Individual Voices / Natural Forms

Winter, 2006

Doren Robbins

Bukowski in Love

Really, Bukowski had it pretty good
living ecstatically and bitterly, living drunken
and sexual, and finally eating better than Li Po
or John Clare, eating regular at The Sizzler
in spite of the 123.2 pollution plagues
and 419 ongoing wars, in spite of his
own acne-ugliness. Sitting in cracker crumbs,
pork 'n' bean stains on the t-shirt with his
own face lithograph-reproduced on the front
and the back—recorded catastrophic alcohol
illumination coma bleeding gut, casual desperate
whore friendships in rundown flats, really
sickened self-hate lucidity struggle
fury against his demented ass-pounding father.
Recorded bestial labor in slaughter houses, DTs
in flop houses—mostly a clear read of
the consequences for some of the selves
including himself, in the world,
legally, illegitimately cheated,
until he finally got lucky:
the best include the worst. The Linda
he dedicated his work to in the end, must've
endured a lot. Old Jew in-law musician
uncle, talking a month before he died
about his first love in Warsaw, said to me,
"because of her, I learned to play the violin."