What my character is or how many jails I have lounged in, or wards or walls or wassails, how many lonely-heart poetry readings I have dodged, is beside the point. A man's soul or lack of it will be evident with what he can carve upon a white sheet of paper.
The male, for all his bravado and exploration, is the loyal one, the one who generally feels love. The female is skilled at betrayal and torture and damnation.
If I write badly about blacks, homosexuals and women, it is because of these who I met were that. There are many 'bads' - bad dogs, bad censorship; there are even 'bad' white males. Only, when you write about 'bad' white males, they don't complain about it. And need I say that there are 'good' blacks, 'good' homosexuals and 'good' women?
I only type every third night. I have no plan. My mind is a blank. I sit down. The typewriter gives me things I don't even know I'm working on. It's a free lunch. A free dinner. I don't know how long it is going to continue, but so far there is nothing easier than writing.
Early on, when I was quite young and going from job to job, I was foolish enough to sometimes speak to my fellow workers: 'Hey, the boss can come in here at any moment and lay all of us off, just like that, don't you realize that?' They would just look at me. I was posing something that they didn't want to enter their minds.
I can relax with bums because I am a bum. I don't like laws, morals, religions, rules. I don't like to be shaped by society.
Almost everybody is born a genius and buried an idiot.
I kept writing not because I felt I was so good, but because I felt they were so bad, including Shakespeare, all those. The stilted formalism, like chewing cardboard.
Having a bunch of cats around is good. If you're feeling bad, you just look at the cats, you'll feel better because they know that everything is just as it is. There's nothing to get excited about. They just know. They're saviours.
The more cats you have, the longer you live. If you have a hundred cats, you'll live 10 times longer than if you have 10. Someday this will be discovered, and people will have a thousand cats and live forever. It's truly ridiculous.
When everything works best, it's not because you chose writing but because writing chose you. It's when you're mad with it, it's when it's stuffed in your ears, your nostrils, under your fingernails. It's when there's no hope but that.
We're all going to die, all of us; what a circus! That alone should make us love each other, but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities. We are eaten up by nothing.
When I worked on a magazine, I learned that there are many, many writers writing that can't write at all; and they keep on writing all the cliches and bromides and 1890 plots, and poems about Spring and poems about Love, and poems they think are modern because they are done in slang or staccato style, or written with all the 'i's' small.
My days, my years, my life has seen up and downs, lights and darknesses. If I wrote only and continually of the 'light' and never mentioned the other, then as an artist, I would be a liar.
There are women who can make you feel more with their bodies and their souls, but these are the exact women who will turn the knife into you right in front of the crowd. Of course, I expect this, but the knife still cuts.
I have no definite talent or trade, and how I stay alive is largely a matter of magic.
I don't like the clean-shaven boy with the necktie and the good job. I like desperate men, men with broken teeth and broken minds and broken ways. They interest me. They are full of surprises and explosions.
Show me a man who lives alone and has a perpetually clean kitchen, and 8 times out of 9 I'll show you a man with detestable spiritual qualities.
The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don't have to waste your time voting.
The thing that I fear discriminating against is humor and truth.