the mail

the mail gets heavier.
more and more letters telling me
what a great writer I
am,
plus poems, novels, novelettes,
short stories, paintings.
some just want an autograph,
a drawing, a word.
others suggest an on-going
correspondence.

I read everything, dump every-
thing, go about my
business.

I am aware that no man is
a “great” writer.
he may have been a
great writer.
but it’s a process which
begins again and
again
and all the praise,
the cigars, the bottles of
wine sent in
honor
will not get the next
line,
and that’s all there is,
the past is
useless,
now is in the laps of
the gods
as the centuries fall
past
in their rotten
swift
luxury.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1991
Source
Original manuscript