This is shit.
Your life is shit.
The Beats are shit because
their shit is only relative to your shit because
you think it should be.
And I hope they are
laughing at all of us in our
Buddy Holly Ginsberg glasses because
they are all dead and
we are just now catching on,
catching up and latching on to a term used
half a century previous and served in cheap hotels because
that’s where all the wealthy disaffected youths end up
when they play at artistic unpretention.
And how embarrassing
that our idols are all men
who would laugh at our pretension,
who beat themselves and fucked cheap whores because
Life is shit.
Life is short but days are long
so fill them fill them one by one until
you work up the courage to do something about it,
you sad amalgam of what you think you ought.
Want to blame someone for your boredom,
you piece of shit?
Want to feel sorry for yourself,
for your misdirected derring-do?
Blame Sesame Street.
Blame everyone who told you that
Anything is Possible,
The World is Your Oyster
Today’s letter is a perfect circle—meaning everything.
Fuck those guys.
You can’t have everything.
You can barely get enough so just
Shut the fuck up and go back to your
Regularly Scheduled Programming.
It’s hard enough to just get by,
let alone make it,
and when your gods tell you to take
those pills with whiskey chasers and
Give the bitch what’s coming to her—
Well, you and the bitch both get royally fucked.
Speaking for the bitch
(and by bitch I mean anyone who,
waking up one night and rolling over to see
so perfect and beautiful in your unpretentious naked sleep,
starts to whisper in your perfect ear
I love you no really and not in the put me in your poems way: the way that means please will you pick Baby up from school today he has a fever and maybe we should buy a house
and reaching out to stroke your perfect hair,
place a hand upon your perfect arm,
wants to see you today tomorrow and forever
as your perfect unpretentious naked self,
embarrassed by your shortcomings,
sometimes proud of some minor accomplishment
Honey, I changed the bulbs in the bathroom I know they have been bothering you)
I have this to say:
The Beats are dead,
some much too young and others far too old.
All of the Great poets are dead because
while they lived they filled their lives with living
and that doesn’t look like much while we’re all still here to do it.
Sometimes it does look like squalor in cheap hotel rooms,
nights spent alone in front of the television that Someone will later fill with
women, booze, and cigarettes—all of them.
But usually life looks like
too much laundry,
too many errands,
not enough time or interest or strength
to get things done and
God why won’t the words come.
It is not a show.
It is not a play.
It’s a great big fucking mess of
despair won’t pay the bills.
And your shit,
your show of disaffection,
your play at player of the arts,
Want to be a Beat?
Want to live like Bukowski?
Spit on his grave.
Flip him the bird and write your own shit,
find the poets writing today and read their shit,
stop fucking around and make shit happen.
Beware the guy who doesn’t look like you with words you don’t want to hear.
Beware the women who ask for happily ever after and want to turn your nakedness into new life.
They are creating new poetic forms,
They are writing a world you don’t understand.
Most art doesn’t look like you,
you heirs-apparent to the throne.
New art is frightening because it doesn’t sound familiar.
You don’t make poetry by dressing like a dead man.
Go fuck yourself, but when you start fucking back—run.
Burn your books if you have to but by all means:
get the fuck away from turning yourself into a graven image.
Soon we will be dead as doornails dead and
you’ve got to be more than what the world has already seen
if you want anything more than a drink and a fuck and a gun to the head, so
Take off the glasses and find your perfect, unpretentious naked self.
Your own Self is enough and quickly decaying so
grab it and hold it and throw it away. More will follow if you
write about what moves you,
write about your nakedness and the tears and the scars and the holes in your skin.
Turn your carefully worn button-downs into a quilt and
make some fucking love.
That’s the shit that isn’t really
doesn’t always look like
what you think it ought.
Go make it.
(from the guns get bigger and bigger and the girls move further away)