It is easy to write old Charles (Hank Chinanski) Bukowski off as a mean drunk and amateur poet that got really lucky. He was a bar brawler, a pretty horrible guy to most of the women in his life, and the type of drunk that would drink until he passed out most of the time. He started drinking at 16 and didn’t stop until he died at 73. For most of his adult life he held a string of low paying jobs with a couple of longer stints as a mail man in Los Angeles. Considering how brutal his childhood was, his dad beat him with a razor strap once a week until he was ten years old, it is amazing that he didn’t commit suicide or end up a serial killer.
The hot autumn days had relinquished their hold on the sun begrudgingly. At 5 pm the dried out, burnt orange of the pine trees were still visible in the glacially receding sunlight. The shimmering heat waves rising off the coils of black asphalt collided with the cool wind coming down the mountain, following the solid wall of rock carrying with it the scent of wild flowers growing on the other side in a distant valley. Only the elements were alive and moving in the early evening heat. All the living creatures were silent except for the steady clicking sound made by the grasshoppers as they rustled through the tall, dried grass on the side of the road and one other.
Hurry Up and Wait: As the plane lifts off the tarmac, you regret that you won't have a chance to see that conical shaped volcano one last time: so iconic to Japan. “Maybe it's best this way,” you think, but it doesn't still the eruptions in your heart. The plane flies west towards Incheon Airport and the last you see of the archipelago is a black sliver of seismic-shaped coastline jutting out into the rough gray Sea of Japan.
The most psychedelic thing that ever happened to me was during a group meditation. My wife and I were invited to a Deeksha Giving session in Eugene, Oregon in 2007. I had been a sort of an off Soto Zen guy for years, but at the time I didn’t know much about Kundalini, Shaktipad, or Deeksha, as it was called in this case.
A dead silent Hanami. No happy voices in
Every disgusting stain on those six tatami I can trace back to his giant fat ex-Sumo ass drinking himself unconscious. Blood stains, sweat stains, even sex stains, wanted and unwanted. Every cigarette burn too. I have to take the burning butts out of his fingers when he passes out so he doesn’t set our little shit apartment on fire. I’ve seen him sleep through earthquakes when he’s drunk.