My bicycle was stolen late last year.

Here I was trying to be an eco-warrior and all and then some thief comes along and takes my bike. Harming not only me but the planet – not really, I now just catch the bus again which was running and emitting regardless of whether I rode or not.

My mother was grateful for the thief, I was not.

Eve – my wife – said that the bike was cursed from the start (I also hurt my back and required a bit of physio because of it), she said it was cursed because I didn’t ask her if I could buy it. I asked her how long had she kept that under her hat? Not long – I only had the bike for a few months.

Anyway I got Love is a Dog from Hell by Charles Bukowski for Christmas. Here is his poem:


I keep thinking it will be outside
waiting for me
front bumper twisted
Maltese cross hanging
from the mirror.
rubber floormat
twisted under the pedals.
20 m.p.g.
good old TRV 491
the faithful love of a man,
the way I put her into second
while taking a corner
the way she could dig from a signal
with any other around.
the way we conquered large and
small spaces
the crush of things.

I came out of last Thursday night’s
fights at the Olympic
and my 1967 Volks was gone
with another lover
to another place.

the fights had been good.
I called a cab at a Standard station
and sat eating a jelly doughnut
with coffee in a cafe and
and knew that if I found
the man who stole her
I would kill him.

the cab came. I waved to the
driver, paid for the coffee and
doughnut, got out into the night,
got in, and told him, “Hollywood
and Western,” and that particular
night was just about over.

Crime for Me, Punishment for You

‘You cannot simultaneously choose crime for yourself and punishment for others. You must open the prison gates or give an impossible proof of your own innocence.’

– Albert Camus The Rebel, 36.

Clearly you can have both. The point however is that there is a contradiction. George W. Bush was certainly one to revel in this contradiction, and no doubt Obama will be drawn into it; though I suspect he will be less comfortable with it.