For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Bluebird

Source: NaturePicsOnline via Wikimedia Commons. Photographer: Elaine R Wilson.

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?

CHARLES BUKOWSKI

10 comments:

Rubye Jack said...

I just love this one!

Ruth said...

I adore this poem. I adore Bukowski.

My sister is having a tough time right now, and poetry began saving her yesterday, because it made her laugh. I think this could make her laugh too, and I'll think about sharing it with her.

Ahh, seeing life through the lives of others!

George said...

We men are especially skilled in keeping the bluebird imprisoned in the heart. Perhaps it's time to start a Free the Bluebird movement!

The Solitary Walker said...

Me too, Rubye.

Yes, I like Bukowski's poems too, Ruth, but in a collective kind of way, rather than (usually) for individual poems. 'Bluebird', however, is exceptional in its own right, I think.

Bukowski incorporates some of the freewheeling spirit of Henry Miller and Jack Kerouac, I feel.

I'll back you, George. That bird needs to fly!

The Weaver of Grass said...

I find this almost painful Robert.
I hops you aren't going to include him in your big garden bird watch this weekend.

The Solitary Walker said...

If I saw that bird in my garden, Pat, I'd think I'd eaten too many magic mushrooms.

Susan Scheid said...

Do you think it could really be possible for Bukowski to have a bluebird in his heart? As for seeing the real thing, we have them in our yard every year, so come on down! This year, the tree swallows evicted the bluebirds from their nest on the first try at nesting, so we had to make an emergency call from the bird people here. Gawd bless 'em, they came over and helped us position the boxes properly, and we got a brood of 5 little ones out of that! Of course, there was a price to pay . . . I now have a route of 20 boxes to monitor each season!

The Solitary Walker said...

Sounds like bluebird heaven, Susan! They are not a native species to Britain, so they look incredibly exotic to me.

Goat said...

The sensitive side of tough-as-old-crocodile-leather Chinaski. I'd guess he was a couple of bottles of cheap red into his evening when that one busted out of its cage.

My girlfriend, for all her wonderful attributes, is an avianophobe. So I'll have to keep my bluebird in its tiny manacles for now...

The Solitary Walker said...

Yes, this does show his softer side, Goat!