Last Day of National Poetry Month!

by Ruby on April 30, 2010

April is coming to an end, and with it, National Poetry Month. I hope you’ve all enjoyed reading the poems Vroman’s employees have picked; I certainly have. If you haven’t… well, at least it’s almost over.

I saved today’s poems for last on purpose. They come from Danny, our Shipping/Receiving manager. Charles Bukowski is one of his favorite poets, and he especially likes Bukowski’s poetry on the subject of writing. In fact, Bukowski’s lack of formal structure, raw emotion, and outright rejection of the styles of other poets inspired Danny to start writing his own poetry. I tried to wrangle some for you, my lovely blog-readers, but unfortunately I have been unsuccessful so far.

In the mean time, you can find several of Bukowski’s poetry collections on our shelves right now, or you can browse and order them online. And now:  Bukowski on writing.

by Charles Bukowski

often it is the only
between you and
no drink,
no woman’s love,
no wealth
match it.
nothing can save
it keeps the walls
the hordes from
closing in.
it blasts the
writing is the
the kindliest
god of all the
writing stalks
it knows no
and writing
at itself,
at pain.
it is the last
the last
what it

so you want to be a writer?
by Charles Bukowski

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and 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 you’re 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 you’re 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,
you’re 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.

So happy National Poetry Month, everyone!