Saturday, August 13, 2011

Charles Bukowski and I Ranting Poems to the Sounds of Riots

The Arab Spring ignited in Tunisia, demonstrations against anti-union laws in various parts of the US, right-wing violence in Norway, violent neo-Nazis skinheads in Russia, riots in Greece, demonstrations in Israel, riots in London, and massive destitution in Somalia. All these events are linked to the global economic order that can't seem to improve the conditions on the planet the way wealth is being advanced for a handful of people. Actually, conditions are being made worse. Poems and music can get us through these times as they always have.

Here are two poems by Charles Bukowski and one by me:

ground zero

the consensus is that this is a difficult time,
perhaps the most difficult of times:
large groups of people in cities
all over the world are
protesting that they'd rather not be
treated like shit.

but whoever's in control
will not listen.

the suggestion is that, of course, it's
only one power fighting another power
and the real power, of course, is in the hands
of the few who run the nations
and their need is to protect those many things
that belong to them.

it is conceivable that these few rulers
will escape
when the final eruption begins;
they will escape to their safe havens
where they will watch
the eruption to its finish,
and then after a reasonable wait
they will return
again and
will begin building
a new ridiculous and grossly
unfair future.

which, to me, is not a very
happy thought
as I crack open a can of beer
on a hot
July night.

sometimes when you get the blues there's a reason

it only takes 6 or 8 inept political leaders
or 8 or 10 artsy-fartsy writers, composers and painters to
set the natural course of human progress
50 years
or more.
which may not seem like much to you
but it's over half your lifetime
during which time you're not going to be able to
hear, see, read or feel that
necessary gift of great art which
otherwise you could have experienced.
which may not seem tragic to you
but sometimes, perhaps, when you're not feeling so
good at
night or in the morning or at
maybe what you feel that's lacking is
what should be there for
but is not.
and I don't mean a blonde in
sheer pantyhose,
I'm talking about what gnaws at your guts
even when she's

(my poem)

Escapist With a Gun

666 governments gone bad.
777 revolutions minus 111 points
After the revolutions get government.
I’ll stay in my room on the internet,
Watch a good amount of headless girls
Dancing on Youtube in panties and tank tops,
Terydactyl porn on weird websites,
And learn the latest news about
Charlie Sheen.
My Bible is next to Marx, next to
Buddhist sutras, next to Lenin,
Next to Dylan Thomas, next to the TV,
Next to the whiskey bottle, next to my rifle
And a great anthology of Gandhi’s works.
My mother always says, “Two wrongs
Don’t make a right.” My mother
Doesn’t like me owning guns
Drinking whiskey or reading Marx.
Truth is, if one is going to own a gun
It is good to know whom to aim at
If the shit goes down.
I’ll load the bullets, get my Bible,
And eliminate every Canaanite
In the Holy Land as it tells me to.
Never mind, I’ll shoot the bourgeoisie.
Never mind, I’ll put the gun away.
I’ll do the Gandhi Path. Never mind,
He made a mess out of creating the split
Between India and Pakistan. Never mind,
I’ll take a drink. Never mind, I’ll take drinks.
“I will not go gentle into that good night.”
The chained masses can join me.
At some point we’ll figure out what to do.

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