Advice from a drunken poet

You can admire some people who generally aren’t worthy of admiration.  Some of the things they do or say stand out.  Maybe their lives, or certain aspects, aren’t worth striving for but their ideas are.  Their actions shouldn’t be followed by their words heeded.

I discovered Charles Bukowski by accident.  I picked up a book I thought was written by someone else and I started reading it.  I didn’t discover until after I set it down again that it was not by who I thought it was.

The first chapter of the book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck, talks of Bukowski and a brief description of his life.  It all leads up to the point of the opening to the book, which is written as an epitaph on Bukowski’s grave, “don’t try.”

That isn’t to say you’re supposed to give up.  He never gave up.  He stopped writing for years but it burned inside of him enough to come back.  Two of his quotes that drive me to continue writing are as follows:

“I have one of two choices – stay in the post office and go crazy … or stay out here and play at writer and starve. I have decided to starve.”

“Find what you love and let it kill you.”

The first shows his resolve.  It’s given me a look on life for my children and letting them pursue what they want in life.  The second drives the point home.

Most people don’t have their dream jobs.  Few do actually.  You can stay in a job that slowly breaks you down and destroys you or you can flip off society and what they deem as unrealistic dreams and starve doing something you love rather than be miserable doing something you hate.  If you love it enough it will be enough.

The only catch to that is that you need to find something worth it.  Simply not wanting to do the job you’re doing isn’t a good enough reason.  You have to want it to burn your soul.  You have to want to live it until it takes everything you have, otherwise it will never be worth it.

Charles Bukowski is now one of my favorite poets along with Pablo Neruda and Walt Whitman.  There are others as well.  Ones who I can’t attribute a poem to their name or a name to their poem.  Poets who I haven’t discovered yet.  Women and men who write the words so they take your face in their hand and squeeze until you feel them.  It’s what I try to do as well.  Make the words felt so deep it’s like you’re experiencing them just as I have.

I’ve found that thing I want to die for.  I want to write the words that kill me.  I’m going to let it take me and spill my thoughts and dreams.  Scream my fears into the void.  Live until I die.  But most importantly, I’ll stop trying.

4 thoughts on “Advice from a drunken poet

  1. Wise and poignant text! I so get your points, and of course, you have written it all so beautifully. Go for the writing, for sure!!
    I also love Charles Bukowski.. Have enjoyed reading his novels..not least the impressions from his job at the post office. Quite funny..and sad and profound and more. x
    I once knew a rowdy woman who was taking high school classes late in life, and she only wanted to read/review Bukowski novels and poems for her assignments..but that , she was not allowed to do, so she dropped out of school. 😀 She let the beloved works of Bukowski kill her ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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