Bukowski in a Sundress: Confessions from a Writing Life by Kim Addonizio

28110067.jpg– I was a writer who would never be a tenured professor, a throwback writer, the kind who came to conferences and drank too much and committed inappropriate acts with inappropriate people instead of chatting up somebody who might help my career. What career? I couldn’t really connect that word to anything I’d ever wanted as a writer. –

– It is crucial not to win the major award, because then you might feel too great a sense of achievement. Be a finalist, but not a winner. This will keep you forever unsure of the scope of your talent, and you will be able to continue the habits of excruciating self-doubt and misery that stood you in such good stead during the many years you received no recognition at all. –

– What necrophilia is, really, is this: sexual obsession for men who are incapable of having a real relationship because they have no heart in their chest cavity. What they have is an empty socket that will electrocute you if you try to get close and touch it or maybe just point a flashlight that way to see what’s wrong. These men can’t have feelings for anything but girl-on-girl porn, American League baseball, and the thought of the fortune they are going to make when their ship, which is lost at sea and listing badly with several leaks in its rotting hull, finally comes in. –

– No teenager wants to hear, ‘Your mom is in Penthouse.’ I wasn’t on the cover of Time, like my own mom had been; I was in a dirty magazine read under the covers and out in the woods by preadolescence. Somewhere, grow men were masturbating thanks to my words. I had written the story with a list of guidelines like ‘no bestiality’ and ‘no excessive cum on the face.’

This is the kind of mother I was. –

– Then I thought about how pointless it was to write another book. There were thousands of books already, all of them desperately trying to get into the hands of readers. They were like baby sea turtles, hatched from eggs buried in the sand, digging their way up to he surface of the beach and scrambling toward the open sea while the masses of hungry shorebirds picked them off one by one and swallowed them whole. –

– It was true that my mother wanted to die, and I didn’t blame her one bit. She was a mess. ‘Just pull the plug when I’m too far gone,’ she used to say, but there wasn’t any plug to pull. She was stuck with living. –



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