an idiot blog for an idiot world

The Man with the Beautiful Eyes

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Charles Bukowski was a bitter, bitter man. His life has been a long, long struggle through some of the most horrific events. He was scarred as a teenager, spent many year horribly poor and destitute. He only wrote to save his life. He smoked a lot, cigarettes and joints and drank incessantly. For most of his old life, he was drunk and belligerent, but he turned out some of the most heart-arresting poetry I’ve seen. His poems are simple, evocative and mostly depressing. He writes about his own demons in a way. Every poem is a shade of himself. Maybe that’s why he’s so good.

Click here for a beautiful poem with beautiful animation: The Man with the Beautiful Eyes

Bluebird

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going
to let anybody see
you.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pur whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
he’s
in there.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
works?
you want to blow my book sales in
Europe?

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody’s asleep.
I say, I know that you’re there,
so don’t be
sad.
then I put him back,
but he’s singing a little
in there, I haven’t quite let him
die
and we sleep together like
that
with our
secret pact
and it’s nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don’t
weep, do
you?

for they had things to say

the canaries were there, and the lemon tree
and the old woman with warts;
and I was there, a child
and I touched the piano keys
as they talked—
but not too loudly
for they had things to say,
the three of them;
and I watched them cover the canaries at night
with flour sacks:
“so they can sleep, my dear.”

I played the piano quietly
one note at a time,
the canaries under their sacks,
and there were pepper trees,
pepper trees brushing the roof like rain
and hanging outside the windows
like green rain,
and they talked, the three of them
sitting in a warm night’s semicircle,
and the keys were black and white
and responded to my fingers
like the locked-in magic
of a waiting, grown-up world;
and now they’re gone, the three of them
and I am old:
pirate feet have trod
the clean-thatched floors
of my soul,
and the canaries sing no more.

a smile to remember

 

we had goldfish and they circled around and around
in the bowl on the table near the heavy drapes
covering the picture window and
my mother, always smiling, wanting us all
to be happy, told me, “be happy Henry!”
and she was right:

it’s better to be happy if you
can
but my father continued to beat her and me several times a week
while
raging inside his 6-foot-two frame because he couldn’t
understand what was attacking him from within.

my mother, poor fish,
wanting to be happy, beaten two or three times a
week, telling me to be happy: “Henry, smile!
why don’t you ever smile?”

and then she would smile, to show me how, and it was the
saddest smile I ever saw.

one day the goldfish died, all five of them,
they floated on the water, on their sides, their
eyes still open,
and when my father got home he threw them to the cat
there on the kitchen floor and we watched as my mother smiled

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One Response

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  1. bluebird’s good.

    ayushma

    November 14, 2009 at 2:36 PM


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