YOUR DOG DIES
run over by a van.
you find it at the side of the road
and bury it.
you feel bad about it.
you feel bad personally,
but you feel bad for your daughter
because it was her pet,
and she loved it so.
she used to croon to it
and let it sleep in her bed.
you write a poem about it.
you call it a poem for your daughter,
about the dog getting run over by a van
and how you looked after it,
took it out into the woods
and buried it deep, deep,
and that poem turns out so good
you're almost glad the little dog
was run over, or else you'd never
have written that good poem.
then you sit down to write
a poem about writing a poem
about the death of that dog,
but while you're writing you
hear a woman scream
your name, your first name,
and your heart stops.
after a minute, you continue writing.
she screams again.
you wonder how long this can go on.
Considered a sexist neanderathal by some, idolized by many more, Buk's
is a no-bullshit approach to verse. Tough talk, casual sex, classical
music, alcohol, horseraces, and cigarettes are the props which adorn
his celebrations of the seamier side of life, a caustic wit and cutting
tongue are the weapons in his war on hypocrites. Whatever your
politics, there's no denying that this is compelling poetry, perhaps
because it confronts its author's admitted wretchedness stripped
of the usual trappings of polite language, fake graces, and Poetry with
a capital P. Don't bother trying to find him at your local public
library--either they consider him pornographic or somebody has already
stolen all the copies.
novels by charles bukowski ]
- Fires: Essays, Poems, Stories
As spare as they are, most of Carver's short stories strike me as
a bit long-winded. Not so his poetry, which treat his usual
themes--alcoholism, working-class poverty, and rocky
relationships--with greater wit and vigor than his prose.
The essays will be of interest to would-be writers and Carver
biographers, but what makes this book outstanding is the 60 pages of
poetry which comprise its heart.
- A New Path to the Waterfall: Last Poems
Assembled during the final days of Carver's battle with cancer at the
age of 51, there's not an ounce of fat on this book. The poems are
urgent and moving, bold as poetry can be only when there is
nothing left to lose and no time left in which to lose it. Carver also
let go of ego, including versified snippets of Chekhov as well as entire poems and
translations from Jaroslav Seifert and Czeslaw Milosz.
So many grown-ups in their sophistication and death of idealism dispel
reading the Beats as an adolescent exercise, nice for its time but out
of step with the plodding realities of romanceless existence to which
they are resigned. But it's hard to pick up an Orlovsky or Ginsberg or Corso or Kerouac and not be inspired oneself to scribe
the details of the instant before it slips into the distance, so if
you're looking for some portable inspiration unencumbered by "messages"
or a political agenda, Gasoline is a nifty pocket
edition perfect for carrying around and grazing at bus stops and post
office box, complete with a couple of blank pages at the back whereon
to tell your own story, lid on the top of your head loosened by a
deft turn of phrase and vision of obviously miraculous which you might
not otherwise have noticed.
Eric Drooker's extraordinary illustrations
- Illuminated Poems
illustrated by Eric Drooker
In the tradition of William Blake, sumptuous paintings and
drawings complement rather than describe the poems. Chosen by Drooker,
the selections reflect the painter's political activism, but "Howl,"
"Sunflower Sutra," and "On Neal's Ashes" all are here, as are other
lesser-known poems such as "When the Light Appears," which is featured
on the Cornershop album When I Was Born for the 7th Time.
- Howl and Other Poems
Perhaps the most famous poem of the 20th century, Howl
was inspired by fellow San Franciscan Kenneth Rexroth's "Thou Shalt Not Kill," a
lament for poets such as Dylan Thomas and Hart Crane who were driven to
self-destruction by the vulgarity of the first half of the 20th
century; these are the "best minds of my generation destroyed by
madness" of Howl's much-quoted opening line. They hadn't
seen anything yet.
Ginsberg went crazy, too, but rather than having his mind destroyed he
found an outlet in expansive verse which he considered sheet music for
breathing, through which the reader assumes the spirit (from the latin
spiritus, for breath) of the poet when the poem is read aloud. At least
that's how he described it when I took his Literature of the Beats
class at Brooklyn College in spring 1994.
This is the original little square City Lights edition which rode in
the pockets of beatniks and hippies all through the '50s and '60s,
complete with introduction by Ginsberg's mentor and fellow Paterson resident, William Carlos Williams. Read it for
yourself and decide whether or not Moloch "...whose mind is pure
machinery! Moloch whose blood is running money! Moloch whose fingers
are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a cannibal dynamo! Moloch
whose ear is a smoking tomb..." still walks among us.
Clean Asshole Poems & Smiling Vegetable Songs
Funny poems from Allen Ginsberg's
lover. Like old Ezra Pound, Orlovsky eschewed proper spelling in
deference to word essence. Soul is connection between mouth and
asshole, empty without both, all parts of meat vehicle and cosmic
connections celebrated here. Orlovsky's anatomical candor resonates
with soapy wiping station in Kerouac's Dharma Bums (no pun?) and Burroughs' famous line
from Naked Lunch: Gentle Reader, we glimpse god through
our assholes in the flashbulb of orgasm. This is a sweet little
pocket-sized book, out of print, admired by Williams, assigned by Allen Ginsberg
in his Beat Lit class at Brooklyn College. Let it tickle you.
CAT HAIKU (p. 70):
Cat throughing up in all the rooms
Is that my heaven to
clean up vomit
well! here I am in the city tickling floors
[ read Good Fuck with Denise from Clean
Cow!: The Selected Verse of Phil Rizzuto
Phil "The Scooter" Rizzuto was shortstop during 1950's Yankees dynasty,
later became "Voice of Yankees" on WPIX local NYC radio and TV
stations. His was the fatherliness I never had in the home. This book
is broadcast transcripts broken into linebreaks making true American
...You know, it might,
It might sound corny.
But we have the most beautiful full moon tonight.
And the crowd,
Enjoying whatever is going on right now.
They say it might sound corny,
But to me it's some kind of a,
Like an omen.
Both the moon and Thurman Munson,
Both ascending up into heaven.
I just can't get it out of my mind.
I just saw that full moon,
And it just reminded me of Thurman.
And that's it.
||August 6, 1979
Baltimore at New York
Ron Guidry pitching to Lee May
Fifth inning, bases empty, no outs
Orioles lead 1-0