Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cheeky Charles Bukowski

Last night, my darling Hubby and I had our first official date night. That's right, our married bums set Tuesday as a night for each other. Not lame, but amazing. To kick off 2011 we had sushi and a poetry read-off. What, you ask, is a read-off? It's where you go head-to-head reading poetry from two different poets and appoint a winner based on what most "speaks" to you. Last night's contenders were Charles Bukowski and Pablo Neruda. Obviously Mr. Neruda is a favorite of mine.

The winner of the read-off was hands down Mr. Bukowski. How is that even possible you ask? I know, I know, Pablo Neruda is a lyrical genius who writes beautiful prose but Mr. B is also a genius. Bukowski's mastery of written word is undeniable and perhaps so enjoyable because you know he lived much of his life as a misfit. I think last night's win also went to Bukowski in part because of the racy nature of his poetry, his poems are about sex, drugs, and unspoken truths (at least the poems we read). Contrast that with Neruda's poems, which were about love, politics, and Latin American revolutions (so good too, I know).

In honor of Mr. B's win in last night's read-off, I present to you the Bukowski poem that most "spoke" to me. I dedicate this to any divas in distress out there.

no leaders, please

invent yourself and then reinvent yourself,
don't swim in the same slough.
invent yourself and then reinvent yourself
stay out of the clutches of mediocrity.

invent yourself and then reinvent ,
change your tone and shape so often that they can
categorize you.

reinvigorate yourself and
accept what is
but only on the terms you have invented
and reinvented.

be self-taught.

and reinvent your life because you must;
it is your life and
its history
and the present
belong only to

So good!

1 comment:

  1. I'm actually a long-time Neruda fan too...I always feared it was too cliche' to name him as a favorite, but now it's time for me too to openly embrace the fact that I bloody LOVE his love poems!! worth learning Espanol for...don't really vividly recall Bukowski, but the above poem has inspired me to read more. Me gusta muchissimo, gracias!! :) - MM