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Portrait of Bukowski

Sketch Portrait of Charles Bukowski
©Jon Kenna 2022

I recently read Factotum by Charles Bukowski and liked it so much I read Ham on Rye. It’s some of the most powerful writing I’ve ever read. Not sure how I haven’t discovered Bukowski until now. I haven’t even started on his poetry yet. Born August 16, 1920 (all the best people are born on August 16) his writing was influenced by the ambience of his adopted home city of Los Angeles. He examines the ordinary lives of poor Americans, alcohol, relationships, and the drudgery of work. I love the vivid seediness and occasional, raw beauty of it. Bukowski died in 1994. This sketch I did of him is ink on paper.


Thunder storms make everything better

I’m writing this in the middle of a thunder storm and already it’s better than it would have been without the thunderstorm. I do most of my writing in a shed in the back garden and sheds are the perfect things for being in when there’s a thunderstorm because you can hear and see everything better and you feel like you’re really IN the thunderstorm. Like in the film The Wizard of Oz where the house gets picked up and carried away by the thunderstorm, that’s what it feels like in my shed during one. Even that film was better because it had a thunderstorm in it. I enjoy writing more when I’m doing it in a thunderstorm; it feels more exciting. I don’t know if my writing is actually better when it’s been written in a thunderstorm but I’m guessing, yes. Actually what would be really good is if whenever anyone reads my writing they do it during a thunderstorm. That way my writing will seem better even if it isn’t and I can take credit for better writing when really it’s just that people read in in thunderstorms. A bit impractical though for people to have to wait for a thunderstorm before they can read my writing. It might take a long time to finish any of my writing if you could only read it in thunderstorms. And you might get distracted by the thunderstorm and end up not even taking in what you’re reading. And that would mean I’d wasted my time even writing the thing. I could have just sat back and watched the thunderstorm instead of banging away at the laptop. Because nothing can compete with a thunderstorm, certainly not my crappy bit of writing. In fact, come to think of it, forget all that I said about thunderstorms. Don’t bother reading during a thunderstorm and I won’t bother writing during one. I hope we don’t even get any more thunderstorms actually. They’re such a pain in the arse.