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...'

Monday, January 31, 2011


I don't dick around with video games... Thank the Lord because I'd REALLY never get anything done. That said, if I did play them, "L.A. Noire" would be the one that would get my time because it has a great retro vibe. It just screams "L.A. Confidential."

"L.A. Noire" tells the story of World War II hero and aspiring young detective, Cole Phelps as he solves cases and climbs the ranks of the L.A.PD. The game centers on Cole's experiences working the various desks of 'the department' as he attempts to solve a series of potentially linked gruesome murders.

As they would say in the game, "It's a gas..."

Thursday, January 27, 2011

THE LAST MOMENTS OF PAPA H. 2.0 (#flashfiction)

Press play for some mood music

We conclude 'Vault Month' here in The Basement with a older piece of flash that hopefully most of you will like and that many probably never read. So very little is known about the sad and solemn moments before Ernest Hemingway took his life during the Summer of 1961 and this is how I pictured them. Also, enjoy the wonderful flamenco sounds of F. Tarega. The tune can be downloaded here.

* * *

July 2, 1961 at the Finca Vigia, San Francisco de Paula, Cuba.

In one breath he thought, "Cubans -- how I love these people..."

And in the next, Hemingway contemplated an act so very indiscreet.

Even with his Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes and a life so accomplished, he felt abandoned by almost everything and everyone around him.

Wanting a farewell drink, his nervous elbow knocked the last bottle of whiskey to the ground, shattering it into a beautiful jigsaw puzzle of glass.

Almost time, he stared at a lifetime of photographs, kissing the photos of his kids and wife.

He then turned to the Boss & Co. shotgun he bought at Abercrombie & Fitch and before he pulled the trigger, noticed what an elegant weapon it was.


This is so freakin' creative, it's ridiculous. I love YouTube because there's always someone mish-mashing something so inventive that it floors you. Just what am I talking about? As great as Spielberg's "Raiders of the Lost Ark" is, just imagine if it had starred Charlton Heston, Peter Lorre, Anthony Quinn and Gregory Peck? Thanks to the work of the folks behind 'Premakes,' they've mashed up what the film would've certainly looked like and it's downright un-effin-canny.

Here's what's used to concoct this beautiful (but fake) trailer: The 10 Commandments, Prince Valiant, Naked Jungle, Secret of the Incas, Jungle Queen, Zulu, Look to Lockheed for Leadership, Casablanca, The City of Brass, Mr. Moto takes a Vacation, Star in My Crown, A Pain in the Pullman, On Dangerous Ground, Patton, King Solomons Mines, Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Greatest Show on Earth, David and Bathsheba, The Screaming Skull, When You Know, Mysterious Mr. Moto, Lawrence of Arabia, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, and Superman at Bay.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I've long wanted to flash fictionalize this whacked out pic but for the life of me kept drawing a blank. In fact, the more I stared at it, the more it reminded me of something out of Disney's Carousel of Progress -- that is if there was a mod martini-version of the attraction.

In keeping with last Friday's flash fiction theme of Uncle Walt, here's the skinny on the slightly creepy ride...

Created by both Walt Disney as the prime feature of the General Electric Pavilion for the 1964 New York World's Fair, the attraction was moved to Tomorrowland at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, remaining there from 1967 until 1973. It was reopened in its present home in Walt Disney World Resort's Magic Kingdom in 1975.

Steeped in both nostalgia and futurism, the attraction's premise is an exploration of the joys of living through the advent of electricity and other technological advances during the 20th century via a "typical" American family. (To keep it up with the times, the attraction has been updated five times -- 1967, 1975, 1981, 1985, and 199) and has had two different theme songs, both written by the Sherman Brothers (Disney's Academy Award-winning songwriting team).

Various sources say Walt Disney himself proclaimed that the Carousel of Progress was his favorite attraction and that it should never cease operation. It is the oldest attraction not only in the Magic Kingdom, but the entire Walt Disney World Resort. It is the only attraction in Walt Disney World to have a direct physical tie to Walt Disney.

Check it out:

Friday, January 21, 2011

FROZEN IN THE KINGDOM 2.0 (#fridayflash)

Please press play for some mood music

'Bukowski's Basement Vault Month' continues with this Disney-esque fantasy that no one read back when it was first posted. I think Uncle Walt would approve... As always, I certainly hope you enjoy.

# # #

She snuck away. She always snuck away. So much so, that her parents stopped worrying.

The Magic Kingdom was obviously filled way with too much sword and sorcery for Little Sally not to wander off at closing time.

Hopped up on cotton candy and and knowing full well her parents would find her eventually, she took a quick left turn at Captain Jack Sparrow's wooden knife sculpture (a new logo for the "Pirates of the Caribbean" ride) which led to a secret winding cement path.

Yup, if only the 'Mouse House' geeks knew that finding the infamous Disney tunnels was that simple.

Funny enough, in the brightly-lit labyrinth of corridors, no one seemed to question the little girl with the Cinderella wand who seemed like just another cast member after hours.

Six left turns led to a drippy stairwell where she found him behind a plexiglass enclosure -- frozen and blue -- surrounded by duplicated liquid nitrogen canisters and refrigerated at minus 180 degrees.

Just barely able to read and staring at his blank smile, she was able to muster out the four letters on the brass nameplate into one full-sounding word: "WWwwwalt..."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Just when I think I've seen almost every candid Sinatra out there, along comes a new one. And what a doozy. Dig 'Ol Blue Eyes and Count Basie in their dressing room -- I'm guessing before one of their legendary dates at the Sands perhaps? Hmmm, perhaps moments before the video below? The hair, era, tux and dark pocket square all seem to match.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Nothing like two creepy pervs on a park bench looking for some hot upskirt action...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE (#fridayflash)

Press play for some mood music

Like last week, I am going to my creative well once again (for various reasons) and dusting off (and perhaps tinkering with) this older piece. Most #fridayflashers will read this as new as very few people originally read this. I hope you enjoy...

# # #

He was late.

Sharon looked out the window hoping to see the lopsided headlights of that godforsaken Trans Am, but all that drove by were the humdrum sedans usually reserved for rental fleets.

It was after 10 and Billy should've brought Gary back by now but her ex-husband had a history of being late, so this wasn't all that unusual. Still, what an asshole, she thought.

When she was done with the dishes she heard the gravel in her driveway mushed by the growls of Billy's 455 engine, and it wasn't long before a little body popped out and ran into the house.

As the boy flicked the hallway light on, Sharon was horrified by what she saw.

"What in Jesus happened to you?" she asked her son, hoping it was some sort of all-too-realistic prank he and his pop were playing.

"Dad did it. Ain't it rad?" he said proudly looking into a mirror.

Outside, Billy leaned on the Pontiac and reached inside to lower the Def Leppard. He wore that same smirk the night they met when he thought she was the end-all and be-all of barmaids.

"What the fuck, Billy?" hands outstretched, was all she could muster.

He smirked even harder. "I told you, the next time you hand him off to me in a prissy tie and creampuff shirt, I'd make a man outta him."

"Oh, and I suppose that fucking mohawk makes him a man?!" she screamed.

"It's a start," he grunted, flicking his cigarette into a pile of half-melted snow. "We're buying a gun next week."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


OK... This is just effin' weird -- I swear -- but oddly contagious at the same time.

Enjoy this novelty tune called "Delicious (The Laughing Song)" by Jim Backus and Friends. Actually, the one friend is Hermione Gingold and this 45 was apparently part of what was the "contagious laughter" sub-genre circa 1959. Mind you, this was a Top 40 hit when it was released. Gotta admit, though, I looove the "Mad Men" vibe of the background music. Bacus also recorded the novelty tune "Cave Man." The backing band was Appleknocker and His Group and the tune was written by Buddy Kaye.

As for Backus? He was a radio, television, film, and voice actor. Among his most famous roles are the voice of Mr. Magoo, the rich Hubert Updike III on the Alan Young radio show, Joan Davis's character's husband (a domestic court judge) on TV's "I Married Joan," James Dean's character's father in "Rebel Without a Cause" and perhaps most popular, Thurston Howell III on the 1960s hit sitcom "Gilligan's Island."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Illustration of Jim and Huckleberry Finn, by E...
The more and more I thought about my recent WTF Alert the more angry I became.

To read my newspaper editorial about why we should be concerned about publishers changing historical classics like Huck Finn, click HERE.

Monday, January 10, 2011


I'm always excited and honored to get a new blog award from one of my fellow bloggers. Recently, Bukowski's Basement was bestowed with the Creative Genius Blogging Award (from Deanna Schrayer who writes fiction and creative nonfiction) and that simply floors me because it took me by utter surprise. I'm truly honored and thankful.

Bukowski's Basement is about a vibe based on my various inspirations. It's a place for creative flash fiction, poetry, perhaps some videos, music, and an opinion or two on how I may feel about certain trends in writing, films or pop culture. If you've poked around, you'll know by now that it's not a personal spot where I muse about how I feel on any given day. That takes real guts so, in respect to this award, I want pass it along to whom I feel really deserves such an honor:

Micael Chadwick's blog "The Journey" is a personal, balls-to-the-wall chronicle of Rabbit's (his nickname) journey through life - musings, crankiness and the kitchen sink. He makes no apologies and presents what he writes in the raw and that's what makes it great. Check him out. Rabbit may not be your cup of tea but if you respond to what he has to say, you'll be glad you dropped by. ALSO: His incredible creative scribblings can be found HERE.

Lynne Hayes' blog Bits of Paper and Glue is comprised of primarily poetry but have no illusions -- it comes from somewhere deep inside of her and she always drops it like it hot. You can just feel it. Take a peek and you'll find some mighty emotional poetry filled with pain, heartache and elation.

Subscribe to these two. You'll be glad you did.

As for rules? I'd like to see that they pass along this award to the select few who they feel truly deserve the honor.

Friday, January 7, 2011

HIS LEATHER WARNING (#fridayflash)

Press play for some mood music

Going back to the well and dusting off something short and sweet for this week's Flash Fiction.

I'm using the art of old friend of mine named Steve Cummings. While his work was haunting years ago, it's matured and deepened through the years. Like some of Edward Hopper's work, his art centers on the outsiders, outcasts and misfits of American life.

The selection I chose for this piece is is entitled "Scenes from the American Depression 3." In any case, I explained to him that I would love to flash fictionalize one of his paintings and this is what came out. His gallery and site can be found HERE.

# # #

When her mom died of TB, he took in his estranged daughter despite the fact he was a driver for a traveling circus. All in all, the gypsies and freaks that made up the road show were fine people, it was the clowns you had to watch.

The 'Dirty Thirties' was rough on them and he knew pretty much from the get-go she didn't like him much, if at all. One creepy night somewhere in the dustbowl of America, their smoking jalopy of a bus puttered out 49 miles from their Okie big top.

As the gin-fueled clowns barreled past her and towards Mell's to get their jollies, the little girl saw a car up ahead inching its way towards them.

She summoned the will to raise her thumb to escape but she heard the jangling of his leather belt and knew she'd get worse if she ran away -- again.

Music: "Big Beaver" by Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. It can be downloaded HERE.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Not sure how I feel about this one... The curse of political correctness has struck again.

Brand spankin' new editions of Mark Twain's "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and "Tom Sawyer" plan to replace the N-word with "slave" in a blatant effort to not offend readers.

But what about offending writers? However damaging or insesitive, you can't just CHANGE a writer's work.

Twain scholar Alan Gribben is working with NewSouth Books in Alabama to publish a combined volume of the books in February and says the N-word appears 219 times in "Huck Finn" and four times in "Tom Sawyer."

Gribben tells the Associated Press that he has used "slave" instead of the N-word at public readings and audiences are more accepting.

Isn't that nice?? 'Ol Samuel Clemens must be rolling over in his grave.

Obviously, Twain scholars are in a virtual tizzy and have blasted his decision and Gribben has received a plethora of hate mail that accuse him of destroying one of the greatest literary works in America.

Stephen Railton, a University of Virginia professor and Twain scholar has said Gribben was well respected, but tells the AP that the new version is a terrible idea.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


They're in...

The Writers Guild of America has nominated the films "Black Swan," "The Fighter," "Inception," "The Kids Are All Right" and "Please Give" as nominees for its Best Original Screenplay prize.

"127 Hours," "I Love You Phillip Morris," "The Social Network," "The Town" and "True Grit" are the nominees for the much-tighter Best Adapted Screenplay award.

But where are nods for "The King's Speech," "Biutiful," "The Ghost Writer," "Winter's Bone," "Toy Story 3," "The Way Back," "Blue Valentine" and "Another Year"? They were disqualified due to the WGA's controversial rules -- which cuts out screenplays that don't follow the guild's complicated "Minimum Basic Agreement."

Monday, January 3, 2011


So much to love here ... For starters, there's drool-worthy Marilyn... The Arthur Miller she's reading... The fact it looks like she's in either a library or bookstore... Just a great pic all around.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Charles Boyer and Hedy Lamarr ring in the New Year circa 1939

Here's wishing everyone in The Basement a safe, healthy and prosperous new year.