I was feeling inspired by some Charles Bukowski poetry because it’s the type of poetry that speaks to me. On some levels, I can appreciate nature-based poetry that’s a bit more flowery and abstract and even, if done right, rhyming poetry, but my favorite poetry is like Bukowski’s, where it cuts to the bone and rips your fucking throat out. It’s gritty and reality. For two I’d recommend that got my creative gears rolling, try “Safe,” and “hell is a lonely place.” I don’t come to poetry for escape; I come for catharsis. And here is a reflection of that catharsis with this inspired poem. 

morning traffic,
no air condition in the car,
and sweat, sweat everywhere.
heading to fulfill the routine,
do this, do that, others
do the same this and that.
their skulls show through their faces.

rows and rows of students,
professor at the front,
going through the routine, too,
this and that, to become
this and that.
their skulls show through their faces.

workers line the polished floors,
the boss in the air-conditioned cubicle,
up-keeping the routine for pennies,
making this and that
for others that want this and that.
their skulls show through their faces.

evening traffic,
to come home where
we maintain the routine of love
it’s moldy now, old this’s and that’s
longing for past this’s and that’s.
their skulls show through their faces.

falling into cool covers
that heat up over regretted
this’s and that’s,
anxiety spilling stains over
future this’s and that’s.
maintain the routine.
their skulls show through their faces.

4 thoughts

  1. Like you, I prefer realistic gritty poetry. Abstact, lyrical poetry has its place, and that place is usually all over my Twitter feed. It all reads the same to me. And the poets seem a bit pretentious. Give me simple and raw all day long.

    I like what you tried to do here. You stuck your pen into the daily grind, our struggle to get through another day of routine garbage. I’d like to see more of this type of poetry from you. My only fault with it was it lacked a bit of emotion. Or the emotion was under the surface but you needed that killer line to bring it out. Overall I did enjoy the piece. Keep plugging away, man.

    Also, watched this yesterday. Tom Waits reading a Bukowski poem? Yes please


    1. Holy fuck, is there a better marriage than that, of Wait’s voice with Bukowski’s poetry? Goddamn that’s good. And another killer poem. I know I reference it a lot, especially humorously, but the poem reflected, perhaps, in a way an optimistic reading of Nighthawks. In my head at least.

      And thanks. I think you’re right. Oddly enough, it does read quite detached, which maybe says something about me in and of itself. Definitely gonna keep plugging the pen into the grime, though.


      1. Yeah, I watched it a couple of times yesterday and again this morning. Once again, simple words doing the heavy lifting. I wish I saw more of this poetry on social media instead of “his eyes trespassed on my soul like a melancholy moon.” Lol

        Yeah, you just needed a gut punch somewhere on there. Still solid, though


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