Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Round and round we go.

I haven't posted here in a while. Not because I haven't been reading; quite the opposite, I have been reading so much it has been difficult to focus on one thing long enough to write about it. Several months ago I discovered a nearby thrift store and began coming home every week with my arms full of 50¢ books. Another neighborhood bookstore has a 25¢ bin (and a dollar pile) that has yielded all sorts of interesting things (Shirley Jackson's Life Among the Savages being the latest acquisition). I took an alternate route home one day and stepped into another used bookstore, a subterranean cave lined with shelves that went up practically to the ceiling, presided over by two grizzled old men and their dogs, Xena and Jellicoe. (I came away from that one with an 1896 edition of Sir Walter Scott's Marmion). The new shelves in my bedroom and the old bookcases in the other bedroom are quickly filling up; soon my apartment may disappear altogether beneath the endless rows of books.

There's a Bukowski poem that is going round and round in my head these days. It's called mind and heart, the last poem in one of his posthumous volumes.

unaccountably we are alone
forever alone
and it was meant to be
that way,
it was never meant to be any other way -
and when the death struggle
the last thing I wish to see
a ring of human faces
hovering over me -
better just my old friends,
the walls of myself,
let only them be there

I have been alone but seldom
I have satisfied my thirst
at the well
of my self
and that wine was good,
the best I ever had,
and tonight
staring into the dark
I now finally understand
the dark and the
light and everything
in between.

peace of mind and heart
when we accept what
having been
born into this
strange life
we must accept
the wasted gamble of our
and take some satisfaction in
the pleasure of
leaving it all

cry not for me.

grieve not for me.

what I've written
forget it

drink from the well
of your self
and begin

Bukowski, Charles. Come on In!: New Poems. Ecco, 2006. pp 278-279.