By Charles Bukowski
Charles Bukowski is considered one of America's best-known modern writers of poetry and prose, and, many could declare, its so much influential and imitated poet. He used to be born in Andernach, Germany, and raised in la, the place he lived for 50 years. He released his first tale in 1944, whilst he was once twenty-four, and commenced writing poetry on the age of thirty-five.
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Extra resources for Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame: Selected Poems 1955-1973
133 in the most decent sometimes sun 134 there is the softsmoke feeling from urns 135 and the canned sound of old battleplanes 136 and if you go inside and run your finger 137 along the window ledge you'll find 138 dirt, maybe even earth. 139 and if you look out the window 140 there will be the day, and as you 141 get older you'll keep looking 142 keep looking 143 sucking your tongue in a little 144 ah ah no no maybe 145 some do it naturally 146 some obscenely 147 everywhere. [Page 71] Bukowski, Charles:sway with me [from Burning in Water Drowning in Flame: Selected Poems 1955‐1973 (1997), Black Sparrow Press] Page 51 bukowski, charles ‐ burning in water drowning in flame ‐ selected poems 1955‐1973 (1997) 1 sway with me, everything sad‐‐‐ 2 madmen in stone houses 3 without doors, 4 lepers streaming love and song 5 frogs trying to figure 6 the sky; 7 sway with me, sad things‐‐‐ 8 fingers split on a forge 9 old age like breakfast shells 10 used books, used people 11 used flowers, used love 12 I need you 13 I need you 14 I need you: 15 it has run away 16 like a horse or a dog, 17 dead or lost 18 or unforgiving.
34 we can't make any money 35 awake. [Page 79] Bukowski, Charles:lilies in my brain [from Burning in Water Drowning in Flame: Selected Poems 1955‐1973 (1997), Black Sparrow Press] 1 the lilies storm my brain 2 by god by god 3 like nazi storm troopers! 4 do you think I'm going 5 tizzy? big dogs make things 20 concrete 21 don't they? 22 a big dog to wrinkle his 23 snot‐nose 24 like this lake gypped of 25 clear surface 26 by a quick and clever 27 wind. the rest: 42 lilies in my brain 43 hoping good times Page 59 bukowski, charles ‐ burning in water drowning in flame ‐ selected poems 1955‐1973 (1997) 44 thinking old times: 45 Capone and the diamonds 46 Charlie Chaplin 47 Laurel and Hardy 48 Clara Bow 49 the rest.
29 now I get up early and 30 go down to the loading docks and wait for 31 cabbages 32 oranges 33 potatoes 34 to fall from the trucks or to be 35 thrown away. [Page 57] 36 by noon I have eaten and am asleep 37 dreaming of paying the rent 38 with numbered chunks of plastic 39 issued by a better 40 world. [Page 58] Bukowski, Charles:the workers [from Burning in Water Drowning in Flame: Selected Poems 1955‐1973 (1997), Black Sparrow Press] Page 39 bukowski, charles ‐ burning in water drowning in flame ‐ selected poems 1955‐1973 (1997) 1 they laugh continually 2 even when 3 a board falls down 4 and destroys a face 5 or distorts a 6 body 7 they continue to 8 laugh, 9 when the color of the eye 10 becomes a fearful pale 11 because of the poor 12 light 13 they still laugh; 14 wrinkled and imbecile 15 at an early age 16 they joke about it: 17 a man who looks sixty 18 will say 19 I'm 32, and 20 then they'll laugh 21 they'll all laugh; 22 they are sometimes let 23 outside for a little air 24 but are chained to return 25 by chains they would not 26 break 27 if they could; 28 even outside, among 29 free men 30 they continue to laugh, 31 they walk about 32 with a hobbled and inane 33 gait 34 as if they'd lost their 35 senses; outside 36 they chew a little bread, 37 haggle, sleep, count their pennies, 38 gaze at the clock 39 and return; [Page 59] Page 40 bukowski, charles ‐ burning in water drowning in flame ‐ selected poems 1955‐1973 (1997) 40 sometimes in the confines 41 they even grow serious 42 a moment, they speak of 43 Outside, of how horrible 44 it must be 45 to be 46 shut Outside 47 forever, never to be let 48 back in; 49 it's warm as they work 50 and they sweat a 51 bit, 52 but they work hard and 53 well, they work so hard 54 the nerves revolt 55 and cause trembling, 56 but often they are 57 praised by those 58 who have risen up 59 out of them 60 like stars, 61 and now the stars 62 watch 63 watch too 64 for those few 65 who might attempt a 66 slower pace or 67 show disinterest 68 or falsify an 69 illness 70 in order to gain 71 rest (rest must be 72 earned to gain strength 73 for a more perfect 74 job).
Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame: Selected Poems 1955-1973 by Charles Bukowski