Ever since my old friend Jane gave me Hot Water Music for my 20th birthday, I have been reading Charles Bukowski. I have been reading Bukowski more often than anyone else. Re-reading Bukowski - I have read Hot Water Music more times than I know, Notes Of A Dirty Old Man, Ham On Rye... These pulped trees with words on are ragged and worn, and have travelled the world... I have read them on beaches, buses, benches and perhaps most pleasantly, in beds... and I take comfort in the knowledge that I can go to them at any time, and that whatever page I might turn to will give me something, something I need...
Bukowski is funny, and truthful. He doesn't waste words, and he makes me think.
He is one side of the coin, and, say, Andrew WK is the other. Or perhaps Grant Morrison. Anyway. They are all right. They are all involved in expressing deep truths about Our Condition.
It only dawned on me today that Doom's new LP is named after a line from Bukowski's most celebrated poem - a thing that is perhaps more relevant today than ever.
So I reprint it here, for us all to digest. Repeatedly.
Dinosauria, We by Charles Bukowski
Born like this Into this As the chalk faces smile As Mrs. Death laughs As the elevators break As political landscapes dissolve As the supermarket bag boy holds a college degree As the oily fish spit out their oily prey As the sun is masked We are Born like this Into this Into these carefully mad wars Into the sight of broken factory windows of emptiness Into bars where people no longer speak to each other Into fist fights that end as shootings and knifings Born into this Into hospitals which are so expensive that it’s cheaper to die Into lawyers who charge so much it’s cheaper to plead guilty Into a country where the jails are full and the madhouses closed Into a place where the masses elevate fools into rich heroes Born into this Walking and living through this Dying because of this Muted because of this Castrated Debauched Disinherited Because of this Fooled by this Used by this Pissed on by this Made crazy and sick by this Made violent Made inhuman By this The heart is blackened The fingers reach for the throat The gun The knife The bomb The fingers reach toward an unresponsive god The fingers reach for the bottle The pill The powder We are born into this sorrowful deadliness We are born into a government 60 years in debt That soon will be unable to even pay the interest on that debt And the banks will burn Money will be useless There will be open and unpunished murder in the streets It will be guns and roving mobs Land will be useless Food will become a diminishing return Nuclear power will be taken over by the many Explosions will continually shake the earth Radiated robot men will stalk each other The rich and the chosen will watch from space platforms Dante’s Inferno will be made to look like a children’s playground The sun will not be seen and it will always be night Trees will die All vegetation will die Radiated men will eat the flesh of radiated men The sea will be poisoned The lakes and rivers will vanish Rain will be the new gold The rotting bodies of men and animals will stink in the dark wind The last few survivors will be overtaken by new and hideous diseases And the space platforms will be destroyed by attrition The petering out of supplies The natural effect of general decay And there will be the most beautiful silence never heard Born out of that. The sun still hidden there Awaiting the next chapter.