31 July 2007

The world is on backwards

There is a place where death means freedom or fame, depending on what it is you are searching for. Death is freedom from the shackles of time and money, taxes and tragedy, grief and sorrow, sadness and pain, uncertainty and loneliness. Some feel that real genius can't be discovered until its dead; until its laid before us nice and neat and with finality for us to dissect and discuss as a complete work in our collective rear view mirrors. Think of how many artists have received such impossible posthumous glory, fame and notoriety while they spent their living years struggling and starving in a murky ocean of the unknown and underground; fighting like fish for a ray of light above the pond scum. It's almost a surefire way to be revered these days because it happens almost every time. It seals your fate in a way nothing else can. It puts a period on a life's work that some people need to see before they can appreciate you. They'd rather revere the dead than celebrate the living. They'd rather miss you when you're away than love you when you're here. They'd rather speculate why you did this or that after you're gone instead of asking you while you're alive. They fear clear, black and white; they want mystery, murk and gray. Selfishly they want the mystery; its a hobby, a past time like anything else; it fills their vapid lives with vicarious meaning. They want to long for something rather than have it. They want to miss something rather than love it. They like to play games with it and assume it will always be there. We are nothing without our antagonists. How bored we'd all be if we always got what we wanted. How restless the world would be if we all had everything we dreamed for. The peace we search for, if we had it, surely we'd never know what to do with it. What would we do if all our dreams came true? Is death better than hope?

Love & Fame & Death by Charles Bukowski

it sits outside my window now
like and old woman going to market;
it sits and watches me,
it sweats nervously
through wire and fog and dog-bark
until suddenly
I slam the screen with a newspaper
like slapping at a fly
and you could hear the scream
over this plain city,
and then it left.

the way to end a poem
like this
is to become suddenly

No comments: