I have been feeling particularly full of life this week, and very grateful for it. You can come across some good luck and find yourself being suspicious about enjoying it or acting on it, but I am glad that I have people around me who gently guide me back to more gentle places in my own head where I do the right thing. This, then, is a bit of an exposure of myself. I used to love this poem when I was a teenager. I think I used to tell people it was my favourite. I’m a long way from there now, but for some reason it wandered back into my head. It’s Some People by Charles Bukowski.
Here it is in full:
some people never go crazy.
me, sometimes I’ll lie down behind the couch
for 3 or 4 days.
they’ll find me there.
it’s Cherub, they’ll say, and
they pour wine down my throat
rub my chest
sprinkle me with oils.
then, I’ll rise with a roar,
rant, rage –
curse them and the universe
as I send them scattering over the
I’ll feel much better,
sit down to toast and eggs,
hum a little tune,
suddenly become as lovable as a
some people never go crazy.
what truly horrible lives
they must lead.
It’s embarrassing obviously. But Bukowski sometimes had the joy of simple kindness. In the same way his work is filled with the terror of pettiness — his sense of smallness of self which drove those nastier poems is the same thing here which give us the idea of needing the help of others to become the better version of himself.
That help is a kindness too, in this poem he’s some kind of misplaced cherub that simply need to be jollied into existence again. The energy of revival here is one where he sends those who revive him scattering across the lawn, which suggests a kind of gnome-strewn lawn after a storm to me. The love he get from those around him hinges, he says, on the fact that he has gone crazy and lies down behind the couch for a few days. He knows that this tenderness is about putting him straight, so he must cultivate his wonkiness. The things that is missing from this poem is gratitude for these people floating around the poet and point him in the right direction — which is why it is something that I could love as a teenager, but feel so alienated from now, while I also reliant on people pushing me towards the better things I should be doing.
It wouldn’t be an ETTO without mentioning Sam has another poem (called Twitch) out somewhere (Thimble), it’s pretty heavy.
This week’s song is All The Wine by The National. Because I am feeling very good about the world.
Thanks for reading etch to their own. I’m really thankful that you’re reading this at all. There’s a lot people around me who make it vaguely possible for me to be better than I currently am. If I was anyone I would be @CJEggett. I have to say it has been a good week. I have a new job that is a little closer, a little better paid, and tickles part of my brain the in way that other jobs might not. It’s sad to have to leave all of the lovely people I work with at the moment of course. I’ve not read much this week because I’ve had too much energy and felt full of too much blood. As a little bonus I was given this by someone and love it very much.