Friday, February 24, 2012

Read Charles Bukowski 4 what?

Read Charles Bukowski 4 social enlightenment? Well, maybe. Bukowski’s poetry often presents the rest of the world as stuck in hapless darkness: people are stupid, their lives are small and petty, men chained to their wives, and so on. But the poet — he’s the one guy who knows the score. And yes, I find that pose tiresome. Bukowski can though be a useful gateway poet, one whose work can lead a reader to stronger, harder stuff. For me, Bukowski’s work helped point the way to poetry beyond the academic traditions I absorbed as an undergrad.

I snapped this photograph in The Red Herring Restaurant and Coffeehouse in Urbana, Illinois. The words appear on a paper-towel dispenser. I noticed the rejoinder, written in a lighter hand, only after taking the photograph.

On a non-poetic note: The Red Herring’s vegan chili and cornbread are out of sight.

A related post
Homework (on developing a “poetry base”)

[My favorite Bukowski: the 1971 novel Post Office.]

comments: 1

Anonymous said...

Oddly enough, I lived in C-U for six years, but never visited the Red Herring. Shame on me.