The Laughing Heart

Charles Bukowski needs no introduction. Living a very interesting and unique life, he has left us with an amazing body of work. Using raw language to connect directly with the reader, Bukowski’s directness didn’t take away beauty from many of his compositions. A very clever storyteller, he hooks the reader from the start and slowly guides him on the journey he wants. A simple and clear example of that is how he starts his novel Post Office with the sentence, “It began as a mistake.” Corrosive at certain times, he never let what others thought of him affect his work. Here is one of my favorite poems due to its brave simplicity. These words mean much more coming from a man who had the life he had. Is it possible to separate the man from his work? Hard to believe it is, but I will never know. 

 

The Laughing Heart

by Charles Bukowski

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

Helder Guimaraes