“Don’t Try”. Knowing we do about Bukowski — straight-shooter, mostly miserable, hated lots of things, author of great poems — I assumed his epitaph was a nihilist middle-finger to humanity. Nope. Not at all, in fact.
Chinaski, in a letter to a friend, on trying:
“We work too hard. We try too hard. Don’t try. Don’t work. It’s there. It’s been looking right at us, aching to kick out of the closed womb. There’s been too much direction. It’s all free, we needn’t be told. Classes? Classes are for asses. Writing a poem is as easy as beating your meat or drinking a bottle of beer.”
And years later, his wife explains:
“Yeah, I get so many different ideas from people that don’t understand what that means. Well, ‘Don’t Try? Just be a slacker? lay back?’ And I’m no! Don’t try, do. Because if you’re spending your time trying something, you’re not doing it…’DON’T TRY’.”
From Open Culture