Wednesday, March 23, 2005

After Bukowski's 'Too Much' (2002)

Bukowski was a good sort,
if you saw him in a bad light
you'd say he was
lecherous maybe

but then again he
got plenty of life under his belt,
quit worrying about

took that wretched dog, cynicism,
for a walk.
When I saw his photograph

in second-hand biography,

next to the bottles
of Bud
I saw rings
of years

like piled medallions
around his pupils:
you bet, he wrote about the everyday
hiding places of fear.

And with each inspired

pitying burst
I imagined him

more lonely with
blues -
a battered guitar
twanging out the tunes,

his words careering into life
out of his gut.
His typing hands

like a guideless kite,
after whetting his
appetite with wine
then conversing again

with the old saddened voices -
I could feel his battling
pulse, smell sweat

netted in his shirt.

He just
cursed and cursed
and lurched and
lurched and

he was telling me,

"Son, you gotta walk out,
take a stand, go look for
your home, your heart."

"Where are you?" I asked him,
and he just groaned.
Now when people
say to me, "That

Hank Bukowski,
he was such a gem,
glowing through, glowing
through all that haze,"

I agree til I'm blue in the

face; then we push him aside,
talk about steadier writers,
like 'old' Dylan Thomas.

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