Bluebird by Charles Bukowski

Welcome to your monthly dose of poetry.

Charles Bukowski is an interesting chap. He intrigues me but I gather from friends who have ventured deeper into his smoky, whiskey-soaked world, that I may not particularly like him if I get to know him too well. Which is why I’m inclined to keep my distance for now.

From a distance, he still manages to bring a tear to my eye. Bluebird in particular has always made me choke. I cannot pretend to be tough when such heart-aching honesty whispered from deep within the rib cage.

Bluebird

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going
to let anybody see
you.
there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
he’s
in there.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
works?
you want to blow my book sales in
Europe?
there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody’s asleep.
I say, I know that you’re there,
so don’t be
sad.
then I put him back,
but he’s singing a little
in there, I haven’t quite let him
die
and we sleep together like
that
with our
secret pact
and it’s nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don’t
weep, do
you?

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