Chamblee54

Hank Chinaski Lives Part Two

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Poem, Quotes by chamblee54 on June 5, 2020

wp159

wr080

xi020

xn122

xp015


An internet facility (IF) called Mind Openerz recently posted a feature, Charles Bukowski’s Top 10 Tips for Living a Kick-Ass Life. Hank writes enjoyable stories and poems. This does not make him a role model. Even if the tales of degenerate lifestyle were exageratted for public consumption, as many suspect, the butt ugly drunkard is nothing to aspire to.

One thing to admire about Hank (a publisher thought that Charles would be a better selling pen name) was the volume of product. He would write dozens of poems, with the lines popping out “like hot turds the morning after a good beer drunk.” Keep the quantity up, quality takes care of itself.

Many of the rules for living were taken from his short stories. PG recently stumbled through Tales of Ordinary Madness, and recognized a few. Hank would toss words of wisdom into stories about being arrested. One time, it was for threatening to rape a lady with a codfish. You can’t beat fun at the old ballpark. Of course, Hank hated baseball, and hated poetry that rhymes. PG writes rhyming poems, with pictures of dogs in the background. Hank is dead, and his opinion doesn’t count.

The fun starts with rule number eight. “8. Have confidence in yourself. “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts.” You are awesome, and all you have to do to let your true talents shine is believe that fact. Have complete confidence in yourself and you might be surprised with all you can achieve.”

Several of the stories of ordinary madness involve people who think they are poets, show work to Hank, and are insulted for the lousy ouput. The line in number eight was familiar, but PG was too slack to go looking through ordinary madness to find it. This is where you ask Mr. Google for help. The full quote: “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.”


br025

br039

iv069

kq021

lo018

ri063

vi084

01

02

03

04

05

06

07a

08

09

10

11

12

13

14

15

4a14574xb

4a16682xa

02783x

02783xa

02783xb

02783xd

10870x

10870xb

10874xa

10874xb




PG sat in the workplace cafeteria and read the last line of Tales of Ordinary Madness. TOOM is a book of short stories and underground press columns, allegedly written by Charles Bukowski. This collection was published by City Lights Books, the facility of Lawrence Ferlinghetti. The poet-businessman was not admired by Mr. Bukowski.

The author was born Heinrich Karl Bukowski, on August 16, 1920, in Andernach, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. His Catholic parents moved to America in 1923. The name was americanized to Henry Charles Bukowski. Friends called him Hank, and his literary alter ego was Hank Chinaski. Somebody decided that Charles would look better in print.

Hank Chinaski was a hard boiled character, or so he would have you believe. He was not a teetotaler. In spite of his many excesses, Hank lived to be 74, when leukemia sent him to the likkastow in the sky. This was March 9, 1994. Eleven days later, Lewis Grizzard met his maker. Lewis was 47, the same age as Hank in much of TOOM.

You should always separate the creator from the creation. Enjoy the product, and don’t worry about the ingredients. That is the case with TOOM. The stories are reputed to be little autobiographies. (An Amazon one star commenter thinks the stories are the result of “some kind of posthumous ghost writer, and not a very good one.”)

Hank, if nothing else, was productive. He wrote thousands of poems. It is not known if they have all been published, or if anyone is drunk enough to read them. Here is a quote from a previous Chamblee54 feature, The On Time Charles Bukowski.

The writer/drunk had always been a bit of a fascination to PG. Out of the millions of useless drunks feeding the urinals of planet earth, at least one will turn out to have had literary merit… this leads to a newyorker piece about the gentleman. After nine paragraphs, and two poems, there is the phrase that set off PG…graphomaniacal fecundity. (spell check suggestion:nymphomaniac)

As best as we can figure, g.f. means that Hank wrote a lot of stuff. This is a good thing. PG operates on the notion that if you keep your quantity up, the quality will take care of itself. Hank seems to agree, spitting out product “like hot turds the morning after a good beer drunk.” He seemed to take pride in doing what Truman Capote said about Jack Kerouac…he doesn’t write, he types.

Holy drunken author synchronicity. Last summer, PG was working third shift in a midtown sweatshop. He would read a couple of stories of TOOM, then shift gears and read a bit of The Dharma Bums. At some point in the procedure, there was a collection of output from Truman Capote.
Hank Chinaski might not like PG. There is the rhyming poetry. There is buying a book of repackaged prose at a yard sale. There is the twenty five year retirement from alcohol use. This is beside the point. You have to live for what is important to you, not what a deceased barfly might think.

Pictures for the last part are from The Library of Congress. After publishing Hank Chinaski Lives on Tuesday, PG decided to repost two other pieces about Hank Bukowski.

10874xc

11136xc

11136xd

17744x

17744xa

17745x

17745xa

19841xb

33571xa

33571xb

34633x

I Sing The Body Electric

Posted in Library of Congress, Poem by chamblee54 on June 2, 2020

8c29729x

8c29730x

8c29745x

8c29745xa

8c29746x

8c29746xa

8c29750x

8c29763x

1
I sing the body electric,
The armies of those I love engirth me and I engirth them,
They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them,
And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the soul.

Was it doubted that those who corrupt their own bodies conceal themselves?
And if those who defile the living are as bad as they who defile the dead?
And if the body does not do fully as much as the soul?
And if the body were not the soul, what is the soul?
2
The love of the body of man or woman balks account,
the body itself balks account,
That of the male is perfect, and that of the female is perfect.

The expression of the face balks account,
But the expression of a well-made man appears not only in his face,
It is in his limbs and joints also, it is curiously in the joints of his hips and wrists,
It is in his walk, the carriage of his neck, the flex of his waist and knees,
dress does not hide him,
The strong sweet quality he has strikes through the cotton and broadcloth,
To see him pass conveys as much as the best poem, perhaps more,
You linger to see his back, and the back of his neck and shoulder-side.

The sprawl and fulness of babes, the bosoms and heads of women,
the folds of their dress, their style as we pass in the street,
the contour of their shape downwards,
The swimmer naked in the swimming-bath, seen as he swims through
the transparent green-shine, or lies with his face up and rolls
silently to and from the heave of the water,
The bending forward and backward of rowers in row-boats,
the horse-man in his saddle,
Girls, mothers, house-keepers, in all their performances,
The group of laborers seated at noon-time with their open dinner-kettles,
and their wives waiting,
The female soothing a child, the farmer’s daughter in the garden or cow-yard,
The young fellow hosing corn, the sleigh-driver driving his six horses
through the crowd,
The wrestle of wrestlers, two apprentice-boys, quite grown, lusty,
good-natured, native-born, out on the vacant lot at sundown after work,
The coats and caps thrown down, the embrace of love and resistance,
The upper-hold and under-hold, the hair rumpled over and blinding the eyes;
The march of firemen in their own costumes, the play of masculine muscle
through clean-setting trowsers and waist-straps,
The slow return from the fire, the pause when the bell strikes suddenly again,
and the listening on the alert,
The natural, perfect, varied attitudes, the bent head, the curv’d neck
and the counting;
Such-like I love—I loosen myself, pass freely, am at the mother’s breast
with the little child,
Swim with the swimmers, wrestle with wrestlers, march in line
with the firemen, and pause, listen, count.
3
I knew a man, a common farmer, the father of five sons,
And in them the fathers of sons, and in them the fathers of sons.
This man was a wonderful vigor, calmness, beauty of person,
The shape of his head, the pale yellow and white of his hair and beard,
the immeasurable meaning of his black eyes,
the richness and breadth of his manners,
These I used to go and visit him to see, he was wise also,
He was six feet tall, he was over eighty years old, his sons were massive,
clean, bearded, tan-faced, handsome,
They and his daughters loved him, all who saw him loved him,
They did not love him by allowance, they loved him with personal love,
He drank water only, the blood show’d like scarlet
through the clear-brown skin of his face,
He was a frequent gunner and fisher, he sail’d his boat himself,
he had a fine one presented to him by a ship-joiner,
he had fowling-pieces presented to him by men that loved him,
When he went with his five sons and many grand-sons to hunt or fish,
you would pick him out as the most beautiful and vigorous of the gang,
You would wish long and long to be with him, you would wish to sit by him
in the boat that you and he might touch each other.

4
I have perceiv’d that to be with those I like is enough,
To stop in company with the rest at evening is enough,
To be surrounded by beautiful, curious, breathing, laughing flesh is enough,
To pass among them or touch any one, or rest my arm ever so lightly
round his or her neck for a moment, what is this then?
I do not ask any more delight, I swim in it as in a sea.

There is something in staying close to men and women and looking on them,
and in the contact and odor of them, that pleases the soul well,
All things please the soul, but these please the soul well.

5
This is the female form,
A divine nimbus exhales from it from head to foot,
It attracts with fierce undeniable attraction,
I am drawn by its breath as if I were no more than a helpless vapor,
all falls aside but myself and it,
Books, art, religion, time, the visible and solid earth,
and what was expected of heaven or fear’d of hell, are now consumed,
Mad filaments, ungovernable shoots play out of it,
the response likewise ungovernable,
Hair, bosom, hips, bend of legs, negligent falling hands all diffused,
mine too diffused,
Ebb stung by the flow and flow stung by the ebb, love-flesh swelling
and deliciously aching,
Limitless limpid jets of love hot and enormous, quivering jelly of love,
white-blow and delirious juice,
Bridegroom night of love working surely and softly into the prostrate dawn,
Undulating into the willing and yielding day,
Lost in the cleave of the clasping and sweet-flesh’d day.

This the nucleus—after the child is born of woman, man is born of woman,
This the bath of birth, this the merge of small and large, and the outlet again.

Be not ashamed women, your privilege encloses the rest,
and is the exit of the rest,
You are the gates of the body, and you are the gates of the soul.

The female contains all qualities and tempers them,
She is in her place and moves with perfect balance,
She is all things duly veil’d, she is both passive and active,
She is to conceive daughters as well as sons, and sons as well as daughters.

As I see my soul reflected in Nature,
As I see through a mist, One with inexpressible completeness,
sanity, beauty,
See the bent head and arms folded over the breast, the Female I see.

6
The male is not less the soul nor more, he too is in his place,
He too is all qualities, he is action and power,
The flush of the known universe is in him,
Scorn becomes him well, and appetite and defiance become him well,
The wildest largest passions, bliss that is utmost, sorrow that is utmost
become him well, pride is for him,
The full-spread pride of man is calming and excellent to the soul,
Knowledge becomes him, he likes it always, he brings every thing
to the test of himself,
Whatever the survey, whatever the sea and the sail
he strikes soundings at last only here,
(Where else does he strike soundings except here?)

The man’s body is sacred and the woman’s body is sacred,
No matter who it is, it is sacred—is it the meanest one in the laborers’ gang?
Is it one of the dull-faced immigrants just landed on the wharf?
Each belongs here or anywhere just as much as the well-off, just as much as you,
Each has his or her place in the procession.

(All is a procession,
The universe is a procession with measured and perfect motion.)

Do you know so much yourself that you call the meanest ignorant?
Do you suppose you have a right to a good sight,
and he or she has no right to a sight?
Do you think matter has cohered together from its diffuse float,
and the soil is on the surface, and water runs and vegetation sprouts,
For you only, and not for him and her?

7
A man’s body at auction,
(For before the war I often go to the slave-mart and watch the sale,)
I help the auctioneer, the sloven does not half know his business.

Gentlemen look on this wonder,
Whatever the bids of the bidders they cannot be high enough for it,
For it the globe lay preparing quintillions of years without one animal or plant,
For it the revolving cycles truly and steadily roll’d.

In this head the all-baffling brain,
In it and below it the makings of heroes.

Examine these limbs, red, black, or white, they are cunning in tendon and nerve,
They shall be stript that you may see them.

Exquisite senses, life-lit eyes, pluck, volition,
Flakes of breast-muscle, pliant backbone and neck, flesh not flabby,
good-sized arms and legs,
And wonders within there yet.

Within there runs blood,
The same old blood! the same red-running blood!
There swells and jets a heart, there all passions, desires, reachings, aspirations,

(Do you think they are not there because they are not express’d
in parlors and lecture-rooms?)

This is not only one man, this the father of those who shall be fathers
in their turns,
In him the start of populous states and rich republics,
Of him countless immortal lives with countless embodiments and enjoyments.

How do you know who shall come from the offspring of his offspring
through the centuries?
(Who might you find you have come from yourself,
if you could trace back through the centuries?)

8
A woman’s body at auction,
She too is not only herself, she is the teeming mother of mothers,
She is the bearer of them that shall grow and be mates to the mothers.

Have you ever loved the body of a woman?
Have you ever loved the body of a man?
Do you not see that these are exactly the same to all in all nations
and times all over the earth?

If anything is sacred the human body is sacred,
And the glory and sweet of a man is the token of manhood untainted,
And in man or woman a clean, strong, firm-fibred body, is more beautiful
than the most beautiful face.

Have you seen the fool that corrupted his own live body?
or the fool that corrupted her own live body?
For they do not conceal themselves, and cannot conceal themselves.

9
O my body! I dare not desert the likes of you in other men and women,
nor the likes of the parts of you,
I believe the likes of you are to stand or fall with the likes of the soul,
(and that they are the soul,)
I believe the likes of you shall stand or fall with my poems,
and that they are my poems,
Man’s, woman’s, child, youth’s, wife’s, husband’s, mother’s, father’s,
young man’s, young woman’s poems,
Head, neck, hair, ears, drop and tympan of the ears,
Eyes, eye-fringes, iris of the eye, eyebrows, and the waking
or sleeping of the lids,
Mouth, tongue, lips, teeth, roof of the mouth, jaws, and the jaw-hinges,
Nose, nostrils of the nose, and the partition,
Cheeks, temples, forehead, chin, throat, back of the neck, neck-slue,
Strong shoulders, manly beard, scapula, hind-shoulders,
and the ample side-round of the chest,
Upper-arm, armpit, elbow-socket, lower-arm, arm-sinews, arm-bones,
Wrist and wrist-joints, hand, palm, knuckles, thumb, forefinger,
finger-joints, finger-nails,
Broad breast-front, curling hair of the breast, breast-bone, breast-side,
Ribs, belly, backbone, joints of the backbone,
Hips, hip-sockets, hip-strength, inward and outward round,
man-balls, man-root,
Strong set of thighs, well carrying the trunk above,
Leg-fibres, knee, knee-pan, upper-leg, under-leg,
Ankles, instep, foot-ball, toes, toe-joints, the heel;
All attitudes, all the shapeliness, all the belongings of my or your body
or of any one’s body, male or female,
The lung-sponges, the stomach-sac, the bowels sweet and clean,
The brain in its folds inside the skull-frame,
Sympathies, heart-valves, palate-valves, sexuality, maternity,
Womanhood, and all that is a woman, and the man that comes from woman,
The womb, the teats, nipples, breast-milk, tears, laughter, weeping,
love-looks, love-perturbations and risings,
The voice, articulation, language, whispering, shouting aloud,
Food, drink, pulse, digestion, sweat, sleep, walking, swimming,
Poise on the hips, leaping, reclining, embracing, arm-curving and tightening,
The continual changes of the flex of the mouth, and around the eyes,
The skin, the sunburnt shade, freckles, hair,
The curious sympathy one feels when feeling with the hand
the naked meat of the body,
The circling rivers the breath, and breathing it in and out,
The beauty of the waist, and thence of the hips,
and thence downward toward the knees,
The thin red jellies within you or within me, the bones and the marrow
in the bones,
The exquisite realization of health;

O I say these are not the parts and poems of the body only, but of the soul,
O I say now these are the soul!

Text for this adventure is from the Project Gutenberg.
The text was reformatted by Chamblee54.
“I sing the Body Electric” was written by Walt Whitman.
An audio version of this poem is available from Librivox.
Pictures from The Library of Congress.

8c29903x

8c29904x

8c29911x

8c29912x

8c29913x

8c29914x

8c29918x

8c29727x

Calumus

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Poem by chamblee54 on May 29, 2020

06577x

06577xa

06577xb

09334x

09334xa

09334xb

09334xc

In Paths Untrodden

In paths untrodden,
In the growth by margins of pond-waters,
Escaped from the life that exhibits itself,
From all the standards hitherto publish’d, from the pleasures,
profits, conformities,
Which too long I was offering to feed my soul,
Clear to me now standards not yet publish’d, clear to me that my soul,
That the soul of the man I speak for rejoices in comrades,
Here by myself away from the clank of the world,
Tallying and talk’d to here by tongues aromatic,
No longer abash’d, (for in this secluded spot I can respond
as I would not dare elsewhere,)
Strong upon me the life that does not exhibit itself, yet contains all the rest,
Resolv’d to sing no songs to-day but those of manly attachment,
Projecting them along that substantial life,
Bequeathing hence types of athletic love,
Afternoon this delicious Ninth-month in my forty-first year,
I proceed for all who are or have been young men,
To tell the secret my nights and days,
To celebrate the need of comrades.

Scented Herbage of My Breast

Scented herbage of my breast,
Leaves from you I glean, I write, to be perused best afterwards,
Tomb-leaves, body-leaves growing up above me above death,
Perennial roots, tall leaves, O the winter shall not freeze you delicate leaves,
Every year shall you bloom again, out from where you retired
you shall emerge again;
O I do not know whether many passing by will discover you
or inhale your faint odor, but I believe a few will;
O slender leaves! O blossoms of my blood! I permit you to tell
in your own way of the heart that is under you,
O I do not know what you mean there underneath yourselves,
you are not happiness,
You are often more bitter than I can bear, you burn and sting me,
Yet you are beautiful to me you faint tinged roots, you make me think of death,
Death is beautiful from you, (what indeed is finally beautiful
except death and love?)
O I think it is not for life I am chanting here my chant of lovers,
I think it must be for death,
For how calm, how solemn it grows to ascend to the atmosphere of lovers,
Death or life I am then indifferent, my soul declines to prefer,
(I am not sure but the high soul of lovers welcomes death most,)
Indeed O death, I think now these leaves mean precisely the same as you mean,
Grow up taller sweet leaves that I may see! grow up out of my breast!
Spring away from the conceal’d heart there!
Do not fold yourself so in your pink-tinged roots timid leaves!
Do not remain down there so ashamed, herbage of my breast!
Come I am determin’d to unbare this broad breast of mine,
I have long enough stifled and choked;
Emblematic and capricious blades I leave you, now you serve me not,
I will say what I have to say by itself,
I will sound myself and comrades only,
I will never again utter a call only their call,
I will raise with it immortal reverberations through the States,
I will give an example to lovers
to take permanent shape and will through the States
Through me shall the words be said to make death exhilarating,
Give me your tone therefore O death, that I may accord with it,
Give me yourself, for I see that you belong to me now above all,
and are folded inseparably together, you love and death are,
Nor will I allow you to balk me any more with what I was calling life,
For now it is convey’d to me that you are the purports essential,
That you hide in these shifting forms of life, for reasons,
and that they are mainly for you,
That you beyond them come forth to remain, the real reality,
That behind the mask of materials you patiently wait, no matter how long,
That you will one day perhaps take control of all,
That you will perhaps dissipate this entire show of appearance,
That may-be you are what it is all for, but it does not last so very long,
But you will last very long.

Whoever You Are Holding Me Now in Hand

Whoever you are holding me now in hand,
Without one thing all will be useless,
I give you fair warning before you attempt me further,
I am not what you supposed, but far different.
Who is he that would become my follower?
Who would sign himself a candidate for my affections?
The way is suspicious, the result uncertain, perhaps destructive,
You would have to give up all else, I alone would expect to be
your sole and exclusive standard,
Your novitiate would even then be long and exhausting,
The whole past theory of your life and all conformity to the lives around you
would have to be abandon’d,
Therefore release me now before troubling yourself any further,
let go your hand from my shoulders,
Put me down and depart on your way.
Or else by stealth in some wood for trial,
Or back of a rock in the open air,
(For in any roof’d room of a house I emerge not, nor in company,
And in libraries I lie as one dumb, a gawk, or unborn, or dead,)
But just possibly with you on a high hill, first watching lest any person
for miles around approach unawares,
Or possibly with you sailing at sea,
or on the beach of the sea or some quiet island,
Here to put your lips upon mine I permit you,
With the comrade’s long-dwelling kiss or the new husband’s kiss,
For I am the new husband and I am the comrade.
Or if you will, thrusting me beneath your clothing,
Where I may feel the throbs of your heart or rest upon your hip,
Carry me when you go forth over land or sea;
For thus merely touching you is enough, is best,
And thus touching you would I silently sleep and be carried eternally.
But these leaves conning you con at peril,
For these leaves and me you will not understand,
They will elude you at first and still more afterward, I will certainly elude you.
Even while you should think you had unquestionably caught me, behold!
Already you see I have escaped from you.
For it is not for what I have put into it that I have written this book,
Nor is it by reading it you will acquire it,
Nor do those know me best who admire me and vauntingly praise me,
Nor will the candidates for my love (unless at most a very few) prove victorious,
Nor will my poems do good only, they will do just as much evil, perhaps more,
For all is useless without that which you may guess at many times and not hit,
that which I hinted at;
Therefore release me and depart on your way.

For You, O Democracy

Come, I will make the continent indissoluble,
I will make the most splendid race the sun ever shone upon,
I will make divine magnetic lands,
With the love of comrades,
With the life-long love of comrades.
I will plant companionship thick as trees along all the rivers of America,
and along the shores of the great lakes, and all over the prairies,
I will make inseparable cities with their arms about each other’s necks,
By the love of comrades,
By the manly love of comrades.
For you these from me, O Democracy, to serve you ma femme!
For you, for you I am trilling these songs.

These I Singing in Spring

These I singing in spring collect for lovers,
(For who but I should understand lovers and all their sorrow and joy?
And who but I should be the poet of comrades?)
Collecting I traverse the garden the world, but soon I pass the gates,
Now along the pond-side, now wading in a little, fearing not the wet,
Now by the post-and-rail fences where the old stones thrown there,
pick’d from the fields, have accumulated,
(Wild-flowers and vines and weeds come up through the stones and partly cover them,beyond these I pass,)
Far, far in the forest, or sauntering later in summer,
before I think where I go,
Solitary, smelling the earthy smell, stopping now and then in the silence,
Alone I had thought, yet soon a troop gathers around me,
Some walk by my side and some behind, and some embrace my arms or neck,
They the spirits of dear friends dead or alive, thicker they come,
a great crowd, and I in the middle,
Collecting, dispensing, singing, there I wander with them,
Plucking something for tokens, tossing toward whoever is near me,
Here, lilac, with a branch of pine,
Here, out of my pocket, some moss which I pull’d off a live-oak
in Florida as it hung trailing down,
Here, some pinks and laurel leaves, and a handful of sage,
And here what I now draw from the water, wading in the pondside,
(O here I last saw him that tenderly loves me,
and returns again never to separate from me,
And this, O this shall henceforth be the token of comrades, this
calamus-root shall,
Interchange it youths with each other! let none render it back!)
And twigs of maple and a bunch of wild orange and chestnut,
And stems of currants and plum-blows, and the aromatic cedar,
These I compass’d around by a thick cloud of spirits,
Wandering, point to or touch as I pass, or throw them loosely from me,
Indicating to each one what he shall have, giving something to each;
But what I drew from the water by the pond-side, that I reserve,
I will give of it, but only to them that love as I myself am capable of loving.

Not Heaving from My Ribb’d Breast Only

Not heaving from my ribb’d breast only,
Not in sighs at night in rage dissatisfied with myself,
Not in those long-drawn, ill-supprest sighs,
Not in many an oath and promise broken,
Not in my wilful and savage soul’s volition,
Not in the subtle nourishment of the air,
Not in this beating and pounding at my temples and wrists,
Not in the curious systole and diastole within which will one day cease,
Not in many a hungry wish told to the skies only,
Not in cries, laughter, defiancies,
thrown from me when alone far in the wilds,
Not in husky pantings through clinch’d teeth,
Not in sounded and resounded words, chattering words, echoes, dead words,
Not in the murmurs of my dreams while I sleep,
Nor the other murmurs of these incredible dreams of every day,
Nor in the limbs and senses of my body that take you
and dismiss you continually—not there,
Not in any or all of them O adhesiveness! O pulse of my life!
Need I that you exist and show yourself any more than in these songs.

Of the Terrible Doubt of Appearances

Of the terrible doubt of appearances,
Of the uncertainty after all, that we may be deluded,
That may-be reliance and hope are but speculations after all,
That may-be identity beyond the grave is a beautiful fable only,
May-be the things I perceive, the animals, plants, men, hills,
shining and flowing waters,
The skies of day and night, colors, densities, forms,
may-be these are (as doubtless they are) only apparitions,
and the real something has yet to be known,
(How often they dart out of themselves as if to confound me and mock me!
How often I think neither I know, nor any man knows, aught of them,)
May-be seeming to me what they are (as doubtless they indeed but seem)
as from my present point of view, and might prove (as of course they would)
nought of what they appear, or nought anyhow,
from entirely changed points of view;
To me these and the like of these are curiously answer’d by my lovers,
my dear friends,
When he whom I love travels with me or sits a long while holding me by the hand,
When the subtle air, the impalpable, the sense that words and reason hold not,
surround us and pervade us,
Then I am charged with untold and untellable wisdom, I am silent,
I require nothing further,
I cannot answer the question of appearances
or that of identity beyond the grave,
But I walk or sit indifferent, I am satisfied,
He ahold of my hand has completely satisfied me.

09335x

09335xa

09353x

09353xa

09353xb

09353xc

The Base of All Metaphysics

And now gentlemen,
A word I give to remain in your memories and minds,
As base and finale too for all metaphysics.
(So to the students the old professor,
At the close of his crowded course.)
Having studied the new and antique, the Greek and Germanic systems,
Kant having studied and stated, Fichte and Schelling and Hegel,
Stated the lore of Plato, and Socrates greater than Plato,
And greater than Socrates sought and stated, Christ divine having studied long,
I see reminiscent to-day those Greek and Germanic systems,
See the philosophies all, Christian churches and tenets see,
Yet underneath Socrates clearly see, and underneath Christ the divine I see,
The dear love of man for his comrade, the attraction of friend to friend,
Of the well-married husband and wife, of children and parents,
Of city for city and land for land.

Recorders Ages Hence

Recorders ages hence,
Come, I will take you down underneath this impassive exterior,
I will tell you what to say of me,
Publish my name and hang up my picture as that of the tenderest lover,
The friend the lover’s portrait, of whom his friend his lover was fondest,
Who was not proud of his songs, but of the measureless ocean of love within him,
and freely pour’d it forth,
Who often walk’d lonesome walks thinking of his dear friends, his lovers,
Who pensive away from one he lov’d often lay sleepless and dissatisfied at night,
Who knew too well the sick, sick dread lest the one he lov’d might
secretly be indifferent to him,
Whose happiest days were far away through fields, in woods, on hills,
he and another wandering hand in hand, they twain apart from other men,
Who oft as he saunter’d the streets curv’d with his arm the shoulder of his friend,
while the arm of his friend rested upon him also.

When I Heard at the Close of the Day

When I heard at the close of the day how my name had been receiv’d
with plaudits in the capitol,
still it was not a happy night for me that follow’d,
And else when I carous’d, or when my plans were accomplish’d,
still I was not happy,
But the day when I rose at dawn from the bed of perfect health,
refresh’d, singing, inhaling the ripe breath of autumn,
When I saw the full moon in the west grow pale and disappear in the morning light,
When I wander’d alone over the beach, and undressing bathed,
laughing with the cool waters, and saw the sun rise,
And when I thought how my dear friend my lover was on his way coming,
O then I was happy,
O then each breath tasted sweeter, and all that day my food nourish’d me more,
and the beautiful day pass’d well,
And the next came with equal joy, and with the next at evening came my friend,
And that night while all was still I heard the waters roll slowly
continually up the shores,
I heard the hissing rustle of the liquid and sands as directed to me
whispering to congratulate me,
For the one I love most lay sleeping by me under the same cover in the cool night,
In the stillness in the autumn moonbeams his face was inclined toward me,
And his arm lay lightly around my breast—and that night I was happy.

Are You the New Person Drawn Toward Me?

Are you the new person drawn toward me?
To begin with take warning, I am surely far different from what you suppose;
Do you suppose you will find in me your ideal?
Do you think it so easy to have me become your lover?
Do you think the friendship of me would be unalloy’d satisfaction?
Do you think I am trusty and faithful?
Do you see no further than this facade, this smooth and tolerant manner of me?
Do you suppose yourself advancing on real ground toward a real heroic man?
Have you no thought O dreamer that it may be all maya, illusion?

Roots and Leaves Themselves Alone

Roots and leaves themselves alone are these,
Scents brought to men and women from the wild woods and pond-side,
Breast-sorrel and pinks of love,
fingers that wind around tighter than vines,
Gushes from the throats of birds hid in the foliage of trees as the sun is risen,
Breezes of land and love set from living shores to you on the living sea,
to you O sailors!
Frost-mellow’d berries and Third-month twigs offer’d fresh to young
persons wandering out in the fields when the winter breaks up,
Love-buds put before you and within you whoever you are,
Buds to be unfolded on the old terms,
If you bring the warmth of the sun to them they will open and bring form,
color, perfume, to you,
If you become the aliment and the wet they will become flowers,
fruits, tall branches and trees.

Not Heat Flames Up and Consumes

Not heat flames up and consumes,
Not sea-waves hurry in and out,
Not the air delicious and dry, the air of ripe summer,
bears lightly along white down-balls of myriads of seeds,
Waited, sailing gracefully, to drop where they may;
Not these, O none of these more than the flames of me, consuming,
burning for his love whom I love,
O none more than I hurrying in and out;
Does the tide hurry, seeking something, and never give up? O I the same,
O nor down-balls nor perfumes, nor the high rain-emitting clouds,
are borne through the open air,
Any more than my soul is borne through the open air,
Wafted in all directions O love, for friendship, for you.

Trickle Drops

Trickle drops! my blue veins leaving!
O drops of me! trickle, slow drops,
Candid from me falling, drip, bleeding drops,
From wounds made to free you whence you were prison’d,
From my face, from my forehead and lips,
From my breast, from within where I was conceal’d,
press forth red drops, confession drops,
Stain every page, stain every song I sing, every word I say, bloody drops,
Let them know your scarlet heat, let them glisten,
Saturate them with yourself all ashamed and wet,
Glow upon all I have written or shall write, bleeding drops,
Let it all be seen in your light, blushing drops.

City of Orgies

City of orgies, walks and joys,
City whom that I have lived and sung in your midst will one day make
Not the pageants of you, not your shifting tableaus,
your spectacles, repay me,
Not the interminable rows of your houses, nor the ships at the wharves,
Nor the processions in the streets,
nor the bright windows with goods in them,
Nor to converse with learn’d persons, or bear my share in the soiree or feast;
Not those, but as I pass O Manhattan,
your frequent and swift flash of eyes offering me love,
Offering response to my own—these repay me,
Lovers, continual lovers, only repay me.
Behold This Swarthy Face
Behold this swarthy face, these gray eyes,
This beard, the white wool unclipt upon my neck,
My brown hands and the silent manner of me without charm;
Yet comes one a Manhattanese and ever at parting kisses me lightly
on the lips with robust love,
And I on the crossing of the street or on the ship’s deck
give a kiss in return,
We observe that salute of American comrades land and sea,
We are those two natural and nonchalant persons.

I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing

I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing,
All alone stood it and the moss hung down from the branches,
Without any companion it grew there uttering joyous of dark green,
And its look, rude, unbending, lusty, made me think of myself,
But I wonder’d how it could utter joyous leaves standing alone there
without its friend near, for I knew I could not,
And I broke off a twig with a certain number of leaves upon it
and twined around it a little moss,
And brought it away, and I have placed it in sight in my room,
It is not needed to remind me as of my own dear friends,
(For I believe lately I think of little else than of them,)
Yet it remains to me a curious token, it makes me think of manly love;
For all that, and though the live-oak glistens there in Louisiana
solitary in a wide in a wide flat space,
Uttering joyous leaves all its life without a friend a lover near,
I know very well I could not.

To a Stranger

Passing stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you,
You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking,
(it comes to me as of a dream,)
I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you,
All is recall’d as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured,
You grew up with me, were a boy with me or a girl with me,
I ate with you and slept with you, your body has become not yours only
nor left my body mine only,
You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass,
you take of my beard, breast, hands, in return,
I am not to speak to you, I am to think of you when I sit alone
or wake at night alone,
I am to wait, I do not doubt I am to meet you again,
I am to see to it that I do not lose you.

This Moment Yearning and Thoughtful

This moment yearning and thoughtful sitting alone,
It seems to me there are other men in other lands yearning and thoughtful,
It seems to me I can look over and behold them in Germany, Italy, France, Spain,
Or far, far away, in China, or in Russia or talking other dialects,
And it seems to me if I could know those men I should become
attached to them as I do to men in my own lands,
O I know we should be brethren and lovers,
I know I should be happy with them.

I Hear It Was Charged Against Me

I hear it was charged against me that I sought to destroy institutions,
But really I am neither for nor against institutions,
(What indeed have I in common with them?
or what with the destruction of them?)
Only I will establish in the Mannahatta and in every city of these
States inland and seaboard,
And in the fields and woods, and above every keel little or large
that dents the water,
Without edifices or rules or trustees or any argument,
The institution of the dear love of comrades.


16275xa


The Prairie-Grass Dividing

The prairie-grass dividing, its special odor breathing,
I demand of it the spiritual corresponding,
Demand the most copious and close companionship of men,
Demand the blades to rise of words, acts, beings,
Those of the open atmosphere, coarse, sunlit, fresh, nutritious,
Those that go their own gait, erect, stepping with freedom and command,
leading not following,
Those with a never-quell’d audacity, those with sweet and lusty
flesh clear of taint,
Those that look carelessly in the faces of Presidents and governors,
as to say Who are you?
Those of earth-born passion, simple, never constrain’d, never obedient,
Those of inland America.

When I Peruse the Conquer’d Fame

When I peruse the conquer’d fame of heroes and the victories of mighty generals,
I do not envy the generals,
Nor the President in his Presidency, nor the rich in his great house,
But when I hear of the brotherhood of lovers, how it was with them,
How together through life, through dangers, odium, unchanging,
long and long,
Through youth and through middle and old age, how unfaltering,
how affectionate and faithful they were,
Then I am pensive—I hastily walk away fill’d with the bitterest envy.

We Two Boys Together Clinging

We two boys together clinging,
One the other never leaving,
Up and down the roads going, North and South excursions making,
Power enjoying, elbows stretching, fingers clutching,
Arm’d and fearless, eating, drinking, sleeping, loving.
No law less than ourselves owning, sailing, soldiering, thieving, threatening,
Misers, menials, priests alarming, air breathing, water drinking,
on the turf or the sea-beach dancing,
Cities wrenching, ease scorning, statutes mocking, feebleness chasing,
Fulfilling our foray.

A Promise to California

A promise to California,
Or inland to the great pastoral Plains, and on to Puget sound and Oregon;
Sojourning east a while longer, soon I travel toward you, to remain,
to teach robust American love,
For I know very well that I and robust love belong among you,
inland, and along the Western sea;
For these States tend inland and toward the Western sea, and I will also.

Here the Frailest Leaves of Me

Here the frailest leaves of me and yet my strongest lasting,
Here I shade and hide my thoughts, I myself do not expose them,
And yet they expose me more than all my other poems.
No Labor-Saving Machine
No labor-saving machine,
Nor discovery have I made,
Nor will I be able to leave behind me any wealthy bequest to found
hospital or library,
Nor reminiscence of any deed of courage for America,
Nor literary success nor intellect; nor book for the book-shelf,
But a few carols vibrating through the air I leave,
For comrades and lovers.

A Glimpse

A glimpse through an interstice caught,
Of a crowd of workmen and drivers in a bar-room
around the stove late of a winter night,

and I unremark’d seated in a corner,
Of a youth who loves me and whom I love,
silently approaching and seating himself near,

that he may hold me by the hand,
A long while amid the noises of coming and going,
of drinking and oath and smutty jest,
There we two, content, happy in being together, speaking little,
perhaps not a word.

A Leaf for Hand in Hand

A leaf for hand in hand;
You natural persons old and young!
You on the Mississippi and on all the branches and bayous of the Mississippi!
You friendly boatmen and mechanics! you roughs!
You twain! and all processions moving along the streets!
I wish to infuse myself among you till I see it common for you to
walk hand in hand.

Earth, My Likeness

Earth, my likeness,
Though you look so impassive, ample and spheric there,
I now suspect that is not all;
I now suspect there is something fierce in you eligible to burst forth,
For an athlete is enamour’d of me, and I of him,
But toward him there is something fierce
and terrible in me eligible to burst forth,
I dare not tell it in words, not even in these songs.
I Dream’d in a Dream
I dream’d in a dream I saw a city invincible to the attacks
of the whole of the rest of the earth,
I dream’d that was the new city of Friends,
Nothing was greater there than the quality of robust love, it led the rest,
It was seen every hour in the actions of the men of that city,
And in all their looks and words.

What Think You I Take My Pen in Hand?

What think you I take my pen in hand to record?
The battle-ship, perfect-model’d, majestic,
that I saw pass the offing to-day under full sail?
The splendors of the past day? or the splendor of the night that envelops me?
Or the vaunted glory and growth of the great city spread around me? —no;
But merely of two simple men I saw to-day on the pier in the midst of the crowd,
parting the parting of dear friends,
The one to remain hung on the other’s neck and passionately kiss’d him,
While the one to depart tightly prest the one to remain in his arms.

To the East and to the West

To the East and to the West,
To the man of the Seaside State and of Pennsylvania,
To the Kanadian of the north, to the Southerner I love,
These with perfect trust to depict you as myself, the germs are in all men,
I believe the main purport of these States is to found a superb friendship,
exalte, previously unknown,
Because I perceive it waits, and has been always waiting, latent in all men.
Sometimes with One I Love
Sometimes with one I love I fill myself with rage for fear
I effuse unreturn’d love,
But now I think there is no unreturn’d love,
the pay is certain one way or another,
(I loved a certain person ardently and my love was not return’d,
Yet out of that I have written these songs.)

To a Western Boy

Many things to absorb I teach to help you become eleve of mine;
Yet if blood like mine circle not in your veins,
If you be not silently selected by lovers and do not silently select lovers,
Of what use is it that you seek to become eleve of mine?
Fast Anchor’d Eternal O Love!
Fast-anchor’d eternal O love! O woman I love!
O bride! O wife! more resistless than I can tell, the thought of you!
Then separate, as disembodied or another born,
Ethereal, the last athletic reality, my consolation,
I ascend, I float in the regions of your love O man,
O sharer of my roving life.

Among the Multitude

Among the men and women the multitude,
I perceive one picking me out by secret and divine signs,
Acknowledging none else, not parent, wife, husband, brother, child,
any nearer than I am,
Some are baffled, but that one is not—that one knows me.
Ah lover and perfect equal,
I meant that you should discover me so by faint indirections,
And I when I meet you mean to discover you by the like in you.
O You Whom I Often and Silently Come
O you whom I often and silently come where you are that I may be with you,
As I walk by your side or sit near, or remain in the same room with you,
Little you know the subtle electric fire that for your sake is
playing within me.
That Shadow My Likeness
That shadow my likeness that goes to and fro seeking a livelihood,
chattering, chaffering,
How often I find myself standing and looking at it where it flits,
How often I question and doubt whether that is really me;
But among my lovers and caroling these songs,
O I never doubt whether that is really me.

Full of Life Now

Full of life now, compact, visible,
I, forty years old the eighty-third year of the States,
To one a century hence or any number of centuries hence,
To you yet unborn these, seeking you.
When you read these I that was visible am become invisible,
Now it is you, compact, visible, realizing my poems, seeking me,
Fancying how happy you were if I could be with you and become your comrade;
Be it as if I were with you. (Be not too certain but I am now with you.)

Poems are from Leaves of Grass, Book V: Calamus
By Walt Whitman, Born May 31, 1819

Text is courtesy of Project Gutenberg.
Formatting of text, and pictures, by Chamblee 54.
Pictures from The Library of Congress.




Presidential Brat

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on May 29, 2020

Broken Control Part Two

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on May 24, 2020

Broken Control Part One

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on May 19, 2020

Hank Chinaski Lives

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Poem, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on May 17, 2020












In the next quarter century, the surplus grew, thanks to Bukowski’s nearly graphomaniacal fecundity.
“I usually write ten or fifteen [poems] at once,” he said, and he imagined the act of writing as a kind of entranced combat with the typewriter, as in his poem “cool black air”: “now I sit down to it and I bang it, I don’t use the light / touch, I bang it.”
As could have been predicted, it started with a post at Dangerous Minds. The feature was about the late Charles Bukowski, who was called Hank by those who knew him. The writer/drunk had always been a bit of a fascination to PG. Out of the millions of useless drunks feeding the urinals of planet earth, at least one will turn out to have had literary merit.

A trip to Google city is made, and quotes from the bard are found, along with the wikipedia page. All of this leads to a New Yorker piece about the gentleman. After nine paragraphs, and two poems, there is the phrase that set off PG…graphomaniacal fecundity.(spell check suggestion:nymphomaniac)

As best as we can figure, g.f. means that Hank wrote a lot of stuff. This is a good thing. PG operates on the notion that if you keep your quantity up, the quality will take care of itself. Hank seems to agree, spitting out product “like hot turds the morning after a good beer drunk.” He seemed to take pride in doing what Truman Capote said about Jack Kerouac…he doesn’t write, he types.

If you google the phrase graphomaniacal fecundity, you can choose from 71 results. The top six apparently quote the article in New Yorker. A blogspot facility called poemanias quotes the paragraph from the New Yorker, with the title “On Bukowski’s afterlife”, while Fourhourhardon reprints the entire thing. Neither provide a link back to the original.

Goliath and Petey Luvs Blog take the same copy-paste approach. The first tries to get you to pay for more reading material. This forum also does the control A-C-V approach, but yields this comment : “He was a contemporary of the Beats, but not quite one of them because he was darker and not as willing to smoke a joint and sing Phil Ochs songs on the lower east side.” The truth is, Hank hated marijuana, and had the classic alcoholic attitude about it. So it goes.
Keep and share copies the complete New Yorker feature, but has some other thumbsuckers about Mr. Bukowski.












It is a truism that new media borrows content from old media. Stories, told orally from genration to generation, are compiled into books, which are then made into movies. Plastic panels try to look like wood. The newest new media that old fogey PG knows about is twitter. People tell little stories in 140 characters or less, which go around the world in seconds. With this abundance of media, there are not always enough messages to feed the beast.
On twitter, there are people producing twitter feeds from dead authors. Maybe these wordmongers went to a place with internet access. Kurt Vonnegut (three hours ago)
“Busy, busy, busy”. Mark Twain (three hours ago) “Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint”. Brautigan’s Ghost (twenty two hours ago) “I cannot say to the one I love, “Hi, flower-wonderful bird-love sweet.”
The deceased content maker best suited to twitter might be Conway Twitty. One slow day two years ago, Yahoo asked peeps
Do you think Conway Twitty would have used Twitter? ~ He gave them the idea ~ I think Twitty would tweet, Twitter would be Conway’s, way of of communicating to the world, Twitty would be tweeting his little Twitty head off, ~ I better send out a Twitty Tweet ~ Cute, but a serious answer, probably. A media hound, he’d want to get his name plastered everywhere. ~ If he did that would have made him a ‘Twitty Twitter” ~ Who cares, he’s a twit anyway”.
There are four Twitty Twitter feeds. @ConwayTwitty (Oct. 21,2009)
“The Conway Twitty Musical is getting great reviews in Branson!!! . @TwittyTweats (January 12, 2012) “In Twitty City, it never snows. All the men wear gold medallions and blazers. And the women never cry. Unless you hold them.” @Conway_Twitty (February 20, 2012) “My cock is an amphibious assault vehicle” @conwaytwittier (April 28, 2012). “@JasonIsbell How’s the English weather treating your hair? I had the hardest time keeping my pompadour in tiptop shape there.” @twittybirdmoda is written in Japanese. We’ve never been this far before.
The original concept for this post was to spotlight twitter feeds borrowing material from Charles Bukowski. Hank is the beer bard of Los Angeles. He is a hero to many. Out of the millions of worthless drunks populating bars, at least one could write poems. It gives you hope for mankind.
The front page of a google search for “charles bukowski on twitter” yields eight feeds. The original plan was to ignore any that were not updated in 2012. An exception will be for @hank_bukowski (Yeah it’s good to be back). (January 25, 2009)
“Yesterday I met Adolf H. in hell. He is fuckin stupid.” “too lazzy these days, too drunk to twitter”.
With the 2012-only rule in effect, we are left with three Bukowski thieves. @BukowskiDiz (May 1)
“Curiosidades sobre Charles Bukowski http://migre.me/8UhRf“. @bukquotes (May 8) “all the mules and drunken ladies gone the bad novels march…”. ~ “I always read when I shit and the worse the book the better the bowel movement.” @bukowski_lives (one hour ago) “Basically, that’s why I wrote: to save my ass, to save my ass from the madhouse, from the streets, from myself.”
Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This is a double repost. Another repost may be published later. This is probably it for this year.











Very Transparent

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on May 16, 2020

The Surfer Part Two

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on May 13, 2020

On The Inside

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on May 7, 2020

Edy Boardman Part One

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on May 5, 2020

Edy Boardman Part Two

Posted in Poem by chamblee54 on May 3, 2020