Sunday, August 7, 2016


His hero was there
at that party
being an ass.

I was there,
being an ass myself.

"What do you remember?" someone wanted to know,
when the poet
met the poet.

I said I remember him bumping the kitchen table
lumbering to the john.
Somebody mopped up the spilled drinks with an old shirt.

His hero was there.
He wasn't, but he defended his man crush like a defense attorney,
listing the titles and Apocrypha.

How wrong do I have to be
about my own memory
before he mercifully shuts the fuck up?

His hero was there
at that party
being an ass.

I was there,
and now I'm here
biting my tongue so as not to join him.

for Stevens, there at every disaster.


Sioux said...

This made me remember a book signing by one of my favorite authors. He was an ass about signing books. Didn't engage with his readers, didn't smile, and acted like he was unhappy about being there.

I still love his books, but him? I don't know if he's the guy I would gravitate to during a cocktail party...

hedgewitch said...

Someone always has to gild the...lily...with their own illusions, don't they? There's a lot of this in politics too-- a religious fervor and identification with the Hero candidate who can do no wrong...really perfectly set up and expressed here, Shay. Irritating in the extreme to deal with, too.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Puts me in mind of several interviews with Bukowski I have seen.
But how hard it must be to live up to hero worship.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Raymond Carver wrote a wonderful poem about meeting Bukowski, consisting mainly of quoting the things he said on that occasion. It was a pretty disparaging portrait! (Condemned out of his own mouth.) I also recall seeing an interview from which I formed a very low opinion of him and thought I'd hate to meet him. But I still love his writing.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

This is a vivid portrait of someone one would avoid at such gatherings - sad when it is the Man of the Hour.........

Buddah Moskowitz said...

Along with Dorothy Parker, David Lehman and Johnny Masuda, Buk was my favorite. Not a "man-crush" (why can't I just be a reader?), but why would anyone who has read his work, not think he would be that way? No matter which way he way, he lamented having to live up to his readers' expectation. Still, he made a living out of writing, so he has my admiration.

Twenty-years after his death, his poems still speak to me - and presumably many others as Black Sparrow keeps squeezing out drips and drops of his work.

Great poem and great insight at the end- la la mosk

Lynn said...

Love seeing this through your words.

Shadow said...

...reality is 'glamorous', until it is real.

Mama Zen said...

This is clever and hilarious!


The girl in the picture~
that expression on her face
is hardcore delicious.

All my heroes are asses. I'm definitely an "ass (wo)man."

These are my favorite lines (to snort):
"I said I remember him bumping the kitchen table"
"Somebody mopped up the spilled drinks with an old shirt."
"His hero was there.
He wasn't"
"I was there,
and now I'm here
biting my tongue so as not to join him."