Tuesday, September 08, 2009

A Poem is a City

This one goes out to all my fellow bloggers.

Photo: Dan Neutel, Poem: Charles Bukowski

a poem is a city filled with streets and sewers
filled with saints, heroes, beggars, madmen,
filled with banality and booze,
filled with rain and thunder and periods of
drought, a poem is a city at war,
a poem is a city asking a clock why,
a poem is a city burning,
a poem is a city under guns
its barbershops filled with cynical drunks,
a poem is a city where God rides naked
through the streets like Lady Godiva,
where dogs bark at night, and chase away
the flag; a poem is a city of poets,
most of them quite similar
and envious and bitter...
a poem is this city now,
50 miles from nowhere,
9:09 in the morning,
the taste of liquor and cigarettes,
no police, no lovers, walking the streets,
this poem, this city, closing its doors,
barricaded, almost empty,
mournful without tears, aging without pity,
the hardrock mountains,
the ocean like a lavender flame,
a moon destitute of greatness,
a small music from broken windows...

a poem is a city, a poem is a nation,
a poem is the world...

and now I stick this under glass
for the mad editor's scrutiny,
the night is elsewhere
and faint gray ladies stand in line,
dog follows dog to estuary,
the trumpets bring on gallows
as small men rant at things
they cannot do.

1 comment:

Square Corner said...

Breathless. His poetry is his best stuff, by far. Saw a documentary on his life. He is those poems. But even more so, he is those books. All the sadness, all the genius, all the rage, all the yearning, all the twisted humanity that makes him Charles Bukowski.
It is from the Poet Laureate of Skid Row that I am humbly inspired. But the voice has to be mine alone, no matter how discordant it may sound.