Some say money is funny, others say it’s too tight to mention. Sometimes you earn, sometimes you spend, and sometimes you ripple which for me is worth the most.
And so it happened that Matthias, who has kept a few blogs about the Beat Generation and Charles Bukowski, liked my windows so much that he asked me to send him some for his series. I did and the rest, as they say, might not quite be history yet but it’s in the making.
The first post with my window on his most recent blog www.bukowski.space can be found here. What pleases me the most is that underneath is Bukowski’s poem about how an old man finally finds out how to be kind to himself.
I have felt that Bukowski is my spirit animal since the early days when I trained my fingers transcribing passages from books on father’s old typewriter whose clicking in the next room provided the soundtrack of my growing up. I did Ginsberg and Kerouac and Bukowski and felt something stir. I learned English doing that too, and I bet you can tell.
When I came across the poem below something else stirred. This is exactly how I perceive money, or better, life as well. In one pocket I carry rosemary and an olive branch, in the other the most beautiful shells and dog shit bags, and I never know exactly how rich I am.
From the pin on my bag a familiar wrinkly face used to smile and here is a tale of how bestia found the pin after I lost it as I wrote it in one of my first blog posts ever.
They say choose your heroes carefully but for me there was no choice. Even though my friend used to giggle hysterically when I told him my plans to vomit into the piano at literary readings too, you just cannot plan something like that – it’s not that you will ever move to Tuscany.
First the poem, and then emptying my pockets in images.
Thank you for the coop, Matthias.
By Charles Bukowski
I’ve always had trouble with money.
this one place I worked
everybody ate hot dogs
and potato chips
in the company cafeteria for
3 days before each
I wanted steaks,
I even went to see the manager
of the cafeteria and
demanded that he serve
steaks. he refused.
I’d forget payday.
I had a high rate of absenteeism and
payday would arrive and everybody would
start talking about
“payday?” I’d say, “hell, is this
payday? I forgot to pick up my
“stop the bullshit, man…”
“no, no, I mean it…”
I’d jump up and go down to payroll
and sure enough there’d be a
check and I’d come back and show it
to them. “Jesus Christ, I forgot all about
for some reason they’d get
angry. then the payroll clerk would come
around. I’d have two
checks. “Jesus,” I’d say, “two checks.”
and they were
some of them were working
the worst day
it was raining very hard,
I didn’t have a raincoat so
I put on a very old coat I hadn’t worn for
I walked in a little late
while they were working.
I looked in the coat for some
and found a 5 dollar bill
in the side pocket:
“hey, look,” I said, “I just found a 5 dollar
bill I didn’t know I had, that’s
“hey, man, knock off the
“no, no, I’m serious, really, I remember
wearing this coat when
I got drunk at the
bars. I’ve been rolled too often,
I’ve got this fear… I take money out of
my wallet and hide it all
“sit down and get to
I reached into an inside pocket:
“hey, look, here’s a TWENTY! God, here’s a
TWENTY I never knew I
“you’re not funny, son of
“hey, my God, here’s ANOTHER
twenty! too much, too too
much… I knew I didn’t spend all that
money that night. I thought I’d been
I kept searching the
coat. “hey! here’s a ten and
here’s a fiver! my God…”
“listen, I’m telling you to sit down
and shut up…”
“my God, I’m RICH… I don’t even need
“man, sit down…”
I found another ten after I sat down
but I didn’t say
I could feel waves of hatred and
I was confused,
they believed I had
plotted the whole thing
just to make them
feel bad. I didn’t want
to. people who live on hot dogs and
potato chips for
3 days before payday
I sat down
leaned forward and
began to go to
it continued to
~from Love Is A Dog From Hell, 1977 Black Sparrow Press
Photo: © signature mmm (+ one by MC)