Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • One day I read in the Moscow Times that an English language book store in town, which is incredibly over-priced, had a few books marked way down. Being the budget-minded guy that I am, this certainly caught my eye. I noticed that a book I wanted to read was only 95 rubles ($4), for a recent hardcover book. So off I went.

    I walked into the store and immediately saw the book I wanted on a shelf by the entrance. I picked it up, but since I had just been paid, I thought I’d look around and see if there was anything else I could find cheap. I looked in the usual johnnie b. sections, but the books I always look at were still hideously overpriced. Oh well, I thought, I still have to finish the book I’m reading, and then the Lebed book should keep me occupied for a week or so, and that will keep me until next payday. Besides, I had to get to work, and I didn’t have the time to browse and relax.

    But as I headed towards the door, I saw another discount section, and what did I notice from afar but a certain name, a name that called out to me. Bukowski. I went over to look at the book. Charles Bukowski books are some of the most expensive books anywhere in the world. And in Russia, or, I should say, at Anglia, the only place I had seen Bukowski in Moscow, each book was over $30. Now, as much as I love this man, that was just a little too much for my cheap ass to pay. Besides, I wanted to stick to my strenuous regimen of Russian studies, with occasional detours into Turkish lit or Mid East politics. But this book of poetry and short stories, which I had never read since it was was published posthumously, was only 150 rubles! That was like $6-$7! There was no way I could pass this up!

    I began to finish the book I was already reading, but the Bukowski was calling me from the bookshelf. I picked it up and read a few poems, and I was kicked in the balls as usual. Only Hank can do me like that. But I am of the sort that can only read one book at a time. I know plenty of people that read two or three books at a time, but I don’t like to do that unless I must. So as much as I pined for the book, I had to put it back on the shelf until I finished my current book, an opus of about 600 pages. So it wasn’t until six days after I had bought the book that I started to read it.

    Bukowski and Moscow fit each other perfectly.


    Damn Hank

    I went back to America
    this week.
    Back to my home,
    Back to my memories,
    Back to the only place I really know,
    Back to Bukowski.

    Damn Hank,
    I remember once,
    I remember once I tried
    to be
    like you.
    Drinking wine,
    living in the ‘loin,
    trying to write out
    old noir
    like I knew what I
    was talking about.

    But I couldn’t.
    And I still can’t.

    And now I write
    about other
    as if history really matters,
    as if politics really matters,
    when nothing really matters

    Damn Hank,
    I went back
    this week
    and remembered,
    and was reminded,
    that I can’t live that life
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.