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on the day bukowski died

i was sitting in a lawn chair
in the back of a cargo van
headed from wauwatosa
to milwaukee.
my cycling coach was driving
and the man in the passenger seat
ran the finishing camera
for the three week race series
in and around milwaukee.
it was said i had talent
and maybe someday
i would race in the tour de france,
but even then
my head was not in it
and the world was already
an impossible farce.
i sat back there
with a blanket over me
and listened to them
talk wine
and how their wives had gone rot.
i couldn't imagine a wife
or a job
and i knew i was in trouble
down the road
when the world would start demanding
a level of consistency
i lacked.
i was sixteen that night
and had never heard of bukowski
let alone read a poem of any sort.
eleven years would go by
before i came across him on accident
during my third or fourth downturn.
to say he saved me
would be a lie,
but he's
buoyed me some,
helped me
to laugh
during this constant march
through buckets of shit
and very little sunshine.

6 Feb 07

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bukowski is so cliché.
 — unknown

bukowski alive was a phenomena, dead he will go on to influence the more interesting writers in many generation.  A few decades down the track when Those writers find academic acceptance he will be safely dead and academia will accept him, though I suspect that it will be as mean spiritted and begrudging as that accorded the immortal Poe...as in Baudelaire  is much influence by Poe, Ts Eliot is much influence by Baudelaire (the non-prissy moments)  but states he would like to think there was no Poe in his work but can never be really sure.

I agree with you, reading Bukowski will change you forever  and I think the recognition of significance in Bukowskis to future literature will be apparent to
all but the most cliched of traditionalists.  Keep going with this.
 — unknown

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