There are worse things
than being alone
but it often takes
decades to realize this
and most often when you do
it’s too late
and there’s nothing worse
than too late.
― Charles Bukowski
Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) is one of those poets who said everything that needed to be said in his works and turned the most wry of words into poetry. Happy Birthday!
A lovely/lonely photo of Bukowski.
“Landscape with the Fall of Icarus” by Pieter Bruegel (or a copy of the lost original made by him), 1558.
William Carlos Williams describes the Icarus of this painting as:
a splash quite unnoticed
W. H. Auden, focusing on the inability of everyday life to appreciate the extraordinary, writes:
In Breughel’s Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
She is neurotic but she will do
that’s what they all are anyway,
bathe in the spark till it lasts and
let the rest burn her dry bones away.
She is neurotic but tears turn to ember
when words touches her pen, confusion to cinder,
lust and glory in her veins she carries
which are drying faster than her womb. Soon
she will know it too if she doesn’t already.
She is neurotic and now they publicize it too
There are voices and there are murmurs
on the streets and in her head. They do not
let her sleep, not in a quiet country house and
not in a crowded city where sound never rests.
Husbands and Doctors and still other voices
dead for centuries, frighten her in her dreams.
They slide their cold hands under the blanket
and touch her not-yet-grown breasts
they ask her not to talk
they ask her to have patience
they ask her not to write
It is not yet time, they say.
She lays awake—
There will be someone who will want to hear her
there must be— she thinks
Only, they don’t.
She is mumbling again, they say
She speaks Greek, they say
She can’t find the way and therefore sits by the yew tree, they say.
She lays afloat—
Maybe they should not listen after all.
This is no place for a woman writer
This is no place for a woman at all.
Soiled blood clots and penetrates the crooked edges
The child drinks it,
Draining every bit of my body, preserving the integrity of Madhavi
I belong to her.
Do not search me for your presence
Drink my blood but she gnaws on my marrow.
Silent rushes of pain gush through my uterus
You pick your boxes and disappear—
They are books that are your luggage but they were not books that I kept,
Your soul perched through the veins of the letters were in my possession.
The duration was short but the period perennial.
Wash my feet and put green nail colour on it
The leaves will grow soon out of it in winter;
And if they do not then my nine barren and one arthritic nail will
Melt itself in the blood the child spits out.
This is an old poem of mine first published in Extract(s) http://dailydoseoflit.com/2013/03/26/poem-anjumon-sahin/.
As I re-post it, I resist the urge to edit the poem. Yes, maybe today if I were to (re)write it, it would not have been the same but I like the rawness and the unpolishedness of it, for that is how I began and have been consistently trying to improve.
And then it finally happened,
I dated a poet
and even an MBA.
There he was,
and I hoped
there would be no
He had the words to express
his love for me,
his hatred for the bourgeoisie,
his desire for change
his hopes from his words.
And then it happened,
I listened, smiled and wondered,
Is this the End?