Sunday, November 25, 2007

Charles Bukowski

"Throughout his life, Bukowski held a series of low-paying jobs so dismal that they are unbearable to list, though he did keep a position as a mail carrier for many years...." (King of Pain, Jim Harrison, NYT 11-25-07)

Day after day
you carried my mail
and the days when you rang
I hid behind the door
until you gave it up,
hiding my packages
behind the rhododendron,
sticky note tacked to my door--
you've got mail...
How does one greet
such monstrous visage?
Lovely weather we've having?
You're looking well, Mr. B?
And one day I read
how the words had gone
how you’d waited to die
while Linda vacuumed
Nothing to declare…
If only I'd known of your love
for that godforsaken cat,
if only I’d asked Esmeralda.


Anonymous said...

A warning: don't listen to Bukowski speak. Read him, but try not to hear his voice.

Books r Us said...

Too Late! I've been Youtubed.

The poem I like best by Bukowski is called "So Now?" His approach to death reminds me of Nabokov and the idea of existing between birth and death..always closer to one than the other, but never appreciating our position.

the words have come and gone,
I sit ill.
the phone rings, the cats sleep.
Linda vacuums.
I am waiting to live,
waiting to die.
I wish I could ring in some bravery.
it's a lousy fix
but the tree outside doesn't know:
I watch it moving with the wind
in the late afternoon sun.
there's nothing to declare here,
just a waiting.
each faces it alone.
Oh, I was once young,
Oh, I was once unbelievably