Wednesday, April 24, 2013

An old man in an airport bar once demanded that I look up Bukowski's poem "The Laughing Heart". We were sitting there talking about poetry and love and drinking very tall expensive beers before noon and the poem has been sitting there all this time in its own browser window on my phone. (Although to be fair I also have a phone browser window dedicated to knock knock jokes.) I look at it once or twice a day on my way to something else and think about all of the things that strangers have taught me.

Since it lives on my phone it's become sort of my own private poem, but these have been hard times for so many people and perhaps it shouldn't be only my own any more. Perhaps it should be for all of us.

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.
-Charles Bukowski

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