Poetry: Enigmatic Paradigm


Bukowski said
he dedicated much of his life
to avoiding people.
Humanity, he said.
Yet he wrote about people.
So, I assume he failed,
or he lied.

An allegedly unwilling celebrity
bemoaning attention,
lambasting unlively banality,
complaining constantly
about women. His ladies.
Many men, too.

I understand the blessing
of being alone.
I like many fine souls, yet I confess
to not always being kind
(yet not exactly cruel) to
undeserving deplorables.

Hank asks; is he ugly,
unkind (sometimes),
misanthropic, or misogynist?
Some thought so. Maybe he was.
I really don’t know.

Crackpot, with no hope of love?
Bitter and unfair?
Did he put glass in our sandbox?
Was he without morals or mercy?
(Maybe he was.)

Is he my phantom’s mask?
or am I his? Or yours?
What is truth? What love?

I neither know nor care
what most others thought
of Charles Bukowski.
He’s long dead. But
I read and re-read his poetry and prose.
I must have some reason.
Do I want to know my reason?
Do I care?
Or, is this one of those things?
His paradigm, or mine?


Look both ways when considering and discerning humanity.
Mind the gaps. Every day is judgment day.

7 thoughts on “Poetry: Enigmatic Paradigm

  1. Wonderful essay, Bill. I think this could easily be linked to Ingrid’s dVerse prompt yesterday about Muses. Buk feels like he has a Muse-like aspect to him for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Always good to ask the questions, even if you don’t have answers. I find the poets I’m drawn to speak to me with their verse. I feel a sense of kinship. Not sure if that’s true for you. I enjoyed this, Bill😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sue. Charles Bukowski was called, “poet laureate of L.A. lowlife,” “the enfant terrible of the Meat School poets,” “the prophet of the underemployed” and “a flamboyant provincial.” The best I can do is “a character.”

      Liked by 1 person

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