Here's the deal about Bukowski, though: once you've read ten of his stories (any ten: pick 'em), you've pretty much read his entire oeuvre. Despite his sometimes mesmerizing use of English, there's only so much I can read about an alcoholic's inside take on bleeding ulcers, distended livers, and drunk-tank vomit before I wonder...what else have you got?
So I stopped buying Bukowski books. Stopped reading the ones I own. I still got a smile today, though, when I was digging through old papers and found my long-lost Bukowski stamps.
These aren't supposed to exist.
Maybe I'll trade them for a bottle of Thomas H. Handy rye. I'm pretty sure he'd approve...
Goes well with:
- I've always enjoyed pseudobiblia, the books and ephemera from our literary past said to exist, but sprung entirely from an author's imagination. Lovecraft's Necronomicon, for instance, falls into this category, as does The Courier's Tragedy, a fictional Jacobean revenge play written by the equally fictional Richard Wharfinger in Thomas Pynchon's very real The Crying of Lot 49. In the novel, ancient secret rival postal services operate under the very noses of us hoi poloi. Had anyone actually affixed Bukowski stamps to envelopes back when postage was only 29 cents and mailed them, they would've fit right in the paranoid world of Miss Oepida Maas.
- What Do You Want from the Liquor Store?, a bit I wrote about Ted Hawkins' fantastic song Sorry You're Sick after hearing it on This American Life. Hawkins' performance and links included.