Reading Charles Bukowski

Reading Charles Bukowski

Gary discovered a book of poetry I owned by Charles Bukowski titled you get so alone at times that it just makes sense.

I used to read this book of poetry when I was a depressed little girl in grade seven or eight, and later in high school. Of course in grade school I didn’t actually understand a lot of it because I was a very naive 12 year old, but I could feel the sense of loneliness and despair that seemed to rise from the pages and dance in front of my young eyes.

Later, when I matured I connected with Charles on a different level. The loneliness and despair not only rose from the pages, but took shape and began to dance seductively to my sweet 16 eyes. I found when I read his poetry I would sit in my darkened room for days thinking of how alone we were. I would secretly will the new phone I had just been given for my birthday to ring but it rarely did. I finally stopped reading him, because my nature is not to be depressed. I didn’t like the way he made me feel. I didn’t want to be alone and I didn’t want loneliness to make sense.

So, I put him away but he has stayed with me for the last 20 years. Through all the moves, all the stages in my life he has sat dormant on my bookshelf.

Until last week when Gary reawakened him.

I picked up the book again and opened it to a page I had dog eared. Probably when I was 16 and feeling particularly down. I’ll share with you the poem and then I think that I’ll quietly put Charles back on the shelf. Not because his work is wonderful but because I simply can not connect with him right now. My life is too full of love, laughter and happiness. I’m sure there will come a time when I can see the darkness again, but for now I would rather live in the light. If only for a little while longer.


darkness falls upon Humanity
and faces become terrible
that wanted more than there

all our days are marked with
affronts – some
disastrous, others
less so
but the process is
wearing and
attrition rules.
most give
empty spaces
where people should

our progenitors, our
education systems, the
land, the media, the
deluded and misled the
masses: they have been
by the aridity of
the actual

they were
unaware that
achievement or victory or
luck or
whatever the hell you
want to call
must have
its defeats.

it’s only the re-gathering and
going on
which lends substance
to whatever magic
might possibly

and now
as we ready to self-destruct
there is very little left to

which makes the tragedy
less and more
much much


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