Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday Sermon from His Eminence, Pope Bukowski the First and Only

The following is the first stanza of a poem from The Night Torn Mad with Footsteps, one of the many astonishingly superlative posthumous editions of Charles Bukowski’s poetry. The poem is entitled “her only son” and although it specifically addresses the vacuity Bukowski saw in the son of his deceased lover, Jane, the condition America’s Last Poet describes does indeed affect millions. I know, for I have been that guy. He was one sad sack of guts:



to endure is only 
meaningful
if you come out 
with 
something 
at the other end.
but to endure
simply in order to 
endure
is the unfortunate 
plight 
of millions.

*****

This is all my way of reminding myself that I can’t walk away from my days empty handed. All too often it seems I’m just getting through the day. But we only have so many days to squander thus, if at all.

And, now, having posted this, I can go back to bed.


Above passage from The Night Torn Mad with Footsteps by Charles Bukowski, p. 253 of the 2001 hardcover Black Sparrow edition. If I don’t miss my guess, the Copyright is owned by Linda Lee Bukowski. At least that’s how I’ve been seeing it credited in the more recent Ecco Press editions. Excerpt posted under Fair Use clause, with much respect to the poet’s widow.

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