“what they want” Charles Bukowski Poem

The Charles Bukowski poem “what they want” is published in the poetry collection Love is a Dog From Hell. It’s a look at the nature of the public’s interest when it comes to artists.

what they want, by Charles Bukowski

Vallejo writing about
loneliness while starving to
death;
Van Gogh’s ear rejected by a
whore;
Rimbaud running off to Africa
to look for gold and finding
an incurable case of syphilis;
Beethoven gone deaf;
Pound dragged through the streets
in a cage;
Chatterton taking rat poison;
Hemingway’s brains dropping into
the orange juice;
Pascal cutting his wrists
in the bathtub;
Artaud locked up with the mad;
Dostoevsky stood up against a wall;
Crane jumping into a boat propeller;
Lorca shot in the road by Spanish
troops;
Berryman jumping off a bridge;
Burroughs shooting his wife;
Mailer knifing his.
– that’s what they want:
a God damned show
a lit billboard
in the middle of hell.
that’s what they want,
that bunch of
dull
inarticulate
safe
dreary
admirers of
carnivals.

 

Charles Bukowski poem what they want

The Charles Bukowski poem “what they want” is published in the collection Love is a Dog From Hell. Click on the image for more information.



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