What would Bukowski do?

July 10, 2016 § Leave a comment

A poem written on a solitudinous evening.


What would Buk do?
Just sit and write
Maybe seven or eight poems every night.

What did Buk say?
Rhymes are unnecessary rules
I say to hell with that, rhymes are my jewels.

How bad was that?
It was terrible, what can I say
It’ll get better if I try every day.


I had so many thoughts up there
Fag in mouth, eyes up in the air
It seemed great while it lasted
But sadly, they’ve all gone up in smoke.

Buk cared not for puncuation, style and grammar
In fact I altered that sentence for style
I think I thrive on roughness and glamor.

They all give me chills
Those writers of old,
Hem, Fitz and Twain
Something fresh, rich and bold.

But then I get hooked in
Vonnegut’s experiments, Fitz’s gin
Miller’s yage, Kerouac’s bennie
It all seems so obvious, artists can’t speak
Without something to unleash a taped-up beak
To tear through conditioning, observe and then wreak
Havoc upon the unwelcoming publique.

How cheap was that?
Hell, I don’t know.
I’ll keep rhyming until you forget it and go.

Who mixes languages to make poetry work?
I do, that’s who, I’m a trilingual jerk.
Try and tell me what to do…

But if you pay me, I’ll do my best
To create the same junk that inspires the rest:
Those others that define the ways of the world.

I do nothing to contribute
They do, though, they pile up to help
To change things that need to be done
They pile up to defend the earth, the water, the sun
I agree the world is not at its best
But when has our race been an
ything other than two-faced?

I don’t know anything really, and I’m proud to say

Socrates was around to name it
Long before my gene pool even existed to proclaim it
And I know that I know nothing
A phrase so commonly translated
From the Greek that made it famous

I know that I know nothing!
I’m proud to say
Not many are out there today
Who will admit it before they open their mouths to play

Topics like politics, society and laws
They speak of ignorant masses
When they are the ones that debilitate us

Pacing around looking for tobacco
And then a lucky break!
But next moment:
Pacing around looking for paper
A sad existence is the one
Dictated by a drug

Aren’t we all, really, grasping at straws to avoid doing what hurts
That’s the stuff that really works
It’s OK, I’m doing it right
Gotta keep looking

I ended swallowing my pride and venturing downstairs to the pub to fetch some rolling papers. Tight-jawed, pyjama-clad and zoned-out, I managed to: squeeze my way past drunken strangers enjoying their night out, strike up a conversation with an awkward acquaintance and a friend I’d said goodbye to a couple of hours earlier, and finally convince the manager on duty to kindly provide me with some god damned rolling papers, which I had just spent an inordinate amount of time trying to locate in my countless belongings.


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