Monday, March 28, 2011

Charles Bukowski / 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

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Charles Bukowski / Bluebird

by Charles Bukowski

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
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
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
you want to blow my book sales in
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
then I put him back,
but he's singing a little
in there, I haven't quite let him
and we sleep together like
with our
secret pact
and it's nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don't
weep, do

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Charles Bukowski / The Laughing Heart

Tom Waits reads Bukowski 

by Charles Bukowski
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 marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Oscar Wong / Stone that germinates

Photography by Lucien Clergue
By Oscar Wong
After you looked at me,
you left me with such grace and beauty


As a sudden exuberant ray
Love descends.

With a claw it
opens furrows in the earth.

And grows the moss,
the pale slime, the tree
revered by its tribe.

And tenderness flourishes
on the dawn.

And the heart of the day rises
like the thick whispers
of rocks.
And the ocean begins
an impetuous exalted dance.
Here brilliance is reborn.

If you put your eyes in my eyes.
If you put your lips in my lips.
If the bee of your mouth buzzes outside
or the insatiable needle hungers for blood.
If you settle, thirsty, between my legs,
I would give you a love so dense, flowing, tender,
like it was being revealed for the first time to the world,
like it was a violet being torn for the first time.

Everything burns if I see you.
Every stone germinates if I love you.

You come as the birds sing outside of their season
and I drink you in as a stream
from where the angels bow.

Like a seductive slow dance,
like a fertile dew on the sand,
like the chastity of the hissing saint
before the smooth perfection of the immaculate figure
you are.

What arduous work is yours, Beloved: to be so beautiful.

The caw of the crow shakes me,
the flight of the Pegasus seduces me,
the birdsong of your voice sasiates me.

Without you, tender bee, the Universe makes no sense.

I conduct myself as a wild patriarch,
as your wise and profane prophet.

Beloved Queen of the Valley of Jovel,
of the most Sweetest and Terrible Face,
I know you come from where apple trees grow
and that in your eyes are the nests of beehives.

O so much honey spilling in the iris
and so much perfection in your shape.

Let the gold of my kisses keep you.
Let the rock of my song exhalt you.

Death cannot kill you.
You will never smell the damned scent of the tomb
even if you obey the rules of the flower,
the incorruptable slipping wheel of summer,
as they upset and harass your beauty.

Gazelles, crane and doe
as tender mothers they shelter you,
but I tremble as if the gloomy wind
of reality touches you.

I conspire in the presence of something eternal.

A brilliant tear of the sun:
I awoke to the serpent,
I saw the unicorn tremble,
I unleashed the furious dragon.

A frail lunatic sang
I listened to the slow rythm of silence,
for love I dive into the emptiness.

Who says that terror burns?

From the highest sphere I give my voice to the ocean.

And I palpitate
and I bristle,
and I declare my life
as a blind man.

I have broken the murky afternoon.

Bitter roses, briar, and bramble live in my heart
with roots that devour.
It is also a snoring fist.

But I come to you as a thirsty snail.

A crazy, pure, live coal that you fan
just before I become a blinding light.

I bow on enedible grass if you look at me.
My heart is shipwrecked with a sudden wave.

Sonorous light that you are,
in damp sand and tenderness.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Denise Levertov / Engraved

Denise Levertov

A man and woman
Sit by the riverbank.
He fishes,
she reads.
The fish are not biting.
She has not turned the page
for an hour.
The light around them
holds itself taut,
no shadow moves,
but the sky and the woods,
look, are dark.
Night has advanced upon them.

Denise Levertov
Poems 1972 – 1982
New Directions Publishing Corporation, 2001