Thursday, May 04, 2006

Poetry Thursday

I am a huge Charles Bukowski fan.
He was known as not being very nice (which he often said about himself) and brutally honest.
I like him because he was OUT LOUD and REAL in his writings.
I was introduced to him by my best friend and artist
Alisoun when we were in middle school.
I know we were a we bit young to be reading a vulgar drunk but there was something about his ability to speak the raw truth in his writings that I connected to at the time. I had a profound interest in poetry after that and I could not get enough. My connection to poetry and writing in general began when I was young and I spent endless minutes writing stories. I continued that path by pursuing and obtaining a B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. Unfortunately, I stopped writing at some point for some reason I am still trying to justify, though I know there is no real excuse for giving up your dreams.
I found this poem hidden amongst stacks of poetry and writings I had saved since college. We were given an assignment to bring to class a poem that would motivate us to want to write. Half the class walked in with this poem. As it was read by one of the people I the class I wondered to myself how many had picked it because of its title or because they had actually read it and were inspired by it. As the last word was read everyone looked around the room as if to see who “felt it”. Well, I “felt it”. I “felt it” because it had always been one of my favorites by Charles and I use to keep it taped inside every composition notebook I ever wrote in to remind me of the love I had for writing. So, I share with you a poem that you can reflect on, be inspired by, or simple find your truth when it comes to your true passion for the written word.

so you want to be a writer

if it doesn't come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don't do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your mouth
and your gut,
don't do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
searching for words,
don't do it.
if you're doing it for money or
don't do it.
if your doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don't do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don't do it.
if it's hard work just thinking about doing it,
don't do it.
If your trying to write like somebody
forget about it.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
your not ready.

don't be like so many writers,
don't be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don't be dull and boring and
pretentious, don't be consumed with self-
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
over your kind.
don't add to that.
don't do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don't do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don't do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen, it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

~Charles Bukowski


Blogger Sarah said...

Wow. I am hanging a copy of this above my desk! Thanks for sharing it.

10:32 PM  
Blogger AscenderRisesAbove said...

yes i agree with sarah; a real keeper

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with most of what this poem says, with the exception of this:

if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
searching for words,
don't do it.

In that case, I say do it anyway, because it's not always easy to write.

I hope you find your way back to writing soon.

1:18 AM  

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