when I was much younger than I am now
I used to be a sucker for Art movies
and I saw many of them when I lived
in the Old Greenwich Village–
the French produced a string of them
with English subtitles–
arms suddenly leaping out of the backs
of sofas; snowballs thrown into the faces
of sensitive schoolboys, and many films
about the lives of the composers
always starving and having great trouble
with their beautiful ladies.
I suppose that really their ladies
weren’t so beautiful and they had no
more trouble with them than we do with
ours, but it was nice to think that way,
and it was good to think that there were
men with greater troubles, souls and
talents than ours, and it must have been

I remember sitting there one night when
Shubert’s girlfriend left him this little
note saying, “I am leaving you for your
own good.”
now I didn’t like this
because I knew that people usually
left other people for their own good,
which often meant they went to somebody
and when Shubert got the note,
he read it and said,
“Now I must turn my face to God.”

I got up and walked out so I don’t know
how that one ended.

I suppose those movies helped though
because I thought I was an artist
and my short stories to the New Yorker
kept coming back very fast
and I was starving while
the whole world was at war
and there were plenty of jobs.

you get a lot of nuts
watching those Art movies.

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript