's get married,
we've been alone too long.
Let's be alone together.
Let's see if we're that strong.
Yeah, let's do something crazy,
something absolutely wrong,
while we're waiting...
For the miracle, for the miracle to come.

Nothing left to do
when you know that you've been taken.
Nothing left to do
when you're begging for a crumb
Nothing left to do
when you've got to go on waiting,
waiting for the miracle to come.

When you've fallen on the highway
and you're lying in the rain,
and they ask you how you're doing
of course you'll say you can't complain --
If you're squeezed for information,
that's when you've got to play it dumb:
You just say you're out there waiting
for the miracle, for the miracle to come.

Saturday, October 24, 2009



Please enjoy this short piece of flash that I guest wrote for Tess Dickenson's lovely blog "Throughts from Tess." It centers on a lonely waitress at a greasy spoon in Las Vegas and the stranger she meets one ordinary afternoon.

* A paragraph or two appear to be a tad long. I didn't intend them to be that long, the carriage returns apparently didn't translate in the e-mail. Please enjoy...

Friday, October 23, 2009


Good news. Two publications have accepted my work this week.

The first, Red Fez, is an online publication I've long admired. They will be publishing my prose poem "The Last Moments of Papa H." It actually started out as a piece of flash fiction at Six Sentences that I eventually went on to rework. It will be in the December issue of the zine.

Red Fez was founded in 2003 by independent author Leopold McGinnis and concentrates on publishing and promoting non-mainstream, but accessible work by underground and under-recognized artists. The site/zine is divided into a unique, searchable database style and is updated quarterly. Check 'em out...

The online and print zine Shoots and Vines will publish my short piece of flash "The Well" in their October print issue (and I suppose online as well). A big up to Michael Solender and his blog "not from here are you" for showcasing them in a recent post.

His words on Shoots and Vines: "Barely 1 year old, the unpretentious online lit showcase, Shoots and Vines, has become a well regarded platform featuring established and emerging writers who want to get their work out in front of those who appreciate the talent that abounds in the underground lit scene. With a primary focus on poetry and flash fiction, editor and founder Crystal Folz has tapped into an international cadre of writers and readers who have bookmarked the stylistic S & V, making it a daily stop for a solid dose of edible writes that typically don’t follow convention."

Thursday, October 22, 2009


After working her shift, she barely
had enough energy to disrobe,
much less play with a toddler.
But it had to be done.

Once the boy was asleep, she'd
sneak downstairs to be with her
other children who waited
patiently for her each evening.

There wasn't a night that went
by that she didn't long for them
and there they were. Loyal.
Her three boys, in waiting.
Standing tall.

Some days Johnnie,
so spiffy in black,
would be the one to help
her through the rough patches
with that ever so cozy essence.

Jim, stoic and strong, said
little but packed a punch.
He usually came through
when she needed to see things
clearer than they appeared.

Ah, but Jack was her old standby,
her first born of sorts and
the one she ran to with the
most comfort and ease.

But by the end of the night,
she'd be drained by them.
They were sometimes too
much all at once, so after
a few hours, she'd wave
them off, until tomorrow.

Walking upstairs, she'd catch
a glimpse of herself in a cracked
hallway mirror and would
turn away before her reflection
angered her.

Little did she know her three
wise men took more of a toll
on her than that little guy
upstairs any day of the week.

Monday, October 19, 2009


What a great time of year...

As the Autumn leaves begin to crackle and the smell of fireplace wood peppers the crisp air, that can only mean one thing -- Halloween is upon us. Cue the scary music.

In a series of 13 posts, fellow scribe Erin Cole will be hosting a Halloween-themed streak of posts at her blog "Listen to the Voices" where every day a new scary tale or ghoulish poem will featured.

First up, Michael Solender (another great creator) who will get the neckhairs rising with his piece "Orange Dot." -- Oh, and while you're at it, visit his prolific blog "Not from here, are you?"


I just made this new video/slideshow that most of my Basement brothers and sisters might enjoy. With the help (and glorious sounds) of Tom Waits, this is my ode to the diner lifestyle. Let's face it, we've all been there...

After a night of boozing or fun on the town, we seek out the comfort of the nearest 24 hour joint that serves up "eggs and sausage with a side of toast."

Be sure to take a look at the subjects and faces in the vid - they all have stories to tell and it's primarily why I think it came out pretty good.

Oh -- and extra points if you recognize the celeb in the last shot -- before the Bukowski's Basement logo. (It's an easy one, but a great pic nonetheless and one that I've never seen before of said celeb.) As always, please enjoy...

Find more videos like this on The 6S Social Network

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Hmmmm. Not sure how I feel about this one. Will Ferrell has been cast in the lead role of $10 million indie film "Everything Must Go."

Based on a Raymond Carver short story "Why Don't You Dance," it centers on a man attempting to sell all of his possessions, after his wife dumps them on the lawn and kicks him out of the house. The story, a stark and powerful piece, takes place on one night and is told more through the eyes of a couple buying the man’s belongings.

Not to take anything away from Ferrell, he can do drama when he's not acting like a goofball. I just wonder why him and why this story? Let's just hope he doesn't fuck it up. If so, there's always "Short Cuts."

I was able to muster up a crude Carver documentary on YouTube that actually shot the story. Amateurish, but it works brilliantly. Enjoy the show after the jump...

Friday, October 16, 2009


Wow. This is kinda funny. An Australian beer ad featuring a tawdry version of Snow White has raised the blood pressure at the Mouse House (that's Disney, folks).

The raunchy ad, for Jamieson's Raspberry Ale (ewww), depicts the chaste fairytale heroine blowing smoke rings as she lies in bed with seven semi-clad dwarfs.

Meet "Ho White"... while the loveable dwarves Sleepy, Happy and Doc have been renamed Filthy, Smarmy and Randy - supposedly to represent different types of drinkers

Campaign creators The Foundry claimed the idea was to convince Australian drinkers that the fruit-flavored beer was "anything but sweet."

Guess it worked...

To read more in depth, click HERE.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

THE SUIT (poem & podcast)

Please click play to enjoy an audio reading

He looked at her,
annoyed. Frustrated.
Again, she was on
one of her rampages
and he wasn't making
matters any easier.

After throwing a glass,
instead of something worse,
he went downstairs and
snatched the scotch.
It went down good.
A bit too fucking good.
Another sip.
And then, he remembered
their first date; went
to his closet and tried
to find the suit he wore.

It was a sad suit now,
but so fucking regal
in its heyday.
He touched its
texture and wanted
to wear it. And then
he smelled the musk
on the suit from
the night they met.
It certainly brought him
back. A shiver.

He smirked at the noise
she was making somewhere
in their house and all
he could do was wonder
how they got there?

"The Suit" by Anthony Venutolo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Hosted by The Internet Archive, download MP3 here. Music by Boom Boom Beckett, track4 "Quiche Lorraine" from the album "Vélos" and provided by Jamendo.

Monday, October 12, 2009

BANNISTER BLUES (guest poet)

Although it's been a while, Edoardo Mungiello has popped in before at Bukowski's Basement as a guest poet. While his sensibilities lean wwaaaay towards the classical, he can reign it in enough so that we Chuck Buk-lovin schleps here in Bukowski's Basement can dig his groove.

His jazzified riff last time, 'Us in Twilight," was one not to be be missed.

This is another one of his poems so please enjoy and let him know what you think.

I sit before the television more often than I care to,
comparing my life with the imagined ones before me.

And every time I'm intrigued, I realize that I'm unhappy
or I imagine myself to be...

And I imagine I would be happy directing
or acting...
or celebratizing...

And I wish like I’ve never wished for anything...

For their lives...
Their esteem...
Their fame...
Their money and their interest...

All the while knowing, not imagining,
that I'm better than they are and
becoming angry that they aren’t sitting in
a home comfortable in its love with their wives
and hoping someday to be me.

And I shut the television with disgust,
rising on the bannister to my bed with the reminder
that Dante was never in one place
long enough to watch television.

To read Mungiello's other poem on Bukowski's Basement, click HERE.
Edoardo Mungiello is a graduate of the School of the Visual Arts, New York City and has studied independently at l'Accademia delle Belle Arti, Florence and Oxford University's Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. In addition, he recently completed his dissertation for a Doctor of Arts and Letters at Drew University. He also is a professor of art history at Brookdale College in New Jersey, where he lives with his wife and daughter. No stranger to words, the modern renaissance man's book "Christ Among Them: Incarnation and Renaissance in Medieval Italian Culture" can be found HERE on Amazon. His gorgeous art work can be found HERE.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Yesterday Herta Müller was just another struggling scribe, like us, hoping that perhaps only a few would see and enjoy her work. That would be enough. It usually is. The brief recognition can easily make up for the years and hours upon hours of research and writing and editing and rewriting.

Today she is a different kind of author. The little-known Romanian-born German novelist and poet will soon have her work, "The Passport", translated into hundreds of languages as she claims the Nobel Prize for Literature. (Trivia: Müller is the 12th woman to receive the Nobel prize since it was established in 1901.)

Official description of "The Passport":

A Romanian village is caught between the stifling hopelessness of Ceausescu's dictatorship and the temptations of the West in this novel, which describes in detail the dreams and superstitions, conflicts and oppression of a forgotten region, the Banat in the Danube Plain.


I dunno... The whole message in a bottle thing ticks me off in fiction or movies. Maybe because I have to suspend such an amazing amount of belief that some dinky frikkin' little note in a bottle is going to travel 9000 miles and get the hero off some dumb island or whatever.

Funny enough, check out this interesting enough post that has proven my dumb ass wrong and assembled five true stories of messages in bottles.

And then, if you're brave enough, watch THIS.
Oh, and then use THESE to erase it from your memory.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


... or the 15 Most Common Mistakes People Make when They're Drunk

Let's be honest. We all like to get behind the cork now and again. No biggie. That said, however, there are times when the bottle gets the best of us and we quite simply, do dumb shit...

Check out this hilarious post, courtesy of Sloshspot that sheds some light on the 15 things people should definitely stay away from once they have imbibed a wee bit too much.


Every writer here has had influences and many of my friends can probably cite mine as I theirs. But I got to thinking the other night, there have been "other" significant influences in my writing life that made me first aware that this craft we all love can be much more than a hobby but a way of life and even a profession.

So I posted this challenge on my writing social network: I'd be curious for you to express not your overt writing influences (Poe, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, et al), but the scribes or even situations that made this passion rear its creative head. Was it a Richie Rich comic book? Was it a TV show that spoke to you? Was it something a parent read to you?

Here's one of my own moments...

I remember it was around 1977 and I had a stack of these thin blue hardcovers with dynamic '60s era paintings on the covers. They were all written by this guy - his name was Franklin W. Dixon - and it amazed me he was so prolific.

In one book I would be in a secret tower and another I'd be escaping a creepy lighthouse or chasing down a ancient Chinese barge. Man, I wanted to do what he did and take youngsters like me to places they'd never dare dream. But how? What's more, he made me wish I had a brother.

Imagine my dismay, years later, when I found out it was a pen name. Didn't matter, though, by then I'd filled up enough composition books with my own tales of daring-do and read them aloud to the rest of fourth grade.

Monday, October 5, 2009


So I decided to make a slideshow touting all the fun here at Bukowski's Basement... Can you tell I had more than a few hours on my hands? It ran longer than I expected or wanted it to, but hey, the groove is pretty good. Please enjoy and follow the blog if you like the video.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


The great thing about good 'ol Hank is that he drank just about whatever you dumped onto his lap. Cheap vino and even cheaper hooch... That's why this post is funny. Bukowski would probably tell you to 'fuck off' once he found out how much of this premium stuff tasted.

We've all done it. We've spent the night in the big city and doled 20 beans per crappy well drink. As we drink it, we feel guilty. The place clearly robbed us. But we shouldn't feel so bad...

Check out this post that peruses some truly pricey concoctions -- some of which could buy a brand new home. Need an example? The Macallan 1926 will run a mere $75,000 a bottle.

Read all about it HERE.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


More proof that Google is taking over the world... The magnate search engine has begun to scan and post pages from mainstream national magazines like Mother Jones, New York, Billboard, at their Google Books page. I shudder to think that libraries are becoming obsolete.

Be that as it may... I searched for short story master "Raymond Carver" and Google returned all sorts of goodies.

Check out this review for his book "Where I'm Calling From: New and Selected Stories" published in October, 1988.

* Click on the magnifying glass to enlarge the text.

Thursday, October 1, 2009



October. Here in this dank, unfamiliar kitchen
I study my father's embarrassed young man's face.
Sheepish grin, he holds in one hand a string
of spiny yellow perch, in the other
a bottle of Carlsbad Beer.

In jeans and denim shirt, he leans
against the front fender of a 1934 Ford.
He would like to pose bluff and hearty for his posterity,
Wear his old hat cocked over his ear.
All his life my father wanted to be bold.

But the eyes give him away, and the hands
that limply offer the string of dead perch
and the bottle of beer. Father, I love you,
yet how can I say thank you, I who can't hold my liquor either,
and don't even know the places to fish?

-- 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)