ashottothetemple

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"a sickness?"
by
Charles Bukowski

yes, I'm a Romantic, overly sentimental,
something of a hero worshiper,
and I do
not apologize for this.
instead, I revered Hemingway,
at the end of his endurance,
sticking the
barrel of the gun into his trembling
mouth;
and I think
of Van Gogh slicing off part of his ear
for a whore
and then blasting
himself away in the
corfield;
then there was Chatterton drinking rat
poison (an extremely painful way to die
even if you are a
plagiarist);
and Ezra Pound dragged thorugh
the dusty streets of Italy in a cage
and later confined to a
madhouse;
Celine robbed, hooted at, tormented by
the French;
Fitzgerald who finally quit drinking only to drop dead
soon thereafter;
Mozart in a pauper's grave;
Beethoven deaf;
Bierce vanishing into the wastelands of Mexico;
Hart Carane leaping over the ship's rail and
into the propeller;
Tolstoy accepting Christ and giving all his
possession so tthe
poor;
T. Lautrec
with his short, deformed
body
and perfectly developed
spirit,
drawing everything he
saw
and more;
D.H. Lawrence
dying of TB
and preparing his own Ship Of Death
while writing his
last
great poems;
Li Po
setting his poems
on fire
and siling them down the
river;
Sherwood Andeerson dying
of peritonitis
after swalling a
toothpick
(he was at a party
drinking
martinis
when
the olive went in,
toothpick and
all);
Wilfred Owens killed
in the first Great War
while saving the world for
Democracy;
Socrates drinking
hemlock with a
smile;
Nietzsche gone mad;
De Quincey addicted to opium;
Doestoevsky standing blindfolded before a
firing squad;
Hamsun eating his own
flesh;
Harry Crosby commting
suicide hand in hand with his
whore;
Tchaikovsky trying to
evade his homosexuality
by marrying a female
opera star;
Henry Miller, in his old
age, obsessed with
young Oriental
girls;
John Dos Passos going
from fervent left-winger
to ultraconservative
Repulican;
Aldoush Huxley taking
visionary
drugs and
reaping imaginary
riches;
Brahms in his youth,
working on ways
to build a powerful
body
because he felt that
the mind
was not
enough;
Villon barred from Paris,
not for his ideas
but rather because he was a
thief;
Thomas Wolfe who felt the couldn't
go home again
until
he was
famous;
and Faulkner:
when he got his morning mail,
he'd hold the envelope up
to the light
and if he couldn't see
a check in there
he'd throw it
away;
William Burroughs who shot and
killed his
wife
(he missed the apple
perched
on her
head);
Norman Mailer knifing his
wife; no apple
involved;
Salinger not believing
the world was worth writing
for;
Jean Julius Christian Sibelius,
a proud and beautiful man
composer fo powerful music
who after his 40th year
went into hiding and was seldom
seen
again;
nobody is sure who
Shakespare
was;
nightlife killed Truman
Capote;
Allen Ginsberg becoming a
college
profesor;
William Saroyan marrying the
same woman twice
(but
by then
he wasn't going anywhere
anyhow);
John Fante being sliced away
bit by bit
by the surgeon's knife
before my very
eyes;
Robinson Jeffers
(the proudest poet of them all)
writing
begging letters to those in power.

of course, there's more
to tell
and I could go
on and on
but even I
(the Romantic)
begin to
tire.

still, these men and women
-past and present-
have created and are creating
new worlds for
the rest of us,
despite the fire and despite the ice,
despite the
hostility of governments,
despit the ingrown distrust of the masses,
only to die
singly
and usually
alone.

you've got to admire them all
for the courage,
for the effort,
for their best and their
worst.

some gang!
they are a source of light!
they are a source of joy!

all of them
heroes you can be
grateful for
and admire from afar
as you wake up
from your ordinary dreams
each morning.

ashottothetemple's Works

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Poetry (Personal)2004-08-21Things I love to Hate about you.
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Poetry (Personal)2004-08-08Hidden
Poetry (Fantasy)2004-08-08Leprechaun
Poetry (Rage)2004-08-08Violence
Poetry (Love)2004-08-08My Dear
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