Long Distance Drunks: A Tribute to Charles Bukowski -

This anthology is as disjointed as the body parts of a suicide bomber. The Bukowksi themes still needs to be found for the most parts, as a lot of them have only the slightest of a) Bukowski references or b) sound like anything Bukowski might have written himself. Just a short write up of those stories I have read so far. It´s such a mixed bag, as I sort of expected of an anthology, but this has gone stray cats and dogs about writers and drunkards that I don´t really know what to do with it.

The Killers by Eli Wilde - A hillbilly setting in the middle of nowhere; a loser who feels quite comfortable in this skin screwing the daughter of his asshole boss and landlord while dreaming big and seeing the beach. Bleak with underlying serious issues but without preaching. More crime noir than anything else. 3/5

Heavenly Cure For A Tripping Cock by T. Fox Dunham - Take anything that could be considered offensive, like body fluids and pus or sex with a nun and that´s it. interesting only if you´re a 16 year old wanna be edgelord who thinks scat porn is some hot shit (pun intended) without looking at the actual scat. It´s disgusting alright, but not because the story demands it but because the author pulled every nonsense he could think of together and stringed it along without putting much effort into it. It´s as lame, even gross, as it sounds. I yawned a little about the 2edgy4u and moved on. 1/5

A Scarecrow, Unlabeled by William Barker - A poem about Bukowski, and actual the first thing in the anthology that has any reference to the man himself. It also sounds quite true to Bukowski´s own poems, of which I am not much of a fan, while capturing different moods in a quite effective way. Still, I kinda like that one. 3,5/5

Shackjob by Brett Williams - The best story I have read so far. A writer/drinker who is more interested in shagging his redheaded girlfriend than getting his job done to keep their roof over their heads. It´s hilarious and really gets close to Bukowski´s voice without trying to imitate him, which is not possible anyway. The sentences just keeps swinging and as whole it is fantastic while describing the ugly things of an ever drunk poet/writer/gambler/womanizer. Brett Williams is someone I am curious to learn more about. 4,5/5

Something From A Bad Night In A Bad Month In Philly, ´06 by Jonathan Balog - A poem but I have no idea what it is apparently all about, but words thrown together in some fashion that describes what ever it describes. Don´t really know, don´t really care. 1/5

The Market-Frankford Line by Jonathan Balog - Nope, Balog and myself won´t become friends anymore. Too try hard and instead of painting by numbers it´s this happens, and that happens and then something else happens prose. It does have a nice feminine/feminist touch even the main POV is those of a tough guy who, without knowing and due his intake of alcohol, doesn´t get killed thanks to his girlfriend. (...) and so in that split second she´d tapped into a million years of female instinct and bitten her tongue. (...) 2/5

Drowning Butterfly by Gabino Iglesias - Whoa. A really nice existentialist story a la Camus meets Bukowski about another writer who meets a woman on a rainy day at the beach. There is something touching about their interaction with a lot of surprising, off beat descriptions. Has this cool extra thing with including one of Bukowski´s poems which gives the story this special something. Iglesias is someone I need to look up. 4/5

Desires Are Nourished By Delays by Craig Wallwork - I laughed more than I should have. As I am familiar with Wallwork due his collection of short stories I know he has a thing for asses, and anal humor, and it shows. An rehash of a love gone slightly wrong, with a strong humourous intake in the most inappropriate way. Surreal but funny as hell, or should I say heaven? 3,5/5

Zero by S. Macleod - The only story so far with a female main POV. About an homeless prostitute and her HIV client turning into an insurance policy; with all the lost hopes of the past and an insecure, or maybe more secure?, future. A bit dragged out, with a tad too much pathos for my taste. Doesnt quite find the mix between all the desperation and maybe getting things right after all. Pretty Woman goes ugly. And if it is not too much to ask: if you use a throwaway line with the name of a foreign city try to spell it correctly, thank you very much. 3/5

Without Face by Michael Bailey - A story with a serious Fight Club feeling. Different POVs switching back and forth without getting the real story since there are so many angles to look at it that every one of those makes sense. They made be dreamed up or drug induced, doesn´t really matter. Another one with a more surrealist touch to it, though, while being extremely paranoid and creepy. 4/5