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I have actually never been a committed fan of Charles Bukowski’s. Someone described him perfectly, don’t know who, I just remember reading it years ago, that when he read Bukowski’s pieces it felt like “being stuck sitting beside the boring drunk at a bar and there was no getting away.” To me, this is perfection of description.

But this poem for me stands above. His grief over Jane here is palpable. And unsentimental. A tough combination to pull off.

And so I wanted to share it.

 

For Jane with all the love I had, which was not enough

– by Charles Bukowski

I pick up the skirt,
I pick up the sparkling beads
in black,
this thing that moved once
around flesh,
and I call God a liar,
I say anything that moved
like that
or knew
my name
could never die
in the common verity of dying,
and I pick
up her lovely
dress,
all her loveliness gone,
and I speak to all the gods,
Jewish gods, Christ-gods,
chips of blinking things,
idols, pills, bread,
fathoms, risks,
knowledgeable surrender,
rats in the gravy of two gone quite mad
without a chance,
hummingbird knowledge, hummingbird chance,
I lean upon this,
I lean on all of this
and I know
her dress upon my arm
but
they will not
give her back to me.

 

Photo courtesy of Walter Pilsak

Writer and Poet

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Tricia McCallum

Always be a poet. Even in prose.
Charles Baudelaire.

In essence I am a storyteller who writes poems. Put simply, I write the poems I want to read.[…]

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Thanks for sharing

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