I think someone like Bukowski
Would have called it a backbreaker,
Plain and simple, no dressing it up.
That all passion is madness dug
From the grave, the hollow growing
Ever deeper, the more you spend,
The less you save of your own life.
That love, if that is what it’s to be called,
Is an iffy hand at best, a currency not
To be trusted on any market, a plain
Yet the man himself fell and fell often,
Working that shovel of paper and type,
Writing his guts out, writing to women,
Wooing them outrageously, pockmarked
Rake, stealing them from other beds,
Taking them easy, taking them right out
From under the noses of men more handsome,
Successful, and certainly more sober, more sane.
It’s a conundrum, this love business.
That saying? “You made your bed, now lie in it”?
Well in love’s case, it takes two.
I think of Bukowski, madman and prophet
I’d like to ask him what he thinks of you,
Wherever you are,
And whether you’re worthy of this laborer
This fallen, toiling, foolhardy star.