Monday, April 7, 2014

if we take
-Charles Bukowski

if we take what we can see -
the engines driving us mad,
lovers finally hating;
this fish in the market
staring upward into our minds;
flowers rotting, flies web-caught;
riots, roars of caged lions
clowns in love with dollar bills,
nations moving people like pawns;
daylight thieves with beautiful
nighttime wives and wines;
the crowded jails,
the commonplace unemployed,
dying grass, 2-bit fires;
men old enough to love the grave.

These things, and others, in content
show life swinging on a rotten axis.

But they've left us a bit of music
and a spiked show in the corner,
a jigger of scotch, a blue necktie,
a small volume of poems by Rimbaud,
a horse running as if the devil were
twisting his tail
over bluegrass and screaming, and then,
love again
like a streetcar turning the corner
on time,
the city waiting,
the wine and the flowers,
the water walking across the lake
and summer and winter and summer and summer
and winter again.

I love the progression of negative to relatively positive in this poem. If we take the bad with the not-so-bad, we can achieve contentment. There are plenty of terrible things that go on in this world that are disruptive in our lives. These things can consume us if we do not remember to appreciate the mediocre things that life has to offer. Thank the gods for red nail polish, or the ability to sweep a floor, and from there your realization of these overlooked mundane objects/ actions can grow into satisfaction… or better yet, something beautiful.


1 comment:

  1. One of my favorite poems of all time. Every couple of years, I look for a copy that I can share with a friend. Thanks for posting.