Deep breath…Twitter…and some Bukowski


Maybe it’s an irrational fear but there is something about the concept of Twitter that makes me want to run screaming over the edge of a cliff. I remember Charlie Brooker doing a TV programme discussing the Top 10 Video Games of All Time. At number one he had Twitter. A competition for popularity, seeing who can beat the latest “high score” for “followers”.

Given my personal feelings about promotion, the chasing of approval and recognition and all that jazz, it should be pretty obvious that I loathe the thing. For that reason I do not have a personal Titter account, and never bloody will. Nevertheless, I have bitten the bullet and created one for Algebra of Owls, with the self-imposed restriction that it is anonymous and my own name will never appear on anything to do with it. AoO is a thing or entity and is fair game for promotion in a way that I am not.

I now have this box of AoO business cards. The problem with them is that the act of handing one out irrevocably ties it to me. Yuk. Yesterday I surreptitiously left a small pile in a place where they might be seen and found. Having said that, I used the bio that appeared in connection with my slot at the Haworth Poetry Festival to mention AoO. It went against the grain but so be it. An anonymous Twatter account offers the possibility of encouraging readers and contributors without me having anything to do with it, visibly. We will see if that is a working proposition or just idealistic pie-in-the-sky nonsense.

I was going to post up a Bukowski poem that had the lines

“they didn’t want to write

they wanted to
succeed at

…but I couldn’t find it on-line, but I did find this one.

I Am Visited By An Editor And A Poet

I had just won $115 from the headshakers and
was naked upon my bed
listening to an opera by one of the Italians
and had just gotten rid of a very loose lady
when there was a knock upon the wood,
and since the cops had just raided a month or so ago,
I screamed out rather on edge—
who the hell is it? what you want, man?
I’m your publisher! somebody screamed back,
and I hollered, I don’t have a publisher,
try the place next door, and he screamed back,
you’re Charles Bukowski, aren’t you? and I got up and
peeked through the iron grill to make sure it wasn’t a cop,
and I placed a robe upon my nakedness,
kicked a beercan out of the way and bade them enter,
an editor and a poet.
only one would drink a beer (the editor)
so I drank two for the poet and one for myself
and they sat there sweating and watching me
and I sat there trying to explain
that I wasn’t really a poet in the ordinary sense,
I told them about the stockyards and the slaughterhouse
and the racetracks and the conditions of some of our jails,
and the editor suddenly pulled five magazines out of a portfolio
and tossed them in between the beercans
and we talked about Flowers of Evil, Rimbaud, Villon,
and what some of the modern poets looked like:
J.B. May and Wolf the Hedley are very immaculate, clean fingernails, etc.;
I apologized for the beercans, my beard, and everything on the floor
and pretty soon everybody was yawning
and the editor suddenly stood up and I said,
are you leaving?
and then the editor and the poet were walking out the door,
and then I thought well hell they might not have liked
what they saw
but I’m not selling beercans and Italian opera and
torn stockings under the bed and dirty fingernails,
I’m selling rhyme and life and line,
and I walked over and cracked a new can of beer
and I looked at the five magazines with my name on the cover
and wondered what it meant,
wondered if we are writing poetry or all huddling in
one big tent
clasping assholes.

Also, annoyingly, I found this one.


when you’re young
a pair of
high-heeled shoes
just sitting
in the closet
can fire your
when you’re old
it’s just
a pair of shoes
in them
just as

It’s annoying because I’d never read it before and it makes this Shoes look as though it verged on plagarism. It’s not, it’s just that the old bastard thought my thoughts before I did. And wrote a better bloody poem, too.


7 thoughts on “Deep breath…Twitter…and some Bukowski

  1. Speaking as an anonymous ‘Twatter’ in my own right… Darling get over yourself and join the revolution!!! It’s a tool… Using it wisely doesn’t make you one :-))))

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A) Twitter makes me insane as well. I grasp the concept that it can do wonders if you use it correctly. I just don’t know how to do that with any degree of measurable success. B) The first Bukowski piece is damn good. C) I definitely did not make the “Anonymous” comment. I have a thing about people who post as such. You may not have an account, understandable, but you can sure as hell put some type of identifying moniker in the comment. Pisses me off. D) I really, really like cheese. All kinds. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes that’s the one, but it’s still foreshortened. I’m being lazy as I have “Last night of the Earth Poems” somewhere round here…I think it’s his best collection. I should root it out and labouriously type in the whole thing to a future post 🙂 I have had no luck with your Dylan Thomas one. I even emailed the Dylan Thomas society but they didn’t answer. Probably think I’m a crank and wished I’d just wanted to buy a mug.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, that’s a shame – it looked like the whole poem. Thank you so much for emailing the DT society. Didn’t realise there was one, even. I have had another go, no luck. Suspect I must be misremembering something – it was a long time ago. It isn’t a poem by DT but a poem DT quotes, so probably forties, thirties or before. Perhaps so minor it’s been forgotten. It’ll turn up, one day. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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