bukowski said,,
he had a bluebird
in his heart….
he said,
he tried
to drown it
in cheap whiskey-
to smother it
in the smoke,
of a myriad
of hand rolled
cigarettes.. yet,
in the end,
he told us,
he knew,
that it was there.
and he knew-
it was a bluebird…

still i wonder,
just how deep
he had to sink
into the quagmire
of his own
scarred psyche-
how many nights
he had to lay awake
staring into
the cold, black,
eyes of self-
before he heard
that single blessed note…
before it broke thru.
before it rose above
the mire of
life’s melancholy
melody…and when it did-

when at last,
it broke thru,
his delusion distilled,
and for the first time
he held it close
late at night
in the dark
when no one else
was around-

was it then
that he realized
it was never
really a bluebird
that he was trying
to drown
in cheap whiskey
or to smother
in the fog
of yet another
hand rolled cigarette?
was it then
that he realized
it was never
really a bluebird
that he desired
to hold ever so tightly
to himself
as he drifted
off to sleep
listening to
the bittersweet song
that only he
could hear
alone, in the dark
when no one else
could see?

and if it was then,
did he weep?
i for one
believe he did….

Posted in response to Chelsea Ann Owens Terrible Poetry Contest call for bastardized poetry. (Well, that’s not exactly what she called it….) Mine is not a parody, but rather a response.

If you have never heard the poem, I highly suggest you allow Bukowski himself to speak it to you. It will be worth it. Even if you think you don’t like poetry.

37 thoughts on “Bukowski

  1. I think he wept. Bukowski is one of my favorite writers/poets and “Bluebird” – both sad and a little scary – is an amazing poem. Your response to him is excellent. And I think he’d heard the bluebird his entire life and it just changed its tone through the years.

    Liked by 1 person

      • He was pretty amazing and I wonder if he knew how much folks liked and appreciated him today if he’d care. From “Factotum” is this line that might be my favorite analogy of all time: “Carmen was wearing a very tight knitted dress that fit her like a balloon fits the trapped air.”

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Uhm, I thought it was a terrible poetry contest. This was not terrible, not even close to terrible. It was a great response to the poem. I think I read the original poem before, but it was far better listening to him read it. It made a much deeper impact – yeah, listening to it is enough to make a grown man weep….


  3. I hadn’t come across Bukowski before. I’m sure I should have. It’s so good to listen to work like that being spoken out loud, as it should be. I always read poetry and lyrical work out loud. It makes such a difference. I really liked your tribute piece too, which I read loudly to myself (the cat was out).


  4. It was a tough call, but you did Bukouski’s amazing poem justice. I’m not well-read on American poets – probably because my mother didn’t have access to them, and she was my greatest influence – but I’m learning.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. AHA! This is my favorite by you thus far. To deconstruct Bukowski (who can be so frustrating to read at times) with such humanity is an exemplary task — you emulated the tone and the flow so very well, with a certain personal tangent. I love it, Violet!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve just realised that my oddly sarcastic comment could easily be misconstrued. He reminded me of an arrogant British poet I don’t like, and it might have seemed as if I was dropping all American poets into the same category.I’m not; there’s a plethora of excellent American poets.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. my eyes are not worthy of reading this. thank you. Buk is my favorite writer of all time. back in the day before all regulations, my uncle would send me in to buy cigarettes from the Pink Elephant on Western Ave in East Hollywood. I had no idea that in a few years after that i would be an admirer of his work.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. If this is “bastardized poetry”, give me more 🙂
    I’ve heard the name often but never followed up. Thanks for the intro to Charles Bukowski.
    P.S. Realized this evening… I have to get out more, lol.


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