BORN LIKE BUK

March 20, 2017

 

 

 

"Dinosauria, We"

  by Charles Bukowski


 

Born like this 
Into this 
As the chalk faces smile 
As Mrs. Death laughs 
As the elevators break 
As political landscapes dissolve 
As the supermarket bag boy holds a college degree 
As the oily fish spit out their oily prey 
As the sun is masked 
We are 
Born like this 
Into this 
Into these carefully mad wars 
Into the sight of broken factory windows of emptiness 
Into bars where people no longer speak to each other 
Into fist fights that end as shootings and knifings 
Born into this 
Into hospitals which are so expensive that it’s cheaper to die 
Into lawyers who charge so much it’s cheaper to plead guilty 
Into a country where the jails are full and the madhouses closed 
Into a place where the masses elevate fools into rich heroes 
Born into this 
Walking and living through this 
Dying because of this 
Muted because of this 
Castrated 
Debauched 
Disinherited 
Because of this 
Fooled by this 
Used by this 
Pissed on by this 
Made crazy and sick by this 
Made violent 
Made inhuman 
By this 
The heart is blackened 
The fingers reach for the throat 
The gun 
The knife 
The bomb 
The fingers reach toward an unresponsive god 
The fingers reach for the bottle 
The pill 
The powder 
We are born into this sorrowful deadliness 
We are born into a government 60 years in debt 
That soon will be unable to even pay the interest on that debt 
And the banks will burn 
Money will be useless 
There will be open and unpunished murder in the streets 
It will be guns and roving mobs 
Land will be useless 
Food will become a diminishing return 
Nuclear power will be taken over by the many 
Explosions will continually shake the earth 
Radiated robot men will stalk each other 
The rich and the chosen will watch from space platforms 
Dante’s Inferno will be made to look like a children’s playground 
The sun will not be seen and it will always be night 
Trees will die 
All vegetation will die 
Radiated men will eat the flesh of radiated men 
The sea will be poisoned 
The lakes and rivers will vanish 
Rain will be the new gold 
The rotting bodies of men and animals will stink in the dark wind 
The last few survivors will be overtaken by new and hideous diseases 
And the space platforms will be destroyed by attrition 
The petering out of supplies 
The natural effect of general decay 
And there will be the most beautiful silence never heard 
Born out of that. 
The sun still hidden there 
Awaiting the next chapter.

 

 

 

I needed to write something of some sort of social relevance, and I was surprised as you probably are when the old Chinaski came to my mind.
If anything, I don't even think he ever wanted to be considered a politically and socially engaged author. The guy ran his whole life pretty much aside of society, sheltering whenever was cheap enough and drinking his way to solitude among drunken, gamblers, prostitutes and a number of demeaning jobs that slowly torn his soul apart. And yeah, I know - Bukowski was also a regular of public  libraries and experienced reader though he did not like people to know that. It doesn't matter, here.

The life he conducted, at least until he eventually made it officially into the scene with Post Office (1969) backed up by Black Sparrow Press's John Martin, - was quite a portrait of the man he most likely saw reflected in the mirror every morning, and the man he wanted people to see. 

"Style", "The genius of the crowd", "Roll the dice", - when I first came across Buk I just went straight for his novels and collection of stories available, but it's only a few years later that I really gave a try to his poetry - and so many poems could give a better understanding of the type of man he was.

But "Dinosauria, We" is universal, speaks to each and everyone of us as human beings - as a collective self. 

Detached from his personal pain, his hungover, his women's troubles, here it is a poem of Charles Bukowski that speaks to his fellow human. Here is a Charles Bukowski depressingly worried and not just for the upcoming rent, or because beer's running out.

He surely showed this side of a more tender and caring writer in other occasions (though it really shines in some of the interview where an old, drunk, Bukowski plays out the mean, tough guy - and the result to me is just comical when not sweet).

 

 

Bukowki feels the misery and the burden of the human species at its highest and lowest point, possibly of not return, some would now say, - Bukowski that raises his head to stare around, no longer at the glass or at the street.

Air pollution, oil spills, earthquakes, sea level raising, global warming, climate wars, bank crises, escalating violence, GMOs, water supply emergencies. The list could go on and on as long as the list of the news in the media of the last four decades. 

 

 

We are born into a government 60 years in debt 
That soon will be unable to even pay the interest on that debt 
And the banks will burn 
Money will be useless 
There will be open and unpunished murder in the streets 
It will be guns and roving mobs 
Land will be useless 
Food will become a diminishing return 
Nuclear power will be taken over by the many 
Explosions will continually shake the earth 
Radiated robot men will stalk each other 
The rich and the chosen will watch from space platforms 
The sun will not be seen and it will always be night 
Trees will die 
All vegetation will die 
Radiated men will eat the flesh of radiated men 
The sea will be poisoned 
The lakes and rivers will vanish 
Rain will be the new gold

 

 

Bukowski - the man of "DON'T TRY" engraved on his tombstone - in a rather unusual, empathetic position reads at his best as one of the most precise, moving, apocalyptic vision.

Not condemning - but rather pitying, for a common, defenceless doom. 

If this is not just a desperate, poetic, public service announcement - then I may as well listen to the Tv. 

 

 

 

 


CHARLES BUKOWSKI, DINOSAURIA, WE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRc6mHS9PjE

 

CHARLES BUKOWSKI full lenght documentary 'BORN INTO THIS'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeIOkS_3nKQ&t=5s

 

 

 

 

 

 

* All images, videos and copyrights belong to their respective owners. 

   I do not own the rights to them and they've here been used for the solely purpose      of philosophical debate. 

 

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