how do they get their jobs when I had to work in a dog biscuit factory?

a reviewer called me a “second-rate Saroyan with a hangover”.
this is not so bad when you consider what some of my women
have called me.

I have gotten many bad reviews in my life and I expect to get many
but being almost human and almost like any other writer
I do get a bit galled when I feel that a reviewer has not
done his groundwork properly
and when that critique is read by over a million people
it tends to compound

furthermore, a writer seldom gets to see his reviewer, I mean
you don’t get to see him sitting in a room across from you, you
don’t get the look of him, hear his speech and his ideas–
for then you could know, most probably, that the fellow is just a
jackoff or a dinky moralist or a failed writer or mostly
just nothing at all.

but enough of that, tonight this second-rate Saroyan is drinking
toward a first-rate hangover
not because of a crappy review but because it’s just what I do
anyhow while writing things
influenced by
Hemingway, Celine, Dostoevsky, Turgenev, Gorky, Jeffers, e.e.
Cunnings, Shostakovich, Mahler, Mozart, Sibelius, Eric Coates,
Sir Edward Elgar, Sherwood Anderson, Hamsun, my cats, my wife, my
feet, the shape of my coat over a chair, the weeping of the planets,
the curving elbow of time, the flight of the cedarbird, and
Bartok in a dirty white apron handing me a plate of
shelled walnuts.

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript