Portrait of Charles Bukowski by Drew Friedman
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Advice to Method Actors Playing Charles Bukowski
First, you gotta plow and pit your face
so infants in strollers burst bawling
when they see you on the sidewalk pacing,
stopping, grabbing your pen, scrawling
lines that stagger like drunks across
a coaster lifted from some shit hole joint
in East L.A. You gotta, of course, toss
down at least a fifth of rotgut and do a couple of joints
before noon. Feel the hurt her repulsion brings
when you notice the cute salesgirl wince.
Whine about the wine, the tattered wings
of that heartbreaking filly Pegasus.
Think Milton’s Satan in a methadone clinic,
self-destructive, self-loathing, sardonic.