Excuse him please, but he has the sun in him, you see, and he just has to explode.

I adore Charles Bukowski. His work was first described to me as “honest vulgarity.” He was a drunk, and wrote often about that, but he had such a way with words, and so much passion. I think he was brilliant, and there is some fierce beauty in his stories. He is unblinking in his convictions about the value of art, and would create in such a mad fever of necessity that I am I can’t help but feel some of the heat cast off from his words. The man is an inspiration. He says, “The way to create art is to burn and destroy ordinary concepts and to substitute them with new truths that run down from the top of the head and out from the heart.”

Heck yes.

So today, because I like you, I want to share with you one of his poems about making art.

so you want to be a writer?

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
fame, don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody else,
forget about it.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.
if you have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in
you.
there is no other way.
and there never was.

-charles bukowski

I love this: the fire in it, the helpless urgency of it. The rawness. How unapologetic he is for what comes out of him. Creating is just as life-sustaining as eating and sleeping. He has the sun inside of him, and he MUST let it out.  Whatever is weird in you is what makes you interesting, so USE IT.

Let your freak flag fly!

Love to you, beautiful freaks.

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