I have written about you only once here, and that was a re-blog, and so I felt that I wanted, nay, NEEDED, to post directly to you, my inspiration, you who leaves me awe-struck, every time I read your words.
There are so many things that I could say, so many quotes that I could quote, so many poems and novels that I could cite, that this letter could be longer than In Search of Lost Time, so I shall TRY be brief.
I heard about you when I first met my partner some 20+ years ago. He knew of my desire to become a writer, and how much I loved writing and reading poetry. So he, being the most wonderful, thoughtful man in the world, gave me my first taste (“You Get So Alone at Times That It Just Makes Sense”) of the rare, exotic vintage of Thunderbird you pour on to your pages.
Once I devoured it, I was hooked, addicted to you, whom Time magazine called the “Laureate of American Lowlife”. But you are so much more than that, Hank, and we all know it.
You are a prophet, a humorist, an Angeleno, a California Shakespeare of the forgotten masses.
You are a great novelist AND a great poet, a rare combination, and a combination of which most authors can only dream (or are too envious to admit). A few examples (of the many!) that are my favorites of yours:
- a 340 dollar horse and a hundred dollar whore
- About My Very Tortured Friend, Peter
- relentless as the tarantula
Thank you (or maybe I should be thanking those gods that gave you this tremendous gift) for your words, Hank, I wish that I could have thanked you in person.
BTW, for those of you that would like to “read more about him”, this is a great article about one woman’s “two degrees of separation” experience with the great Hank Chinaski.