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305th Virtual Poetry Circle

Welcome to the 305th Virtual Poetry Circle!

Remember, this is just for fun and is not meant to be stressful.

Keep in mind what Molly Peacock’s book suggested.

Look at a line, a stanza, sentences, and images; describe what you like or don’t like; and offer an opinion. If you missed my review of her book, check it out here.

Today’s poem is from Charles Bukowski:

The Secret of My Endurance

I still get letters in the mail, mostly from cracked-up
men in tiny rooms with factory jobs or no jobs who are
living with whores or no woman at all, no hope, just
booze and madness.
Most of their letters are on lined paper
written with an unsharpened pencil
or in ink
in tiny handwriting that slants to the
left

and the paper is often torn
usually halfway up the middle
and they say they like my stuff,
I’ve written from where it’s at, and
they recognize that. truly, I’ve given them a second
chance, some recognition of where they’re at.

it’s true, I was there, worse off than most
of them.
but I wonder if they realize where their letters
arrive?
well, they are dropped into a box
behind a six-foot hedge with a long driveway leading
to a two car garage, rose garden, fruit trees,
animals, a beautiful woman, mortgage about half
paid after a year, a new car,
fireplace and a green rug two-inches thick
with a young boy to write my stuff now,
I keep him in a ten-foot cage with a
typewriter, feed him whiskey and raw whores,
belt him pretty good three or four times
a week.
I’m 59 years old now and the critics say
my stuff is getting better than ever.

What do you think?

  • Anna (Diary of an Eccentric)

    I definitely need to read more Bukowski.

  • Great poet, love his work. This is a favourite of mine

    the bluebird

    there’s a bluebird in my heart that
    wants to get out
    but I’m too tough for him,
    I say, stay in there, I’m not going
    to let anybody see
    you.

    there’s a bluebird in my heart that
    wants to get out
    but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
    cigarette smoke
    and the whores and the bartenders
    and the grocery clerks
    never know that
    he’s
    in there.

    there’s a bluebird in my heart that
    wants to get out
    but I’m too tough for him
    I say,
    stay down, do you want to mess
    me up?
    you want to screw up the
    works?
    you want to blow my book sales in
    Europe?

    there’s a bluebird in my heart that
    wants to get out
    but I’m too clever, I only let him out
    at night sometimes

    when everybody’s asleep.
    I say, I know that you’re there,
    so don’t be
    sad.

    then I put him back,
    but he’s singing a little
    in there, I haven’t quite let him
    die
    and we sleep together like
    that
    with our
    secret pact
    and it’s enough to
    make a man
    weep, but I don’t
    weep, do
    you?

  • Beth Hoffman

    I like the poem very much, but what kept me from loving it was the voice. His voice doesn’t have the cadence his poetry deserves. When I read the poem to myself, I was drawn to it much more than when I listened.