Phoebe’s Post: Charles Bukowski

I think I want to become a poet when I grow up. For me poets are creatures of power. With just a few words they can change the world. Their verses are like little candles that shed some light to the darkness that has covered the past. When I feel lost or low or just fed up, I find comfort in words. I spend a few hours every day going through the digital literary archives of the Ark, trying to enrich my literary knowledge, experimenting with writing styles, filling my writing journal with tones of notes.
I recently discovered a brilliant subversive poet of the 20th century, whose work is filled with harsh words and violent images. Charles Bukowski is his name. Born in Germany, he grew up in America when he was two years old. He experienced a rough childhood, was bullied by his peers, faced a severe drinking problem, worked hard to make a living and finally became one of the most acclaimed writers of the 20th century.

What I like most about Bukowski’s work is that he doesn’t depict the world as a beautiful place. He describes it as it is; hard and violent and intense, with moments of brilliance and beauty. There is a particular poem that always makes me think of Alex. It’s not a romantic one. Quite the opposite. But it still is one of my favorites. A few simple words revealing an absolute truth.

there are worse things than

being alone

but it often takes decades

to realize this

and most often

when you do

it’s too late

and there’s nothing worse


too late


Because, you see, I’ve come to a realization. I can’t help thinking that before meeting Rosie, I might somehow stood a chance with Alex. But now it is too late.
And there’s nothing worse than too late.

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