The Sickness

October 5, 2006 at 9:31 pm Leave a comment

Charles Bukowski

Listen

if
one night
I write
what I consider to
be
5 or 6 good poems
then I begin
to worry:

suppose the house
burns down?

I’m not worried
about
the house
I’m worried
about
those 5 or 6
poems
burning
up

or

an x-girlfriend
getting in
here
while I’m away
and stealing or
destroying
the poems.

after writing
5 or 6 poems
I am fairly
drunk
and
I sit
having a few
more
drinks
while deciding
where to hide
the poems.

sometimes I
hide the poems
while
thinking about
hiding
them
and when I
decide to
hide them
I can’t find
them…

then
begins the
search

and the
whole room is
a mass of
papers
anyhow

and

I’m very clever
at
hiding poems
perhaps more
clever that I
am
at
writing
them.

so
then
I find them
have another
drink

hide them
again

forget it
then
go
to sleep…

to awaken in
late morning
to remember
the poems
and
begin the
search
again…

usually only a
ten or fifteen
minute
period of
agony

to find
them
and read
them
and then
not like them
very much

but you know
after all
that work

all that
drinking
hiding
searching
finding

I decide
it’s only
fair
to send
them
out
as a
record of
my travail

which
if accepted
will appear in
a little
magazine
circulation
between
100 and
750

a year-and
one-half
later

maybe.

it’s
worth
it.

Today (the Guardian Culture Vulture Blog informs me) is National Poetry Day. And what better way to celebrate it by posting a poem that captures perfectly the experience of writing a poem – the exhilaration, the paranoia, the disappointment, the sense of eventual futility. It’s a quirky and delightful poem, but what makes it work for me is the affirmation of those last three words – that bald statement of the unprovable yet certain knowledge that we all carry in our hearts; the belief that all this fussing around with words and metaphors and meanings is somehow worth it.

[falstaff]

Entry filed under: Charles Bukowski, English, Falstaff. Tags: .

Te Recuerdo Como Eras I Would Like to Describe

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