Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I Saw A Movie About A Poet

A poet by the name of Charles 'Hank' Bukowski.

The movie was a documentary, the closest I could get to knowing the truth.

Not Barfly, apparently that was a crap movie that Bukowski hated.

I hope it paid some of his bills.

I'm not much of a poetry reader. I'm not much of a reader. I'm a listener. I listen to audiobooks. I like the sound of words being spoken. I used to read. My wife says ADD. I tend to agree but it seems like an excuse. I have the crutch of audio and I use it. Can't just limp along ignorant, right? I listen to NPR and lots of books: thrillers, horror, non-fiction, whatever I can get my hands on. Well, figuratively since most of my audio is digital. No dusting.

Back to the poet. I wouldnt' want to have lived his life. He wrote some great stuff but he... well, he neither seemed happy nor like a very nice guy.

How would you rather be remembered:

a tortured artist, an asshole but a genius ?
a happy, nice person ?

Maybe we don't get to choose.


The Genius of the Crowd
by Charles Bukowski

there is enough treachery, hatred violence absurdity in the average
human being to supply any given army on any given day

and the best at murder are those who preach against it
and the best at hate are those who preach love
and the best at war finally are those who preach peace

those who preach god, need god
those who preach peace do not have peace
those who preach peace do not have love

beware the preachers
beware the knowers
beware those who are always reading books
beware those who either detest poverty
or are proud of it
beware those quick to praise
for they need praise in return
beware those who are quick to censor
they are afraid of what they do not know
beware those who seek constant crowds for
they are nothing alone
beware the average man the average woman
beware their love, their love is average
seeks average

but there is genius in their hatred
there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you
to kill anybody
not wanting solitude
not understanding solitude
they will attempt to destroy anything
that differs from their own
not being able to create art
they will not understand art
they will consider their failure as creators
only as a failure of the world
not being able to love fully
they will believe your love incomplete
and then they will hate you
and their hatred will be perfect

like a shining diamond
like a knife
like a mountain
like a tiger
like hemlock

their finest art


chaps said...

beware the poet

John Cowart said...

When he said, "beware those who are always reading...", I took his advise and stopped reading.

Jaws said...

beware the average man the average woman...

People make me nervous.

Eric said...

I love the little wink in his poems, the part which says "I can only criticize what I am."

I think.

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