Archives for posts with tag: Bukowski
Image cropped from a vintage advertisement for corsets from Le Petit Echo de la Mode (Dec. 15, 1901 issue). Courtesy of the Old Design Shop.

Image cropped from a vintage advertisement for corsets from Le Petit Echo de la Mode (Dec. 15, 1901 issue). Courtesy of the Old Design Shop.

How am I supposed to compete
with Nicole, Fully Experienced

who is able to stroke false lashes
onto her eyelids
rather than lose the wily moults
to the back of a chair?

Nicole, with her cream of know-how,
certainly has a drawer of négligée
and suitable apparatus for pranking

Unlike 8 pairs of cotton briefs,
stitched where they give
so as to last another year of wear;
The only bedside apparatus
a weatherworn Bukowski (apparently
to some a turn on).

I bet fully practised Nicole
wears fetish heels as thin and long
as the ballpoint used to spike down
my wares.

I was on Charing Cross Road recently. Swept up in the usual bustle of traversing a London pavement, I kept mindful of my step and the other walkers as we congested around a buggy that had stalled the flow. A scrap of paper under someone’s heel caught my attention. It was a flyer for the services of Nicole, Fully Experienced.

Nicole’s imagined experience inspired today’s poem.

(I am still not entirely convinced about the title, as women who do work in the adult entertainment industry may find it condescending. ‘Skills’ and ‘Wares’ were other options which I considered.)

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In the Ocean: a year of poetry
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness: Selected Poems, 1999 – 2012

Anthurium at lalbagh flower show 7109

Anthuriums from Lalbagh Garden, Bangalore by Rameshng (own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

This greeting comes cold from the residue
of morning, 3rd October. Last draff of coffee
in the cup on a saucer that would rather be
the stippled salver that serves red
to passersby and those who scan
the street for things to watch
and then behold anthuriums
for sale at the florist.


On relocating to London, I jettisoned my personal library. Since then I have forbad myself from spending on books. As far as possible I beg and borrow. On a few rare occasions I have caved – for Zadie Smith’s essays, Chinese poetry and a tome of Charles Bukowski poems, The Pleasures of the Damned (Canongate, 2010).

It started with ‘hell is a lonely place’ which punched me in the stomach. There in the bookshop I decided that I had to have the whole book, at £15.99. I didn’t care what else was in it. It turned out Bukowski is quite well known. I was a latecomer to his work.

Bukowski’s poem ‘the last generation’ introduces the literary scene of Paris in the 1920s, a time when writing “was a romantic grand game…, full of fury and discovery”. In short, “it was much easier to be a genius in the twenties”.

Part tongue-in-cheek (I’m guessing), the poem suggests:

.. if you sent your stuff postmarked from Paris
chance of publication became much better.
most writers bottomed their manuscripts with the
word “Paris” and the date.

I’ve paired this little joke with today’s prompt: “Write a poem in the form of a letter to someone”. I guess you, dear reader, are the someone.

I love writing letters, and the subject has featured in other poems:

In the unposted letter
It should not be polished
Pavement Writer
Things of the heart told in quiet

I have also written about Paris.

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
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