Monday, July 19, 2010

Charles Bukowski: A Poorly Night

Think I've mentioned before on this blog that cult writer Charles Bukowski used to send poems to Peter Finch's Welsh poetry magazine, Second Aeon, which was based in Llandaff North, Cardiff. I have an image in my head of Bukowski, eyebrows raised, scrawling "Llandaff North", on an envelope before popping it into the post. Bukowski was living at the time at 5124 De Longpre Ave, Los Angeles. His once sleazy apartment (see pic) is now listed as an Historic-Cultural Monument (take note Cardiff Council). Anyway, amongst the poems that Bukowski sent to Llandaff North was, A Poorly Night, which actually mentions Wales. It's typical Bukowski in that it recounts a violent, drunken episode: the author has kicked someone's car and then thrown himself into a bush, thus destroying it. His long-suffering girlfriend tells him he needs to go see a shrink and then leaves him. The author responds by chucking a chair through the window. The poem concludes with the seemingly incongruous line: "how many dead beasts float and walk from Wales to/ Los Angeles?" If you want to study the poem in full you need to get hold of his poetry collection, Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame.