"let your boat of life be light, packed with only
what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, someone to love and someone to love you,
enough to eat and enough to wear
and a little more than enough to drink:
for thirst is a dangerous thing"

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

an anthology of bukowski brilliance

Charles Bukowski wrote some mean stuff.  Factotum was his second novel which I read years ago and I am not sure why, but I never followed up on my love of his writing until recently when I found a couple of great websites for his poetry and quotes.  I must also confess to never seeing his movie Barfly, with Mickey Rourke and maybe it is worth looking out for.  Factotum, later a movie starring Matt Dillon and Barfly (Rourke) both portrayed Hank Chinaski - Bukowski's fictional alter ego.  A guy who drank too much and did menial jobs to support himself while pursuing his love of writing.  

As I sit here going through some of his poems that I have saved to use on my blog, I feel as though I am once again back at Westerford in an English class with Mr Rumboll preparing for one (of many) English projects we had to do for the year, the "Poetry Anthology".   I wish I had know Bukowski then because I am sure old Frank (Rumboll) would have rather preferred reading a project on his stuff to the project that I churned out on ee cummings.  Not to dismiss ee cummings - he taught me lots - a disregard for capital letters and a love of brackets!!

But back to Charles.  You can read more about him here.  I don't need to say much more as I sit here with my glass of wine (trying to take on Hemingway), listening to some vintage Bob Dylan and reading through some incredibly real ramblings from this tortured soul who was so very wise.  On reading more about his life and loves, it is just so great to be able to read and feel his optimism and wisdom, which come through strongly, even in really low times.

How beautiful and how sad?

I will remember the kisses
our lips raw with love
and how you gave me
everything you had
and how I
offered you what was left of
and I will remember your small room
the feel of you
the light in the window
your records
your books
our morning coffee
our noons our nights
our bodies spilled together
the tiny flowing currents
immediate and forever
your leg my leg
your arm my arm
your smile and the warmth
of you
who made me laugh

"The Laughing Heart"

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvellous
the gods wait to delight
in you

“We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing. ”

“there are worse things than being alone but it often takes decades to realize this and most often when you do it’s too late and there’s nothing worse than too late”

“You have to die a few times before you can really live.”

“An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way. An artist says a hard thing in a simple way.”

"The Aliens"

you may not believe it
but there are people
who go through life with
very little
friction of distress.
they dress well, sleep well.
they are contented with
their family
they are undisturbed
and often feel
very good.
and when they die
it is an easy death, usually in their

you may not believe
but such people do

but i am not one of
oh no, I am not one of them,
I am not even near
to being
one of
but they
are there

and I am

I must try to memorise this:-

your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvellous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

Another lesson in life.

1 comment:

  1. Frank Rumboll was my father. I know he would have approved deeply.