• Bluebird
    • I'm not a big fan of poetry. While I can certainly appreciate the technical prowess involved in writing it, it's rare that I find a poem that moves me. Shakespeare fascinates me. How on earth could he be so damn prolific in iambic pentameter? I'd have a difficult time writing even one sonnet, let alone entire plays in it. Absolutely stunning.

      Until about fifteen years ago, I thought of poetry as a highly skilled art form that wasn't really my cup of tea. I thought of it the way that some people think of ballet... technically beautiful, but boring.

      Then I met Charles Bukowski. For the first time ever, I found that I preferred a writer's poetry to his prose. It's honest and raw. It doesn't rhyme and it doesn't follow any rules. It is forthright and powerful. It speaks to me in a way that no other poet has ever been able to. Even though my life is vastly different than Bukowski's, I can relate.

      Bluebird was published in Bukowski's book "The Last Night of the Earth Poems" circa 1992. It is one of the first poems I read by Bukowski and it it still and will always be one of my favorites. It is part of what makes The Last Night of the Earth Poems my favorite book.

      there's a bluebird in my heart that
      wants to get out
      but I'm too tough for him,
      I say, stay in there, I'm not going
      to let anybody see
      you.
      there's a bluebird in my heart that
      wants to get out
      but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
      cigarette smoke
      and the whores and the bartenders
      and the grocery clerks
      never know that
      he's
      in there.

      there's a bluebird in my heart that
      wants to get out
      but I'm too tough for him,
      I say,
      stay down, do you want to mess
      me up?
      you want to screw up the
      works?
      you want to blow my book sales in
      Europe?
      there's a bluebird in my heart that
      wants to get out
      but I'm too clever, I only let him out
      at night sometimes
      when everybody's asleep.
      I say, I know that you're there,
      so don't be
      sad.
      then I put him back,
      but he's singing a little
      in there, I haven't quite let him
      die
      and we sleep together like
      that
      with our
      secret pact
      and it's nice enough to
      make a man
      weep, but I don't
      weep, do
      you?

       
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