Deep Cuts: Truth Songs

Truth SongsI wish I could say that I immediately internalized the lesson laid down for me by the two Charlies—my landlord and the mighty Bukowski—but I didn’t. Writing honestly is a simple enough idea to grasp but a tough one to implement.

It means not only being willing to write about the time you pissed your pants, but also to write the simple line “I pissed my pants,” not “the familiar warmth of micturition blossomed like a dark, briny lily pad across my trouser front.”

Internalizing that notion took a lot of years, but when asked for a writing tip this is what I always offer: Be honest. Nothing else really matters.

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169. Since I Packed Up and Left On My Own

Chapter 169

Life settled into a pauper’s groove. I enjoyed Record Bar but the pay was terrible, so I tried to hustle up a better job wherever I could. The guy at the end of our block ran a stained glass business out of his Victorian. I tried hanging around, pretending that my artistic ambitions involved lead and colored glass. He didn’t bite. I made friends with a guy who owned an aquarium shop, but I had to cut bait when he sold his entire inventory for cash rather than letting his soon to be ex-wife get a dime. I got a 50 gallon aquarium out of the deal for 25 bucks, so that was something.

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Deep Cuts: Ghost Songs


half track 5Was I visited that night by my grandfather’s ghost? The reasonable answer is no, of course not. My dreams were simply projecting the enormous psychic weight of finally understanding his story and not knowing what to do with that. All I can tell you this: I felt lighter when I wrote the last paragraph of the story linked above, as if I’d paid a debt or some such.

I’m going to stick with believing that my grandfather’s ghost wanted me to tell his story, and I encourage you to go on believing whatever you believe, too.

And while we’re at it, If you want to see a double exposure in the attached photo that’s up to you, too (click to enlarge). But I looked inside the briefcase holding my grandfather’s heavy psyche. I held the photos he took during those dark days. I saw what he saw, and I learned his secret: He was haunted.

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WIM Meets Paste Magazine (Kind of)

Paste logAre you a fan of Paste Magazine? I am, dating back to the days of their print edition. My old Guys In Black Tee Shirts Who Jam buddy Hal the Drummer turned me onto Paste during a visit back home, and I was hooked.

So yeah, I’m thrilled to being doing a little bit of work for them in their online incarnation. I’ll hang in there until they tell me to go away, which may not be more than a couple of weeks so get it while you can.

Here’s my first review for them. Is it music? Nope, but just as tasty.