For Bukowski

Believe it … poetry can heal wounds;
of course, an awkward, ill-set bone
will sometimes need to be re-cracked,
and soft illusions that so gently cradle us
to bind the flesh beneath, must go.

And often, language is so poor
a conduit for what needs said
that poetry, to remain true,
must eschew words and simply ape,
pretending to be civilized.

In drunken rages, curses slurred
and spewed into a sewer’s maw,
a poet finds epiphany;
and if not driven to reveal
that underbelly, often pawns

off lesser dreck to pass as art,
or spends their time in all-night shops,
dissecting life with coffeespoons.
Let he who is well understood
explain such mincing words. Pray tell:

What inner demons exorcised
conduct themselves with grace and charm?
The world needs screaming, now and then,
and herds of pigs snorting, pell-mell,
beyond decency’s cliff.

04 OCT 2005

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