There are lucky poets with
Faces perfectly matching their art.
Bukowski was one.
Look at Jeffers, his stern & chiseled face looks
Sculpted seaside by eons of briny storms.
Most poets don't have the right face for their work.
This seems to be a matter of DNA, but Bukowski
Held us responsible for our faces, easy for him to say.
What I cannot stand are poet's faces on
Covers of poetry periodicals, wearing
Scarves around their oh so delicate necks.
Ginsberg said of Dylan that he had the artistic instinct to
Refuse being anyone's trained seal.
That instinct, and disgust at aiming for cheap applause, ought to be
Required characteristics for poets.
How can they pose like that, let me tell them
YOU look absurdly pretentious!
Next, we expect to see them in Hawaii wearing tourists’ leis, or at
Chevy's under a giant clown sombrero.
After writing some great poem they'll dishonor their art
(Some of the scarf men are great poets, all the sadder)
Exclaiming with a huge phony-ass grin,
"I'm going to Disneyland".
They need a huge shot of gravitas, STAT!
Since Jeffers' death the marketplace flies have ruined
Tor House and Hawk Tower, and his sacred old neighborhood.
This is what he told us would happen.
Let us hope his other dark prophecies about our kind are not so right on.
Thank God, you can still climb down from his house to the surf,
His great gray rocks still holding the line, his
Hawks still peering down from above.
My mother calls from the hospital
Recovering from hip surgery and she
Wants me to bring her some novels.
I bring her two by Fante.
Like most of his recent readers I found him due to
Next day my mother tells me a nurse saw them and said
She too is a fan, and
She too followed Bukowski to him.
This make my world a little saner and less lonely.
SAVING THE WORLD
Down at the river I found
two styrofoam hunks
that became ships
and at age 60 I became
10 years old!
Near the shore a current
swirled upstream and took the
ships up, until they turned in the river's strong flow
and charged with the river.
My mission was to force them back.
I was saving the world.
The pills began to kick in.
After that the handwriting on the wall said,
"This is the way of the world. Has anyone seen a flag
Unfurled just as the
Battle is lost?
NO, and so why have you waved yours aloft for no win, for
No cause, and expected not to pay the costs?"
While I pondered that, the
Waitress returned with my drinks:
A double 151, a double Myer's Rum, and a cold
Bud to chase.
My third round. At this pace
The phantom wall writer won't tire out before I will.
I'll keel over too drunk to read just as he
Writes the answers to all the
What is life?
Is there a purpose?
There on the wall, finally the answers, and I'll be
Drooling drunk as they pass by unseen.
At the end of my third round
"Talking back" to the phantom was my plan and so I
Headed back to my room.
The keyhole wildly danced, but finally I got the key in and opened the door.
Found the usual little pad of paper and cheap pen.
Next morning I got up and this poem you now read is what I found.
The guests are gone and
I can finally
Flip (remote) in hand, in
Lazy Boy chair,
A terrible creature on the wing.
With two of us hitting on her, the
Bartender hollered out "Last Call".
I bent down to her ear and said,
"Well, baby, only one of us can really
Make your choice."
—Medusa, with thanks to David Wright for his fine poems today!
Photos in this column can be enlarged by clicking on them once,
then click on the X in the top right corner to come back