Sunday, 5 May 2013

Poetry Reads: Alone with Everybody by Charles Bukowski

Alone with Everybody by Charles Bukowski is a poem of man’s alienation, the reality of being born, and living and searching all through one’s life for something that is elusive or fleeting more often than not. In this poem, he says that ‘there’s no chance at all: we are all trapped by a singular fate’. This is yet another paradigm of dirty realism, a literary movement, a term that was coined in the 1980s by Bill Buford, American author and former editor of Granta magazine. He described dirty realism in an issue of Granta as – ‘Dirty realism is the fiction of a new generation of American authors. They write about the belly-side of contemporary life – a deserted husband, an unwed mother, a car thief, a pickpocket, a drug addict – but they write about it with a disturbing detachment, at times verging on comedy. Understated, ironic, sometimes savage, but insistently compassionate, these stories constitute a new voice in fiction’.

Alone With Everybody
by Charles Bukowski

the flesh covers the bone
and they put a mind
in there and
sometimes a soul,
and the women break
vases against the walls
and the men drink too
and nobody finds the
but keep
crawling in and out
of beds.
flesh covers
the bone and the
flesh searches
for more than

there's no chance
at all:
we are all trapped
by a singular

nobody ever finds
the one.

the city dumps fill
the junkyards fill
the madhouses fill
the hospitals fill
the graveyards fill

nothing else


(Article by Kabita Sonowal)

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