the love song of Aleistair Crowley

Mr. Bukowski:

there’s a song by T.S. Eliot
that goes for miles,
makes poets angry,
prosets, too
(you know the one,
fer fuck-sakes);

but I’m not sure
you ever tried too hard,
Chinaski:
poetry, prose–
that shit was something
to do between smokes,
or when the hangover
turned mystical,
and your flop-house buddies
bored your secret,
aristocratic soul.

i heard the corner bar
is almost extinct
in your native L.A.,
and i heard
when you backed so far
into a corner
you could only come out swinging
or drunk
or both.

What advice
(badvice?)
for me, or my peers
who would pick up
your cum-smeared torch?
your shit-stinking torch?
your union-man,
hypocrite-killer,
Motel No-tell torch,
your torch, man?!

(nothing comes)

dear Charles, I don’t
know if you’re interested
down in that grave’s
endless soliloquy
but
here’s some
early winter poesy…

and i only send my own
because I’m not well read
which means i don’t read much
and what i have seen lately
was a book on crack dealers in the 90s
which should have been FULL of poetry
but instead was muttering on about how
“the problem is structural”

“the problem is structural,
the problem is structural.”
don’t i know it, Chuck,
when all the stuff
purveyed as academic truth
is written in prose
like the prosaic is somehow
cleaner and neater
you’d wanna take it to dinner
see a movie
have a few drinks
maybe try to get into the pants
of truth-in-prose
maybe cop a feel
of prosey truth
maybe get it on
and in the hangover dawn
hope against all hope
that you didn’t fuck the truth last night

oh.
you did.

omygod you got prosey crust
and sore balls from the truth–
did you lose control with the truth?
did you let yourself go
when the truth had you
in its long arms?
did you come in the truth?
did you?

you did.

you sent your gift of life into the truth–
you might have…well,
surely truth doesn’t use birth control!!!!
you see where all this
(albeit hetero) linearity
is going? prosey truth is nothing to court lightly
you get on that dramatic arc and you’re
on for the long haul
for the ride
you might as well have a few drinks and get laid
because there’s
no stopping
the prosaic truth
once you get it
aroused
you’ve got FIVE FUCKEN ACTS
to get through.

[lessee, here,
there’s the pick-up line,
the grope,
the grope returned,
the undressing,
the make-out,
the slip-away]

but poetic truth
the country cousin
the truth that doesn’t care
about linearity
about what tired pick-up lines
you be usin’

poetic truth
can be brief
can do you in the train station washroom
will just as likely kill you
as sex you

poetic truth
wants to tattoo your face
poetic truth
gave you HPV
gave you Lerpes (lip herpes)
calls your wife
stares down the barrel
of your mid-life crisis
and laughs and laughs
poetic truth
is in the crack dealer ethnography
but buried in there
like Ezra Pound is buried in
The Wasteland
like Melville’s stoney heart
is buried in Woodlawn
but not really
not when you consider
the prose got to him first
the prosey truth

no
poetic truth
should
by rights
fill as many
academic journals
teeming over the desks
of professors and scientists
clogging up the libraries
(which are quickly turning into
shopping malls)
whole trade journals on mining
and plumbing
written only in poetry
car manuals
diet books
serious inquiries into airborne pathogens
haphazard oblique references
to misremembered Bonapartist mumblings
ALL IN POETRY!!!!

you see it, don’t you, Charles?
how poetry is the
future?
how poetic truth fits the email form
where prose fails
prose lacks the control
which the future
demands!

yeah, poetic truth
and i’m sure you’re
thinking
“fuck, what a
LONG OUIJA MESSAGE,”
and
“CHRIST, THIS IS ALL TOO MUCH
about poetic truth,”
but you wait
you wait until
YOU COMPLETELY DECOMPOSE
and start turning to humus
(no, not chick-pea dip)
and violating prosaic truth
ALL OVER THE PLACE
with your flowers
with your wormy verse
(again)

but i digress

i was over looking out the window
at my escape hatch
my six-shooter
my portable phone booth
my Firefly
and i thought
“i wonder where
that spaghetti highway leads,”
and
“why not bars of soap,
instead of tires?”
that sort of thing
which
made me
believe
i might actually
escape
the drear
suburbs of Moloch

but the GREED
has me in thrall,
and i’m’a slave
to my master’s degree,
and can’t you see, even from your tomb,
how this is slipping into prose? or wasn’t it always? fucking god, Bukowski, you’re a lame juggernaut but i respect your apetites and the horn with which you screamed them, lust, old man, i guess it trumps the eyeless businessman–even a weary monkey can get it up you just need to lift his hopes

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