Good’s a Slow Learn (with heartburn)

A compassionate conversation with excerpt from a version of, ‘the Crunch’ from life-long inspiration, Bukowski. Response written as if shared between us and the bottle. My part, intended as humble respect. For full poem, click here:

Too much
too little
or not enough

too fat
too thin
or nobody

laughter or
or immaculate


and people are not good to each other

too settled
more than’s

sucked out fat,
now too thin
this ain’t
no body,

nervous laughter,
few pure tears
over concern

lovers sleeping
beneath haters

people are not good
to each other, or
maybe good’s
just a slow



Hands in Others’ Gardens Interview Series – Lou Rasmus (NSFW)

When initially stumbling across this young, self-revealed HS drop-out, writer’ Lou Rasmus’ WordPress site, formerly known as ‘Drink and Smoke and Fuck’ I was left a bit queasy.

His writing, which has been loosely compared to Charles Bukowski, blares all the things I hate about myself, ejaculated through someone else’s pen.  It’s crass, nihilistic, it’s reckless, dangerous yet honesty and vulnerability manage to leak into his compositions and this reader can’t help but empathize, relate to and embrace.  His self-deprecation and “what did I just do?” moments provide enough human touch to keep the poems from  being simply dismissed as crude.

Lou Rasmus

lou rasmus

Lou often sees himself as a pathetic loser, and is not surprised if readers see him as one. How much of the character is the author? How much of the author is in the character? Who knows, and that’s part of the curiosity and fascination.  In fact, this lovable misanthrope was the inspiration of the following poem, which appears on my Hands In the Garden site: 


This is a poem written recently about a fascinating guy by the name of Lou Rasmus who runs a WordPress poetry site.  He fancies himself a lowlife and degenerate and these facets are present in his posts.  That being said, there’s something more to him.  I present my ode to him with his full permission.  He can be found at Lou Rasmus.


first impulse?


cut with sadness,

squirms to kindness.

sickens, yet courts you-

don’t worry,

he knows it too.
© Anthony Gorman 2017


Rasmus has just published his first book, called Dead Red Fish and I am looking forward to plunging it soon. It’s about a 22 year high school drop-out who goes on a road trip.  This is an excerpt from it:

Excerpt from Part One of DEAD RED FISH:

The road doesn’t look like the road right now. It’s more like something from a space movie. Like a vortex or some shit. Light coming down in flashes from above: streetlight, streetlight, streetlight, every thirty feet. White dashes light up from below, glowing under my headlights. Everything else is black. Flash! White. Then black. Then flash! White. Black white black white black white. It all blurs together. A fucking vortex, I think. Then the sweat returns. My shirt clings to my skin like plastic wrap on raw meat and I stomp on the gas pedal. Only the pedal doesn’t stop when it hits the floorboard. Instead, it crashes through the metal frame and clanks against the pavement. No stopping now, I smirk. The wheels bounce with every crack in the concrete, the paint chips off of the metal body, and I speed ahead anyway. Seventy miles per hour. Eighty. The axles creak and whimper from the stress. Ninety. Lug nuts are shooting off the wheels, popping like the cork from a bottle of Champagne – popping like corks from a hundred bottles of Champagne – popping like Pop! Pop! Pop!

A few weeks ago, this writer answered a few questions for me.  Let’s see how things turned out.

GG: Lou, I appreciate you taking the time to answer my random questions. So, here goes the first.  Much of your writing is captured “in the moment”.  Do you write when an idea hits you or do you have a writing process or routine?

LR: Have to write when an idea hits. Usually stoned, so I have write that minute or I will completely forget. But sometimes it’s not a full idea, so I have to go back and edit later.

GG:  If you’re comfortable enough, share a difficult challenge you’ve had to face.

LR: Writing a book. Faced others, but that’s the most recent. Writing a book is a fucking challenge. Takes commitment. Patience. And a lot of time alone with just some vices and a keyboard. Or, getting cheated on. That’s probably too personal but it’s true. Fucked with my belief in people as a whole. Took a lot of awkward hookups before I was ready to trust another person.

GG: My thoughts and writing cause disturbances in my sleep pattern, how does writing affect your sleep?

LR: Not being able to sleep until I figure out a line or a last word. Pisses me off. That, and waking up with an idea and having to write it down in the middle of the night.

GG: How much of the real you, comes through in your writing? Is Lou a character, or is he you? 

LR: I don’t know. Sometimes Lou seems like a made up character to me. Other times its my life exactly. So maybe a split. Maybe just me in the way I want to be seen. That’s all ego stuff I can’t be sure about.

GG: What do you think that people “get” from your poetry?

LR: Can’t really be sure. Feel like some relate to some things, others relate to other things. But I try to write about the reality that people don’t like to talk about, and I think that some people may connect with that.

GG: If you could hold onto one feeling forever what would it be, and why?

LR: The perfect balance of stoned and drunk right before everything gets dizzy. Nothing matters in that moment. It’s beautiful. (Similar and also good, the moment during sex right before cumming.)

GG: Tell me something about you your readers might be surprised to find out about you.

LR: I like to listen to outlaw country music. Not radio shit. But folk-type country. Helps me relax.

GG: Can you try to describe how you feel before, during and after you write?

LR:  Before: “Shit, I think I have a good idea.”

        During: “Shit, maybe this isn’t such a great idea.”

        After: “Fuck it, it wasn’t that bad of an idea.”

GG: What colour is your mind?

LR: Purple, probably. A darker shade of it that’s not necessarily sad or gushy from drugs, but not some happy bright purple shit either. 

GG: As an objective reader, Lou aside, how would you describe your writing to someone else?

LR: Sloppy. Maybe funny. Sometimes deep in self-loathing. Sometimes mean. Honest.

GG: Anything you’d like to say to aspiring writers?

LR: Don’t write unless you like your shit. Like, really like it. Like, enough to like it even when other people tell you it’s trash. It can be hard. 

Don’t be shy to show Lou and his recounts of drunken, drugged out nights of sex some love over at his WordPress site.  His style, approach and expressions can certainly offend some readers, but i hope that some of you will see the gold beneath the gross.

As always, thank you for sharing your time with me. 


GG – Words, keep em short!