Tuesday, July 13, 2010

He will always be the first love of my life

The first time I read Bukowski I was with my Best Friend. Actually I was at her little apartment up on Barry Street and I pulled the orange copy of Love is A Mad Dog from Hell from the bookcase and I was done, smitten and fully in love with each line. I loved even some more than others. When he wrote sad you could taste sad like humidity and when he wrote content you just wanted to take a nap, content with the whole world.

Yes Yes

when God created love he didn't help most
when God created dogs He didn't help dogs
when God created plants that was average
when God created hate we had a standard utility
when God created me He created me
when God created the monkey He was asleep
when He created the giraffe He was drunk
when He created narcotics He was high
and when He created suicide He was low

when He created you lying in bed
He knew what He was doing
He was drunk and He was high
and He created the mountains and the sea and fire at the same time

He made some mistakes
but when He created you lying in bed
He came all over His Blessed Universe.

-Charles Bukowski

and the gods wait to delight in you. Gosh, oh gosh oh gosh oh gosh. What kinder thing could you say to someone? This wasn't just a drunk. He wasn't just a mad who hid behind a face he thought was ugly, even hideous. He was pure poetry, hate and pain and love and joy the pendulum swings and you die in each line.

Consummation Of Grief

I even hear the mountains
the way they laugh
up and down their blue sides
and down in the water
the fish cry
and the water
is their tears.
I listen to the water
on nights I drink away
and the sadness becomes so great
I hear it in my clock
it becomes knobs upon my dresser
it becomes paper on the floor
it becomes a shoehorn
a laundry ticket
it becomes
cigarette smoke
climbing a chapel of dark vines. . .
it matters little
very little love is not so bad
or very little life
what counts
is waiting on walls
I was born for this
I was born to hustle roses down the avenues of the dead.

Charles Bukowski

The images of Bukowski are beautiful. If you read Ham on Rye you will read that he didn't care what clothes he wore, all he cared about was the poems and the women and the beer, the escape of the reality of life and living for this moment, right here.

For Jane: With All the Love I Had, Which Was Not Enough:

I pick up the skirt,
I pick up the sparkling beads
in black,
this thing that moved once
around flesh,
and I call God a liar,
I say anything that moved
like that
or knew
my name
could never die
in the common verity of dying,
and I pick
up her lovely
all her loveliness gone,
and I speak to all the gods,
Jewish gods, Christ-gods,
chips of blinking things,
idols, pills, bread,
fathoms, risks,
knowledgeable surrender,
rats in the gravy of two gone quite mad
without a chance,
hummingbird knowledge, hummingbird chance,
I lean upon this,
I lean on all of this
and I know
her dress upon my arm
they will not
give her back to me.

Charles Bukowski

If you are going to try go all the way! How many times do we have to hear this in our lifetime before it's our mantra? How many times? Anything he endured was this gift, the lover of life. If you are going to try go all the way there is no other feeling like this and you will be alone with the gods. I've read it a thousand times and when I read it again it will make me cry. He believed it and we wait around to hear it to inspire us even now, even now that he's dead, buried in the ground and the worms are eating his bones.

The rich are not good to the rich, the poor are not good to the poor. We are afraid. More haters than lovers and people are not good to each other. Perhaps if they were our deaths would not be so sad. I love that he turns it in his head to figure a way for us to be kinder, easier to make life more about watching out for one another even in a poem.

It reminds me of a Joseph Conrad poem about love and war and the way men who wage work work it out in their head.

I think I'll add more soon. I've had enough of his sadness tonight and I have to sleep soon. You can find him on YouTube, all over the net, in a bookstore, a library, and somewhere near your 3rd rib.

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