On Poetry and Culture Shock

Bukowski 1

I still don’t know if I like Charles Bukowski: I haven’t read enough of his works. I recently bought a book, Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit. It’s second hand, and only after coming home and browsing quickly through it I saw this note on the table of contents, in soft pencil, next to the title “5 dollars”:

Gave to Steve Daniels on eve of move to Bulgaria at the Ritz. Aug 1995

Someone could write a novel starting from this volume of poetry. Who was Daniels? The syntax is ambiguous. Who went to live in Bulgaria: the owner of the book, or Daniels? and what made whoever it was go to live in Bulgaria? (Steve, have you googled your own name? Hi!)

I have googled for that poem "5 dollars" with no luck. I'm very curious about it. As I say, I still don't know if I like Bukowski. The legend is bigger than the poet and that's normally a bad thing. I've looked for a short poem so that you can judge too. I've taken plenty of liberties

40,000 flies.

torn by a temporary wind
we come back together again.

check walls and ceilings for cracks and
the eternal spiders.

wonder if there will be one moe

40,000 flies running the arms of my
I met a million dollar baby in a
5 and 10

Arms of my soul?

What kind of shit is

It's so easy to be a poet
and so hard to be
a man.

40.000 moscas.

Destrozados po un viento pasajero
volvemos juntos, otra vez

inspeccionamos paredes y techos en busca de grietas y de
las eternas arañas

me pregunto si volverá a haber una

40.000 moscas recorren los brazos de mi
"Conocí a una tía de puta madre en un
todo a

¿los brazos de mi alma?

¿Qué coño es

Qué fácil es ser poeta
y qué difícil es ser

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