Blog maintenance

there's a bluebird in my heart that

wants to get out

but I pour whiskey on him and inhale

cigarette smoke

and the whores and the bartenders

and the grocery clerks

never know that


in there.

--Charles Bukowski

A lot of times, I start posts which don’t ever get finished.

There are a lot of reasons for that–maybe I thought of a quote I wanted to use someday and started a post as a placeholder, or someone said or did something I thought I should write about. Could be anything. An idea. A song. A story. Something that made me happy or sad. A picture. A dream.

Occasionally I go through the unpublished posts to see if the ideas are still work thinking about, or if they should be deleted.

I scroll through what’s there. Some of it is no longer timely. Some of it I’ve used in other posts. Delete. Delete.  When I got to the very end I found one I’d written several years ago for someone’s 50th birthday.

It is one of the truest things I’ve ever written and it was never posted.

It wasn’t meant for that.

It was a birthday gift to someone who often seems lost to me. Someone who is totally different and exactly the same as he was decades ago. Someone who has hurt me and who I have hurt back. A lot of shots have been fired on both sides, but somehow we manage not to disappear on each other completely. Is that good? I’m not always sure.

It made me remember. Who I was. Who he was.

Neither of us are the same people we were then. We’re both harder. Damaged in the ways people get after they’ve been hurt by life and love. Less tender and more prickly.  But we always will be those open hearted people deep inside, trying to keep our internal bluebirds alive but not giving them as much room to sing as we did back when our hearts were pure and unhurt.

I wanted him to know that in spite of everything, I would always remember him as the amazing boy I knew all those years ago. I hoped he would remember that about himself too. I wanted him to know that any of the bad things that had happened could never cancel out  the good. That forgiveness far outweighs hurt.

There was a bluebird in his heart. It is still there and I hope he stops trying to kill it. Not for me, for himself. For his lover. For his family. So he and the bluebird can both be happy. So he can be who he really is. Maybe he already is. I don’t know. Does anyone really know someone else? We’re all so invested in projecting an image, I’m not sure it’s always easy to know someone.

And maybe I’d also like to remind myself of my own internal bluebird, as a birthday present to myself. My bluebird wants to sing too. And I should just let everyone hear him. Especially the whores, bartenders, grocery clerks and other assorted people I love.

there's a bluebird in my heart that

wants to get out

but I'm too clever, I only let him out

at night sometimes

when everybody's asleep.

I say, I know that you're there,

so don't be


then I put him back,

but he's singing a little

in there, I haven't quite let him


and we sleep together like


with our

secret pact

and it's nice enough to

make a man

weep, but I don't

weep, do