Buk's Dead Body

Buk’s Dead Body
by shawn misener
Hank’s corpse, suspended over the room,
drips alcoholic blood on all of us.
It’s been up there for almost forty years
and someone should consider taking it down.
It stinks.
All I see around me are writers
imitating his corpse, wearing his
awful scent like it’s some expensive perfume.
It’s one thing to acknowledge his presence
over us, swinging gently, shriveled penis
pointing due south,
and completely another thing
to draw blood samples,
meditate under him, and poke
his abdomen in search of inspiration.
Go away, Hank, we love you,
but you’re old and your time has passed,
and to be honest you suffered from
several emotional deficiencies.
Your disability made you a great writer,
but your corpse in here makes the writers
lose touch with their hearts and pencils.
I have decided to bury you next to Neruda,
where for once you can hear the waves breaking.

0 thoughts on “Buk's Dead Body

  1. Isla Negra as a final resting place is a nice touch at the end.
    I like this poem. I read it five times before recognizing Pablo Neruda’s name. I kept inserting Nevada into that last line. I thought you were going in a different place. On the sixth read I noticed and then had to reread it another five times.
    Bukowski always is for me the beggar or passenger from Neruda’s Question. Entombing them together makes sense to me.
    I enjoyed how the burden of responsibility for putting the fetid fucker in his grave started out as assigned to “someone” but then the narrator took the duty. I also liked reading you comparing writers who try to have a voice like Bukowski to freshman medical students dinking with the cadaver of a person they never knew. It works for a lot of poets.

  2. Misener, ‘Thou hast damnable iteration; and art, indeed, able to corrupt a saint!’ Fine ass poem…well researched and provocative! Halifax summed up beautifully…i can’t add much [‘the fetid fucker’ hehehe…that was good]. I don’t know as much about Neruda (i’ve read more Jeffers), but yeah, would not have imagined him in same sentence as Bukowski…maybe they do go together like Kahlua and chocolate milk. Recitations of Neruda by Gael Garcia Bernal in ‘Motorcycle Diaries’ very heart-stopping by the way…
    I think you nailed Hank’s ‘eat, drink, and be merry [then write it down!]’ essence. I had to laugh at the ‘shriveled penis pointing due south’ line which may be a reference to penchant for fondling the muses (womanizing).
    I think you’re right, there are a lot of poets who do the whole emulation of Bukowski gig…very few who can outdo or build upon the archetype…maybe William Massey III with his poems about throwing frozen cats out of 2nd story windows and dragging pregnant women by the hair up the stairwell [which i don’t condone] succeeds somewhat. ..And i’ve heard said that ol’ Buk had more influence on today’s poetry than that of the Beats…what do you think?
    Emulation can be a good stepping stone but not a place of residence. i saw a kung fu movie once where there were all these masters of different arts: Toad, Snake, Tiger, Crane, etc. who were engaged in this power struggle. Well, the teacher of these masters, before he dies, sends out his last student who is a practitioner of all styles, to bring harmony to the situation. I look at poetry in a like light, to beg and borrow from different poets/schools and eventually come up with your own unique style is an important road to follow.
    Thx for bringing all this out in me. I look forward to a chap full of your own style, reading it on my 40 year old crimson chair lighted by sunday morning Americana, and think: ‘if i were not quasimofo, i would be Misener.’

  3. Thanks for the comments. I really think that Hank’s influence is more pervasive than that of the Beats in the ‘underground” circles you find in the small press and on the internet. As for the poetry mainstream, I dunno, because I don’t read those expensive literary journals too often. I think Buk is attractive to aspiring poets because his words are so uncomplicated, direct, and easy. He makes it look simple: drink, be pessimistic, entertain women, gamble, live on the seedy side of town, casually reference classical music, drink some more, bla bla bla. . . you know the routine. People emulate it because it’s funny and simple. Don’t get me wrong, Buk is one of my favorite writers, but NOBODY can do it the way he did. He’s like MJ. . . he made the fade-away jumpshot look like cake, and all the kids wanted to be like Mike, but most of their shots are bricks. That being said, check out Justin Hyde’s poetry. He’s one guy who I would gladly say has EXTENDED on Buk’s legacy, though he himself claims to be more influenced by Raymond Carver.

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