“mind and heart” by Charles Bukowski

unaccountably we are alone
forever alone
and it was meant to be
that way,
it was never meant
to be any other way–
and when the death struggle
begins
the last thing I wish to see
is
a ring of human faces
hovering over me–
better just my old friends,
the walls of my self,
let only them be there.

I have been alone but seldom
lonely.
I have satisfied my thirst
at the well
of my self
and that wine was good,
the best I ever had,
and tonight
sitting
staring into the dark
I now finally understand
the dark and the
light and everything
in between.

peace of mind and heart
arrives
when we accept what
is:
having been
born into this
strange life
we must accept
the wasted gamble of our
days
and take some satisfaction in
the pleasure of
leaving it all
behind.

cry not for me.

grieve not for me.

read
what I’ve written
then
forget it
all.

drink from the well
of your self
and begin
again.

Bukowski, Charles. Come On In!: New Poems. New York: Ecco (An imprint of HarperCollins Publishers), 2006.

“exactly right” by Charles Bukowski

the strays keep arriving: now we have 5
cats and they are smart, spontaneous, self-
absorbed, naturally poised and awesomely
beautiful.

one of the finest things about cats is
that when you’re feeling down, very down,
if you just look at the cat at rest,
at the way they sit or lie and wait,
it’s a grand lesson in persevering
and
if you watch 5 cats at once that’s 5
times better.

no matter the extra demands they make
no matter the heavy sacks of food
no matter the dozens of cans of tuna
from the supermarket: it’s all just fuel for their
amazing dignity and their
affirmation of a vital
life
we humans can
only envy and
admire from
afar.

“exactly right” by Charles Bukowski, from The Night Torn with Mad Footsteps: New Poems. © Black Sparrow Press, 2001.

“the hookers, the madmen and the doomed” by Charles Bukowski

today at the track
2 or 3 days after
the death of the
jock
came this voice
over the speaker
asking us all to stand
and observe
a few moments
of silence. well,
that’s a tired
formula and
I don’t like it
but I do like
silence. so we
all stood: the
hookers and the
madmen and the
doomed. I was
set to be dis-
pleased but then
I looked up at the
TV screen
and there
standing silently
in the paddock
waiting to mount
up
stood the other jocks
along with
the officials and
the trainers:
quiet and thinking
of death and the
one gone,
they stood
in a semi-circle
the brave little
men in boots and
silks,
the legions of death
appeared and
vanished, the sun
blinked once
I thought of love
with its head ripped
off
still trying to
sing and
then the announcer
said, thank you
and we all went on about
our business.

“the hookers, the madmen and the doomed” by Charles Bukowski, from What Matters Most is How Well You Work Through the Fire. © Black Sparrow Press, 1999.

“The Genius of the Crowd” by Charles Bukowski (repost)

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 love 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 concepts
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

Charles Bukowski, from 70 Minutes In Hell (originally posted 01/17/14)

“the great escape” by Charles Bukowski

listen, he said, you ever seen a bunch of crabs in a
bucket?
no, I told him.
well, what happens is that now and then one crab
will climb up on top of the others
and begin to climb toward the top of the bucket,
then, just as he’s about to escape
another crab grabs him and pulls him back
down.
really? I asked.
really, he said, and this job is just like that, none
of the others want anybody to get out of
here. that’s just the way it is
in the postal service!
I believe you, I said.

just then the supervisor walked up and said,
you fellows were talking.
there is no talking allowed on this
job.

I had been there for eleven and one-half
years.

I got up off my stool and climbed right up the
supervisor
and then I reached up and pulled myself right
out of there.

it was so easy it was unbelievable.
but none of the others followed me.

and after that, whenever I had crab legs
I thought about that place.
I must have thought about that place
maybe 5 or 6 times

before I switched to lobster.

“the great escape” by Charles Bukowski from Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way. © Ecco Press, 2004.