By Charles Bukowski
Charles Bukowski is certainly one of America's best-known modern writers of poetry and prose, and, many might declare, its so much influential and imitated poet. He used to be born in Andernach, Germany, and raised in la, the place he lived for 50 years. He released his first tale in 1944, while he was once twenty-four, and started writing poetry on the age of thirty-five.
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Extra info for Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame: Selected Poems 1955-1973
7 and we went upstairs. America 29 and then quickly I went to sleep. [Page 45] Bukowski, Charles:the singular self [from Burning in Water Drowning in Flame: Selected Poems 1955‐1973 (1997), Black Sparrow Press] 1 there are these small cliﬀs 2 above the sea 3 and it is night, late night; 4 I have been unable to sleep, 5 and with my car above me 6 like a steel mother 7 I crawl down the cliﬀs, Page 30 bukowski, charles ‐ burning in water drowning in flame ‐ selected poems 1955‐1973 (1997) 8 breaking bits of rock 9 and being scratched by witless 10 and scrabby seaplants, 11 I make my way down 12 clumsy, misplaced, 13 an oddity on the shore, 14 and all around me are the lovers, 15 the two‐headed beasts 16 turning to stare 17 at the madness 18 of a singular self; 19 shamed, I move on through them 20 to climb a row of wet boulders that 21 break the sea‐stroke 22 into sheaths of white; 23 the moonlight is wet 24 on the bald stone 25 and now that I'm there 26 I don't want to be there 27 the sea stinks 28 and makes flushing sounds 29 like a toilet 30 it is a bad place to die; 31 any place is a bad place to die, 32 but better a yellow room 33 with known walls and dusty 34 lampshades; so ...
35 later she sat there in her slip 36 drinking Old Grandad 37 and she said 38 what's a guy like you doing 39 living in a dump like this? [Page 48] 40 and I said 41 I'm a poet 42 and she threw back her beautiful head and laughed. a poet? 44 I guess you're right, I said, I guess you're right. 45 but still she looked good to me, she still looked good, 46 and all thanks to an ugly horse 47 who wrote this poem. [Page 49] II Crucifix in a Deathhand Poems 1963‐1965 Page 33 bukowski, charles ‐ burning in water drowning in flame ‐ selected poems 1955‐1973 (1997) [Page 50] Epigraph the dark is empty; most of our heroes have been wrong [Page 51] Bukowski, Charles:view from the screen [from Burning in Water Drowning in Flame: Selected Poems 1955‐1973 (1997), Black Sparrow Press] 1 I cross the room 2 to the last wall 3 the last window 4 the last pink sun 5 with its arms around the world 6 with its arms around me 7 I hear the death‐whisper of the heron 8 the bone‐thoughts of sea‐things 9 that are almost rock; 10 this screen caved like a soul 11 and scrawled with flies, 12 my tensions and damnations 13 are those of a pig, 14 pink sun pink sun 15 I hate your holiness 16 crawling your gilded cross of life 17 as my fingers and feet and face 18 come down to this 19 sleeping with the whore of your fancy wife 20 you must some day die for nothing 21 as I 22 have lived.
Page 56] Bukowski, Charles:no lady godiva [from Burning in Water Drowning in Flame: Selected Poems 1955‐1973 (1997), Black Sparrow Press] 1 she came to my place drunk 2 riding a deer up on the front porch: 3 so many women want to save the world 4 but can't keep their own kitchens straight, 5 but me ... a woman such as this 15 could find 16 a zinnia in Hot Springs 17 Arkansas. Page 38 bukowski, charles ‐ burning in water drowning in flame ‐ selected poems 1955‐1973 (1997) 18 we ate venison for three weeks.