Genius might be the ability to say a profound thing in a simple way.
An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.
There's nothing like privacy. You know, I like people. It's nice that they might like my books and all that...but I'm not the book, see? I'm the guy who wrote it, but I don't want them to come up and throw roses on me or anything. I want them to let me breathe.
Love is a fog that burns with the first daylight of reality.
I guess the only time most people think about injustice is when it happens to them.
Having a bunch of cats around is good. If you're feeling bad, just look at the cats, you'll feel better, because they know that everything is, just as it is.
think that the
world should be full of cats and full of rain, that's all, just
rain, rain and cats, very nice, good
I was a man who thrived on solitude; without it I was like another man without food or water. Each day without solitude weakened me. I took no pride in my solitude; but I was dependent on it. The darkness of the room was like sunlight to me.
The less I needed, the better I felt.
If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.
Drinking is an emotional thing. It joggles you out of the standardism of everyday life, out of everything being the same. It yanks you out of your body and your mind and throws you against the wall. I have the feeling that drinking is a form of suicide where you're allowed to return to life and begin all over the next day. It's like killing yourself, and then you're reborn. I guess I've lived about ten or fifteen thousand lives now.
To experience real agony is something hard to write about, impossible to understand while it grips you; you're frightened out of your wits, can't sit still, move, or even go decently insane.
People with no morals often considered themselves more free, but mostly they lacked the ability to feel or love.
The psyche has been burned and left us senseless, the world has been darker than lights-out in a closet full of hungry bats, and the whiskey and wine entered our veins when blood was too weak to carry on.
Art is its own excuse, and it's either Art or it's something else. It's either a poem or a piece of cheese.
I was fairly poor but most of my money went for wine and classical music. I loved to mix the two together.
The way to create art is to burn and destroy
ordinary concepts and to substitute them
with new truths that run down from the top of the head
and out of the heart.
Most people are much better at saying things in letters than in conversation, and some people can write artistic, inventive letters, but when they try a poem or story or novel they become pretentious.
Days like this, like your day today.
maybe the rain on the window trying to
get through to you. What do you see today?
what is it? where are you?
the best days are sometimes the first,
sometimes the middle and even sometimes the last.
We do not abandon ship. I say, as corny as it may sound, through the strength and spirit and fire and dare and gamble of a few men in a few ways we can save the carcass of humanity from drowning. No light goes out until it goes out. Let's fight as men, not rats. Period. No further addition.
Your letters got sadder. your lovers betrayed you. kid, I wrote back, all lovers betray. it didn't help. you said you had a crying bench and it was by a bridge and the bridge was over the river and you sat on the crying bench every night and wept for the lovers who had hurt and forgotten you.
Walking out with the people, I didn't know which was more exciting, the air race, the parachute jump that failed, or the cunt.
To die on a kitchen floor at 7 o'clock in the morning while other people are frying eggs is not so rough unless it happens to you.
So, that's what they wanted: lies. Beautiful lies. That's what they needed. People were fools.
So, that's what they wanted: lies. Beautiful lies. That's what they needed. People were fools. It was going to be easy for me.
I just sit here and look at my hands. It is one of my better evenings. Yesterday I was very depressed.
The problem was you had to keep choosing between one evil or another, and no matter what you chose, they sliced a little bit more off you, until there was nothing left.
The problem was you had to keep choosing between one evil or another, and no matter what you chose, they sliced a little bit more off you, until there was nothing left. At the age of 25 most people were finished. A whole god-damned nation of assholes driving automobiles, eating, having babies, doing everything in the worst way possible, like voting for the presidential candidates who reminded them most of themselves. I had no interests. I had no interest in anything. I had no idea how I was going to escape. At least the others had some taste for life. They seemed to understand something that I didn't understand. Maybe I was lacking. It was possible. I often felt inferior. I just wanted to get away from them. But there was no place to go.
If I never see you again
I will always carry you
on my fingertips
and at brain edges
and in centers
of what I am of
It doesn't matter if Prince Charles falls off his horse
or that the hummingbird is so seldom
or that we are too senseless to go
coffee. give us more of that NOTHING
My youth, one time, that time I knew even through the nothingness, it was a celebration of something not to do but only know.
I view his furry storage tanks -- what can a man think about while looking at a cat's nuts? Certainly not the sunken navies of great sea battles.
If you have to wait for it to roar out of
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.
There's no release, just gurus and self- appointed gods and hucksters. the more people say, the less there is to say.
I had come a long way from a guy who had worked in slaughterhouses, who had crossed the country with a railroad track gang, who had worked in a dog biscuit factory, who had slept on park benches, who had worked the nickel and dime jobs in a dozen cities across the nation.
It was hard for me to believe. When recess was over I sat in class and thought about it. My mother had a hole and my father had a dong that shot juice. How could they have things like that and walk around as if everything was normal, and talk about things, and then do it and not tell anybody?
The grace is being able to like rock music, symphony music, jazz … anything that contains the original energy of joy.
So where do you go? Back to the bottle And back to a tiny room somewhere. And wait. And wait, and wait. That's all.
The rent is a little higher here
but so far I've been able to
and that's a miracle too
like still maybe being sane
while thinking of guns and sidewalks
and old ladies in libraries.
I am too sick to lay down the sidewalks frighten me the whole damned city frightens me, what I will become what I have become frightens me.
She could talk. If she was a sphinx she could have talked, if she was a stone she could have talked. I wondered when she'd get tired and leave. Even after I stopped listening it was like being battered with tiny pingpong balls.
There is enough treachery , hatred violence absurdity in the average human being to supply any given army on any given day.
As we live we all get caught and torn by various traps. Nobody escapes them. Some even live with them. The idea is to realize that a trap is a trap. If you are in one and you don't realize it, then you're finished.
The telephone is needed for
Emergency purposes only
These people are not
Emergencies, they are
Sometimes I feel as if we are all trapped in a movie. We know our lines, where to walk, how to act, only there is no camera. Yet, we can't break out of the movie. And it's a bad one.
I only type every third night. I have no plan. My mind is a blank. I sit down. The typewriter gives me things I don't even know I'm working on. It's a free lunch. A free dinner. I don't know how long it is going to continue, but so far there is nothing easier than writing.
Never bring a lot of money to where a poor man lives. He can only lose what little he has. On the other hand it is mathematically possible that he might win whatever you bring with you. What you must do, with money and the poor, is never let them get too close to one another.
I felt that even the sun belonged to my father, that I had no right to it because it was shining upon my father's house. I was like his roses, something that belonged to him and not to me.
Censorship is the tool of those who have the need to hide actualities from themselves and from others.
Censorship is the tool of those who have the need to hide actualities from themselves and from others. Their fear is only their inability to face what is real, and I can't vent any anger against them; I only feel this appalling sadness. Somewhere in their upbringing, they were shielded against the total facts of our existence.
Now we are citizens of nothing. the sun itself knows the sad truth of how we surrendered our lives and deaths to simple ritual….how we said no, no, no, no to the most beautiful YES ever uttered -
Beware those quick to praise for they need praise in return beware those who are quick to censor they are afraid of what they do not know beware those who seek constant crowds for they are nothing alone beware the average man the average woman beware their love, their love is average seeks average.
I am not a man who looks for solutions in God or politics. If somebody else wants to do the dirty work and create a better world for us and he can do it, I will accept it.
It seemed to me that I had never met another person on earth as discouraging to my happiness as my father. and it appeared that I had the same effect upon him.
I was young I was so young it hurt like a knife inside because there was no alternative except to hide as long as possible -- - not in self-pity but with dismay at my limited chance: trying to connect.
There's a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out.
There's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
She was desperate and she was choosey at the same time and, in a way, beautiful, but she didn't have quite enough going for her to become what she imagined herself to be.
I am with the roots of flowers entwined, entombed sending up my passionate blossoms as a flight of rockets and argument; wine churls my throat, above me feet walk upon my brain, monkies fall from the sky clutching photographs of the planets, but i seek only music and the leisure of my pain.
It was only the matter of a new voice. Nobody listened to an old voice anymore. Old voices became a part of one's self, like a fingernail.
What you see on the freeway is just what there is,
a funeral procession of the dead,
the greatest horror of our time in motion.
I'll see you there tomorrow!
Getting drunk was good. I decided that I would always like getting drunk. It took away the obvious and maybe if you could get away from the obvious often enough, you wouldn't become so obvious yourself.
I had also read somewhere that if a man didn't truly believe or understand what he was espousing, somehow he could do a more convincing job.
Escape from the black widow spider is a miracle as great as art. what a web she can weave slowly drawing you to her she'll embrace you then when she's satisfied she'll kill you still in her embrace and suck the blood from you.
If it doesn't come bursting out of you in spite of everything, don't do it. unless it comes unasked out of your heart and your mind and your mouth and your gut, don't do it.
Places to hunt places to hide are getting harder to find, and pet canaries and goldfish too, did you notice that?
Something had happened. The bath towels knew it, the bathtub and the toilet knew it. My father turned and walked out the door. He knew it. It was my last beating. From him.
But isn't there always one good thing to look back on? think of how many cups of coffee we drank together.
But as God said, crossing his legs, I see where I have made plenty of poets but not so very much poetry.
It will rain all this night and we will sleep transfixed by the dark water as our blood runs through our fragile life.
Since some people had told me that I was ugly, I always preferred shade to the sun, darkness to light.
I got up and walked back to my roominghouse. The moonlight was bright. My footsteps echoed in the empty street and it sounded as if somebody was following me, I looked around. I was mistaken. I was quite alone.
I'm going to open another vottle. not a vottle, but a bottle. you open it and I'll drink it. and you try to write as much as I did without falling off of your chair.
I had decided against religion a couple of years back. If it were true, it made fools out of people, or it drew fools. And if it weren't true, the fools were all the more foolish. What I need is a good doctor, I thought. You either lived or died.
For a man of 55 who didn't get laid until he was 23 and not very often until he was 50 I think that I should stay listed via Pacific Telephone until I get as much as the average man has had.
Once a woman turns against you, forget it. They can love you, then something turns in them. They can watch you dying in a gutter, run over by a car, and they'll spit on you.
Learn, he says, that there will be hours, days and months ahead of feeling absolutely terrible and nothing can change that; neither new girlfriends, health professionals, changes of diet, dope, humility, or God.
In a more universal sense, we only get one thing. You know...a head stone if we're lucky; if not, green grass.
I don't carry notebooks and I don't consciously store ideas. I try not to think that I am a writer and I am pretty good at doing that. I don't like writers, but then I don't like insurance salesmen either.
You've got to know when to let a woman go if you want to keep her, and if you don't want to keep her you let her go anyhow so it's always a process of letting go, one way or the other.
I am a dolt of a man, easily made happy or even stupidly happy almost without cause and left alone I am mostly content.
Morning night and noon the traffic moves through and the murder and treachery of friends and lovers and all the people move through you. pain is the joy of knowing the unkindest truth that arrives without warning. life is being alone death is being alone. even the fools weep morning night and noon.
The whole LSD, STP, marijuana, heroin, hashish, prescription cough medicine crowd suffers from the Watchtower itch: you gotta be with us, man, or you're out, you're dead. This pitch is a continual and seeming MUST with those who use the stuff. It's no wonder they keep getting busted.
Love is a form of prejudice. You love what you need, you love what makes you feel good, you love what is convenient. How can you say you love one person when there are ten thousand people in the world that you would love more if you ever met them? But you'll never meet them.
Love is a form of prejudice. You love what you need, you love what makes you feel good, you love what is convenient. How can you say you love one person when there are ten thousand people in the world that you would love more if you ever met them? But you'll never meet them. All right, so we do the best we can. Granted. But we must still realize that love is just the result of a chance encounter. Most people make too much of it. On these grounds a good fuck is not to be entirely scorned. But that's the result of a chance meeting too. You're damned right. Drink up. We'll have another.
Beauty is nothing, beauty won't stay. You don't know how lucky you are to be ugly, because if people like you, you know it's for something else.
LSD, yeah, the big parade -- everybody's doin' it now. Take LSD, then you are a poet, an intellectual. What a sick mob. I am building a machine gun in my closet now to take out as many of them as I can before they get me.
My 6 foot goddess makes me laugh the laughter of the mutilated who still need love... she has saved me from everything that is not here.
People don't need love. What they need is success in one form or another. It can be love but it needn't be.
Dog is much admired by Man because he believes in the hand which feeds him. A perfect set-up. For 13 cents a day you've got a hired killer who thinks you are god. A dog can't tell a Nazi from a Republican from a Commie from a Democrat and, many times, neither can I.
The streets were full of insane and dull people. Most of them lived in nice houses and didn't seem to work, and you wondered how they did it.
Of one hundred movies there's one that is fair, one that's good and ninety eight that are very bad. most movies start badly and steadily get worse.
And then there are some who believe that old relationships can be revived and made new again. but please if you feel that way don't phone don't write don't arrive.
I met a genius on the train today about 6 years old, he sat beside me and as the train ran down along the coast we came to the ocean and then he looked at me and said, it's not pretty.
The ladies usually go for the biggest damn fool they can find; that is why the human race stands where it does today: we have bred the clever and lasting Casanovas, all hollow inside, like the chocolate Easter bunnies we foster upon our poor children.
What were you going to do tonight? I was going to listen to the songs of Rachmaninoff. Who's that? A dead Russian.
I have a face like a washrag. I sing love songs and carry steel. I would rather die than cry. I can't stand hounds can't live without them. I hang my head against the white refrigerator and want to scream like the last weeping of life forever but I am bigger than the mountains.
Why does a man destroy himself or what destroys him? I would have to judge that suicide is mostly the tool of the thinking man. The right to suicide should be the same as the right to love.
Bullfighting can be an art Boxing can be an art Loving can be an art Opening a can of sardines can be an art.
It's not so much that nothing means anything but more that it keeps meaning nothing. there's no release, just gurus and self- appointed gods and hucksters. the more people say, the less there is to say. even the best books are dry sawdust.
I have been treated better than I should have been -- -not by life in general nor by the machinery of things but by women.
I mean, say that you figure that everything is senseless, then it can't be quite senseless because you are aware that it's senseless and your awareness of senselessness almost gives it sense. You know what I mean?
I am a series of small victories and large defeats.
I am a series of small victories and large defeats and I am as amazed as any other that I have gotten from there to here.
I was fighting a small fight of my own which wasn't leading
anywhere-but like a man with a bent spoon trying to dig through a cement wall I knew that a small fight was better than quitting: it
kept the heart alive.
Anybody can be a non-drunk. It takes a special talent to be a drunk. It takes endurance. Endurance is more important than truth.
It was sad, it was sad, it was sad. When Betty came back we didn't sing or laugh, or even argue. We sat drinking in the dark, smoking cigarettes, and when we went to sleep, I didn't put my feet on her body or she on mine like we used to. We slept without touching. We had both been robbed.
I can see where creation often stops while the body still lives and often does not care to. the death of life before life dies.
People who believe in politics are like people who believe in God: they are sucking wind through bent straws.
I wasn't sleeping on the streets at night. Of course, there were a lot of good people sleeping in the streets. They weren't fools, they just didn't fit into the needed machinery of the moment. And those needs kept altering.
Even the stove and the refrigerator looked human, I mean good human -- they seemed to have arms and voices and they said, hang around, kid, it's good here, it can be very good here.
It's good to have things done with when they don't work it's also good not to hate or even forget the person you've failed with.
I suppose like others I have come through fire and sword, love gone wrong, head-on crashes, drunk at sea, and I have listened to the simple sound of water running in tubs and wished to drown.
When a writer is swayed with his fame and his fortune, you can float him down the river with the turds.
Take a writer away from his typewriter and all you have left is the sickness which started him typing in the beginning.