Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year: two from Bukowski

Buon anno e tanti auguri a tutti.
Two absolutely sodden poems (cough, cough, three. I get carried away sometimes) from the cantankerous legend, Bukowski: for the new year, for our general edification. Cheers! Bukowski would encourage you to raise your glass again. and again. and.. 
Though the poems might not reflect it in substance entirely, I am as hopeful and happy as any man deserves. 
If there is such a thing as favorite graffiti, this is mine. The regular program returns soon, probably Monday. Until then, behold the brutal beauty of words.


tutti i vicini pensano

che noi siamo


e noi pensiamo

lo stesso di loro.

e facciamo



            -Charles Bukowski

"a poem is a city"
a poem is a city filled with streets and sewers
filled with saints, heroes, beggars, madmen,
filled with banality and booze,
filled with rain and thunder and periods of
drought, a poem is a city at war,
a poem is a city asking a clock why,
a poem is a city burning,
a poem is a city under guns
its barbershops filled with cynical drunks,
a poem is a city where God rides naked
through the streets like Lady Godiva,
where dogs bark at night, and chase away
the flag; a poem is a city of poets,
most of them quite similar
and envious and bitter …
a poem is this city now,
50 miles from nowhere,
9:09 in the morning,
the taste of liquor and cigarettes,
no police, no lovers, walking the streets,
this poem, this city, closing its doors,
barricaded, almost empty,
mournful without tears, aging without pity,
the hardrock mountains,
the ocean like a lavender flame,
a moon destitute of greatness,
a small music from broken windows …

a poem is a city, a poem is a nation,
a poem is the world …

and now I stick this under glass
for the mad editor’s scrutiny,
and night is elsewhere
and faint gray ladies stand in line,
dog follows dog to estuary,
the trumpets bring on gallows
as small men rant at things
they cannot do.

            -Charles Bukowski

“The genius of the crowd”

there is enough treachery, hatred violence absurdity in the average
human being to supply any given army on any given day

and the best at murder are those who preach against it

and the best at hate are those who preach love

and the best at war finally are those who preach peace

those who preach god, need god

those who preach peace do not have peace

those who preach peace do not have love

beware the preachers

beware the knowers

beware those who are always reading books

beware those who either detest poverty

or are proud of it

beware those quick to praise

for they need praise in return

beware those who are quick to censor

they are afraid of what they do not know

beware those who seek constant crowds for

they are nothing alone

beware the average man the average woman

beware their love, their love is average

seeks average

but there is genius in their hatred

there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you

to kill anybody

not wanting solitude

not understanding solitude

they will attempt to destroy anything

that differs from their own

not being able to create art

they will not understand art

they will consider their failure as creators

only as a failure of the world

not being able to love fully

they will believe your love incomplete

and then they will hate you

and their hatred will be perfect

like a shining diamond

like a knife

like a mountain

like a tiger

like hemlock

their finest art


Karitas said...

I found charlie at university. rather, he found me.. its never such a passive discovery with the dirty old man.

nice way to start the year..

and kudos on creating one of the most engaging blogs out there, with continued high quality product and pretty pictures :)

Randroid said...

Thanks for the Bukowski...

Skarvald the Troll-faced said...

Честита Нова Година, господин Браян! ;D

Brian said...

@ karitas. Cheers mate. You are too kind. Very pleased to have you back from the Xbox.

@ randiod. Absolute pleasure.

@ skarvald. You said it!