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« Gregory Pardlo: Pick of the Week [ed. Terence Winch] | Main | Bach [by Lewis Saul] »

June 05, 2023


Say what you like:
Your life is your life
your life to live a soap opera
but your life
your death too if that's what you want
and some guys want it some women too
I knew a few who thought they
could beat death in a card game
even a Tarot card game.
If I wanted to die I'd just do it
drive into a telephone pole
in the death car.
How romantic! What bullshit.
Your life is yours and you are the hero of your novel.
As my uncle used to say, no one can die for you.

I adore this one, though it's always struck me as not terribly on-brand for Bukowski. And the response in the comment inspires me to write my own.

The Sensible Heart

- after Charles Bukowski’s “The Laughing Heart”

"The gods wait to delight/in you?"
Oh, come on, Charles,
let’s not get carried away.

Let’s not forget the MS patients,
how they die. Or the Hiroshima babies
who were melted in 1945.

That was two years after I was born
and started seeking light–
a search that’s lasted 80 years.

I found some, but also some darkness.
If the gods would grant
all of us only that much, I might

believe in them, and even call them
marvelous– but would not
find delight in any of the bastards.

-Ken Lauter

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That Ship Has Sailed
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BAP ad
"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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