I’ve been reading another collection of poetry by Charles Bukowski that I borrowed from the library. I’m up to page 138 in What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire, and I came across a poem Sunday evening that seems fitting for the resumption of work following a long holiday weekend.
This little verse by Buk offers inspiration to reset one’s focus and seems to urge readers to value each day above everything else.
Here it is:
it’s a farce, the great actors, the great poets, the great
statesmen, the great painters, the great composers, the
it’s a farce, a farce, a farce,
history and the recording of it,
forget it, forget it.
you must begin all over again.
throw all that out.
all of them out
you are alone with now.
look at you fingernails.
touch your nose.
the day flings itself upon
Bukowski, Charles. What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire.
New York: Ecco; First Edition, 2002.
2 thoughts on “A Monday Kind of Poem”
It seems to me as facile and self defeating and narcissistic as most of Bukowski; if it’s all farce, how do you choose between Obama and Mugabe, or Hitler and Gandhi or Thatcher and Clement Atlee? And if you obliterate the past, what kind of present tense do you inhabit? The hangover man, parched for his next glass.
He gives a bad name to free verse and to liberty in general. Give me Whitman, Shelley, Neruda, or the much under-rated Ferlinghetti. Craft, not cant.
Hello Anonymous. Thank you for your comments. I appreciate your perspective and you brought up some interesting points. I’ve never read Shelley before so I’ll have to check out his work. And you are right about Ferlinghetti. Take care, Francis.