Monday, April 21, 2014

Slaughter House Rules and Timeless Poetry!

Before returning to poetry, I ask that you check out my interview at the Slaughter House with International Novelist, Richard Godwin. It was a fun interview.

I need to fill three poetry days, so I’m borrowing from a few classical greats. The poems I picked are from poets I wasn't too familiar with until now.

Charles Bukowski was born Heinrich Karl Bukowski in Andernach, Germany; his mother, a German native and his father, an American serviceman. After financial issues in Germany, the family moved to America, first making a home in Baltimore, Maryland and then settling in South Central Los Angeles. Time Magazine called him a "laureate of American lowlife.”

German by Charles Bukowski 

being the German kid in the 20's in Los Angeles
was difficult.
there was much anti-German feeling then,
a carry-over from World War 1.
gangs of kids chased me through the neighborhood
yelling, 'Hieneie! Hieneie! Hienie!'
they never caught me.
I was like a cat.
I knew all the paths through brush and alleys.
I scaled 6-foot back fences in a flash and was off through
backyards and around blocks
and onto garage roofs and other hiding places.
then too, they didn't really want to catch me.
they were afraid I might bayonet them
or gouge out their eyes.

this went on for about 18 months
then all of a sudden it seemed to stop.
I was more or less accepted(but never really)
which was all right with me.
those sons-of-bitches were Americans,
they and their parents had been born here.
they had names like Jones and Sullivan and
they were pale and often fat with runny
noses and big belt buckles.
I decided never to become an American.
my hero was Baron Manfred von Richthofen
the German air ace;
he'd shot down 80 of their best
and there was nothing they could do about
that now.
their parents didn't like my parents
(I didn't either) and
I decided when I got big I'd go live in some place
like Iceland,
never open my door to anybody and live on my
luck, live with a beautiful wife and a bunch of wild
which is, more or less, what

Khalil Gibran, born Gubran Khalil Gubran, was born to a Maronite Catholic family in Bsharri in northern Lebanon. They struggled with poverty, so he didn’t receive formal schooling in his younger years. After his father's imprisonment for embezzlement, they moved to the United States, settling in Boston. A school mistake changed his name to Kahlil Gibran. He is the third best-selling poet, behind Shakespeare and Lao-Tzu.

The Wise Dog by Khalil Gibran 

One day there passed by a company of cats a wise dog.

And as he came near and saw that they were very intent and heeded
him not, he stopped.

Then there arose in the midst of the company a large, grave cat and
looked upon them and said, 'Brethren, pray ye; and when ye have
prayed again and yet again, nothing doubting, verily then it shall
rain mice.'

And when the dog heard this he laughed in his heart and turned from
them saying, 'O blind and foolish cats, has it not been written and
have I not known and my fathers before me, that that which raineth
for prayer and faith and supplication is not mice but bones.'

Dylan Marlais Thomas was born in Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales. His father was an English Master who taught English Literature and his mother a seamstress. Too sickly to fight in World War II, he wrote scripts for the government. In 1941, the Germans bombed Swansea and left a shell of a town. He came to New York to participate in a performance of Under Milk Wood, and died soon after from a combination of bronchitis and alcohol. In America, his resonant voice with Welsh accent made him famous along with his works.

Interview and Poetry,


  1. I've only read a couple of things by Bukowski, but he's been on my TBR list for years and years. I'll head over to read your interview later in the day :)

    1. These three were new to me. I do like the way Dylan talks.

  2. I'm glad to see Bukowski on here. We're both big fans, mostly of his novels but he also was an amazing poet.

    1. I'll have to look into his novels. For some reason, I can see his writing to be similar to Don DeLillo.