charles bukowski | the darlings

3 12 2007


Poetry Dispatch No.161 | March 21, 2007

The “Other” Poetry

Yes, it’s the first day of spring. We should write and read of warmth, melting snow, the good earth, birds, flowers, and above all, hope.

This is also the 4th anniversary of the Iraq war. Deserving perhaps that “other kind of poem.” We should remember and write and reflect upon this too. I’m all for the feel-good poem, the poem that challenges our intellect ,the poem that makes us smile, poems electric in language, poems that remind us how good it is to be alive…internal rhyme schemes, no schemes, poems of patterns we all comprehend and even attempt to imitate. Here’s to the classic bards, who wrote so admirably of a time that had meaning and beauty.

But this is a good time to remember that “other” kind of poem, that “other poet,” who serves it up straight on the plate. The poets and poems that are sometimes harder to swallow, more difficult to digest. The in-your-face poets. The poets whose words sometimes spill over. Fall on the floor. Leave a stain on the tablecloth. Cause heartburn. Indigestion. Mess up the sweet poesy with attitudes you’d rather not entertain on a day the robin has returned to your backyard

Poets of attitude, conscience, anger…a lot on their mind, in their gut. And it ain’t always pretty. But these, our ‘beat’ brothers and sisters deserve a piece of the poetic action too, have every right to be heard…every right to go against the American grain. The poets who see ‘it’ for what it is. For what we are. They’ve been around for a long time. Whitman was one of them. Sandburg too. And the entire Beat Movement in America. Still out there beating the drum.

Big mouth Bukowski had his hands in it as well. He always knew how to translate the bullshit into poetry that was good for us. Norbert Blei


The Darlings by Charles Bukowski

a world full of successful people’s sons
on bicycles
on the Hollywood Riviera
at 3:11 P.M.
on a Tuesday afternoon…

this is what some of the armies died to save
this is what many of the ladies desire;
these stuffed fractions of beings
pedaling along
or stopping to chat while
still seated upon their mounts
gentle breezes sifting across
their undisturbed faces…

I understand very little of this
except maybe the armies killed the wrong people
but they usually do:
they always think the enemy is
those they are directed against
instead of those who
direct them:
the fathers of the