Treasure Island

Stephen Roxborough

(June 4,1953 / Albany, New York)

why Bukowski inspires

why Charles Bukowski inspires flabby old white
guys to remain true to cheap booze, endurance
and unadulterated sexual poetics:

i was gonna write a long winded 10 page scholarly
essay on the zen of imbalance but then i drank
too much beer and came to my senses

because Bukowski told us to forget about fame
and reputation and snooty literary tomes
too pretentious to open or puke on

Buk encouraged us to love ourselves first
then love women all kinds of women in all kinds
of loving lusty immortal impermanent ways

celebrate the seedy! (never forget one low rent whore
artful alcoholic or used car pimp has more soul
than all of manicured suburbia combined)

elevate cramped roach infested rooms he counseled
with refined classical vibe and drive beatup cars
on the grinding pulse of rock 'n roll

he urged himself to drink beer and more beer and
cheap wine and more beer and said red wine is better
than white wine unless you only have white

Buk told us to fail and try and fail again and try again
and succeed at your own risk and fail and try
and fail and fail but never be a failure

keep that phone number listed he advised because
you never know when luck and a beautiful dame with
great legs wants to give you an unexpected call

Hank warned stay out of churches and chess games
but frequent the local race track religiously and hit
your keyboard like a heavyweight in a title fight

he showed us why it's better to go down swinging
early and make a strong comeback later than dance
all night and get decked by a sucker punch at last call

Submitted: Friday, December 17, 2004
Edited: Friday, December 17, 2004
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  • Rich Hanson (12/17/2004 6:56:00 PM)

    Superb rendition. I've not read Bukowski. Your poem makes me regret and want to correct my shortcoming in this regard (Report) Reply

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