On Writing

Let’s allow ourselves space and error, hysteria and grief. Let’s not round the edge until we have a ball that rolls neatly away like a trick. Things happen—the priest is shot in the john; hornets blow heroin without arrest; they take down your number; your wife runs off with an idiot who’s never read Kafka; the crushed cat, its guts glueing its skull to the pavement, is passed by traffic for hours; flowers grow in the smoke; children die at 9 and 97; flies are smashed from screens. I would like to see us scream a little more hysterically about the untrue and the unformed and the never-to-be-formed. Really, we must let the candle burn—pour gasoline on it if necessary.

Charles Bukowski, ‘On Writing’.

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