Sunday, February 05, 2006

Bukowski, Charles
(when Art and the Personal collide)

a: ...I am always fascinated when art and the personal collide. (For example, I went to a reading by Michael Cunningham, one of my favorite authors, a few months ago. And I thought he was so sexy that I wrote him this long insane letter after the reading and signing that I never sent him. But ever since, I haven't been able to read his new book...).
Another poem I wanted to mention to you is one that kind of spurred the one I wrote yesterday. It is by Charles Bukowski and it's called The Poetry Reading (if you're not familiar with it, you can find it online if you google it). Now I am not a big fan of Bukowski; I read it yesterday, and now I actually almost despise him. A lot of what he's saying is probably true, but like I always tell Wojtek, it is not enough for things to be true for it to be okay to say them. I just thought the whole tone of the poem was quite condescending and conceited. He seems to be making the assumption that one has to be "good" in order to make it, and that the reverse is equally true, that if you don't make it, you're not good; and that is an assumption I don't believe in. (But then again, that might be the assumption that someone who's made it would make, and someone like me would dispute.) As you can probably tell, in poetry I am interested in the "art" of it as much as in the "politics" (What does it take to "make"it? Who wields power? etc.) I know we kind of hit on that at the beginning of our correspondence, but I'd like to hear your reaction to that poem whenever you get the chance.

k: i just read the poem you suggested as well as two others and the first 4 or 5 paragraphs to an essay detailing the more dramaic moments of his life.
beat poetry... never really takes me anywhere. though i am a tad obsessed with sound in poetry, i find it difficult to appriciate the spoken word forms of poetry; slamming or beat, even most song lyrics, when written, are hugly lacking in appeal. they should be heard not read. perhaps bukowski was a fine reader.
i also get put off by anyone who glorifies alcoholism. and who's the fool responsible for giving him the title of "the great poet"? i'd much prefer if John Ashbury or Louis Zukofsky were awarded such a crown. and Mina Loy can be the queen.
so i guess that's how i feel about him and his poem... take from it what you will.


some interesting bukowski links:
c.b. can draw
c.b. ate my balls
a red page of poems
he has a memorial center?
bukowski zine
a legedary site (apparently)

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