when the poet read Bukowski by the fallen bridge

when the poet read Bukowski by the fallen bridge
by Jim Benz
Performers of the open mic
In Minnesota
Sit on chairs
And stools in the crowded room
Of their coming
Moment, which they cannot fathom
In the cramped and jittery
Of a coffeehouse, like a bottle
Of charged words
Or water
Unfazed, unassimilated, not
The coffeehouse
But the water swirling
Mixed with mud
From the river bottom
Holding bodies
They walked with
And neglected, the moment
Wrapped in distractive
Chatter, the darker moment loudly
With its concrete ruins
And the pre-examined names, fallen
Anti-stanzas of the dead.
Read in lieu of poems writ
By the poet on the platform –
Read by not-bukowski, another
Voice, a different moment, has a wink
Of wet disaster, symphonic loves
And the current
Of a river sipping through
The nightfall, through the fallen, both
Waterlogged and sober
In a cloud of momentary
Words and mud, pounded
Through a P.A. – more impressive
Than expected
To find our life in words, to emote
And gesticulate.
Making cheers and laughter
In a coffeehouse
Two blocks from the shattered
Remnant, three blocks
From the river flowing
Through a sunken
World – death
Seeps amid the mud
And concrete, through the tangled
Rebar staring snakelike
At the broken
Margins. It was a common monster
Of construction, the nation’s
Ode to commerce.
Boats on the river
And the sodden words
Of poets, both
On a podium in the heat
Of summer
That dampens like a blanket
On a stretcher. We ignore the dark
Waters, the helicopter
Blades and the faded
Wail of sirens
That held us
In a clutch of dropping
Jaws and consternation
Only yesterday. This is today.

0 thoughts on “when the poet read Bukowski by the fallen bridge

  1. In Memorium thru moments…Misery is also a dog from Hell.
    …some things you cannot capture/fully express with poetry…or who would want to? Human Incapabilities…
    The intentional combination of fallen bridge and Bukowski shocked me more than the event itself.
    Got to me: “fallen Anti-stanzas of the dead.” and ” another Voice, a different moment has a wink of wet disaster,”.
    Lots of deep reflection/judgement calls here.
    If elegies could be more like this, I’d read them more.
    thanks for sharing.
    P.S. Did you happen to catch that “Bukowski” docu-film that came out a few years ago? …Telling.

  2. Bukowski: Born into This (2003)[older than i thought]
    Plot Outline:Documentary on Charles Bukowski, author of ‘Notes of a Dirty Old Man’, ‘Love Is a Dog from Hell’, and the autobiographical novels, ‘Women’, ‘Hollywood’, and ‘Post Office’.
    a lot of footage of Bukowski himself; Tom Waits reciting some of his poems; Monica Belluci nowhere to be seen, however.

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