BORN LIKE BUK
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
CHARLES BUKOWSKI full lenght documentary 'BORN INTO THIS'
* 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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