Chinaski, You Suck

I read Bukowski with a smile
Toe-tapping rhythm on display
Dance with him a little while
Flowing beats, I’m swept away

He writes his mind, he seems set free
From filth to fame, all appetite
His hunger stirs my own in me
I’m a student and his ways are right

We see through the bullshit
Life’s a bitch and then you die
Each of us addicted to it
A quick lay, a stiff drink to get by

God, he understands me so well
My middle-class male anomie
If I could just find the words to tell
How we’d be friends, just him and me

“So are you a fuckin’ queer?”
I’m shocked to hear
For a dream of a dance
Maybe a little romance
From the topmost man in
My poet head canon

And I close the book and think
For a minute or maybe many more
What do I expect, what do I want
When I read the words of a man

Born seventy years before me
Made hard by his surroundings
Made cruel by his own hand
Made beautiful works, click-clack
Made his Selectric a vessel of honor
Fit for a singular, thoughtful purpose
While my macbook enables my tweets
My porn, my music, my code and poetry
Sacred and profane bound up in one
But back to Bukowski

Born seventy years before me
To a world so different
It might as well be Mars
To wars and famine and
A great hope in the future
While I was born in that future
Looking to the past to ground me
Or give me meaning or reveal a truth
To dislodge me from my time and make me
Ageless with the wonderers

The unbidden realization that every person
Is living a life equally as complex as your own.
Just as bright, as cold,
As ambitious or satisfied,
As broken over loss
Or hopeful in spite of it.

So Chuck.
I write you from beyond your grave
And I hope a few things: that you are well
That you’ve learned to be a better person
That I’ll learn to stop expecting so much
Or that I’ll stop expecting to learn so much
From a fucker and a dreamer like you
Not always in that

Takeshi Takahashi

Takeshi Takahashi