The Monday Poem: ‘all that’ by Charles Bukowski

The Monday Poem is brought to you by Professor Jim Gormley of the English Department. Enjoy!

all that
by Charles Bukowski

the only things I remember about
New York City
in the summer
are the fire escapes
and how the people go
out on the fire escapes
in the evening
when the sun is setting
on the other side
of the buildings
and some stretch out
and sleep there
while others sit quietly
where it’s cool.

and on many
of the window sills
sit pots of geraniums or
planters filled with red
geraniums
and the half-dressed people
rest there
on the fire escapes
and there are
red geraniums
everywhere.

this is really
something to see rather
than to talk about.

it’s like a great colorful
and surprising painting
not hanging anywhere
else.

The Monday Poem logoAbout This Poet

The Washington Post called Bukowski “the poet laureate of sour alleys and dark bars, of racetracks and long shots” Bukowski summed up his philosophy in a letter he wrote in 1963: “Somebody […] asked me: ‘What do you do? How do you write, create?’ You don’t, I told them. You don’t try. That’s very important: ‘not’ to try, either for Cadillacs, creation or immortality. You wait, and if nothing happens, you wait some more. It’s like a bug high on the wall. You wait for it to come to you. When it gets close enough you reach out, slap out and kill it. Or if you like its looks you make a pet out of it.”