Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sneak Preview: National Poetry Month

Celebrating Poetry
April is National Poetry Month and was first marked in 1996 by the Academy the American Poets. Since then, National Poetry Month has become a way to promote interest in poetry and to celebrate poetry’s place in our culture and everyday lives.

Charles Bukowski (1920-1994), the son of a U.S. serviceman on duty in Germany, was born there in Andernach. His parents relocated to the United States and settled in South Los Angeles. He suffered severely abusive treatment from his father and from school yard bullies, and began use alcohol in his early teens. He graduated from L.A. High School and took courses in art, journalism, and literature at City College. His literary influences include Antonin Artaud, Louis‑Ferdinand CĂ©line, Anton Chekhov, E.E. Cummings, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, John Fante, Knut Hamsun, Ernest Hemingway, Robinson Jeffers, Franz Kafka, Henry Miller, and James Thurber. He authored 27 books of poetry, seven novels, and 13 collections of short stories. Taken as a whole, they fall into the literary movements known as Dirty Realism and Transgressive Fiction.

he hooked to the body hard
took it well
and loved to fight
had seven in a row and a small fleck
over one eye,
and then he met a kid from Camden
with arms thin as wires—
it was a good one,
the safe lions roared and threw money;
they were both up and down many times,
but he lost that one
and he lost the rematch
in which neither of them fought at all,
hanging on to each other like lovers through the boos,
and now he’s over at Mike’s
changing tires and oil and batteries,
the fleck over the eye
still young,
but you don’t ask him,
you don’t ask him anything
except maybe
you think it’s going to rain?
you think the sun’s gonna come out?
to which he’ll usually answer
hell no,
but you’ll have your important tank of gas
and drive off.

Further Reading and Viewing: Click here

Content developed by local resident and poet Leland Jamieson, author of:
21st Century Bread (2007)
In Vitro : New Short Rhyming Poems Post-9/11 (2009)