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Roll the Dice

Old 01-07-2008, 08:47 PM
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Roll the Dice

I'm new here, so forgive me if this isn't an appropriate place to post the following.

This is a poem by Charles Bukowski, who was, for those who know, an alcoholic's alcoholic. He wrote poetry about drinking beer in the early afternoon and about his elation when his doctor said his drinking wasn't putting his health into jeopardy. This, though, is atypical from most of his writing.

I hope someone, anyone, will find this inspirational.

"Roll The Dice"

if you’re going to try,
go all the way.

otherwise, don’t even start.

if you’re going to try,
go all the way.
this could mean losing girlfriends,
wives, relatives, jobs and
maybe your mind.

go all the way.

it could mean not eating for 3 or 4 days.
it could mean freezing on a
park bench.
it could mean jail,
it could mean derision,
mockery,isolation.
isolation is the gift,
all the others are a test of your
endurance,
of how much you really want to
do it.

and you’ll do it
despite rejection and the worst odds
and it will be better than
anything else
you can imagine.

if you’re going to try,
go all the way.
there is no other feeling like that.

you will be alone with the gods
and the nights will flame with
fire.

do it, do it, do it.
do it.

all the way
all the way.

you will ride life straight to
perfect laughter,
its the only good fight
there is.
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Old 01-08-2008, 10:02 AM
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I really enjoyed that and sadly, I also understood where the author is coming from. Thanks for posting it!
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Old 01-09-2008, 03:40 AM
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The man was a poet, no doubting.

I also get where he's coming from, and it's always been a twist to me that there's something romantic in the loss of the self... I think there's a bit of 'if you're gonna do something, do it properly' in all of us addicts and alcoholics.

Here's to Charles Bukowski *raises fruit juice*

uh-huh, damn straight.

Tom Waits is another favourite of mine - anyone who's been lost in a cask at 3am with candles and Small Change on knows what I'm talking about...
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Old 01-09-2008, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by nodrinkingzone View Post
Tom Waits is another favourite of mine - anyone who's been lost in a cask at 3am with candles and Small Change on knows what I'm talking about...
Yeah, the neighbors I must have terrorized over the years by drunkenly caterwauling along to that...
[here I "sing" in a gruesome flat howl] Waaaaaaaaaaassted an' wooooooooouuuuuuuuuunnnnnnnnnnndED, it ain't what the moooooooooooon diiiiiiiid.....

TW cleaned up and sobered up about 15 years ago, as far as I know. He doesn't shout about it from the houses, but makes no secret of it either.
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Old 01-09-2008, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by nolonger View Post
Yeah, the neighbors I must have terrorized over the years by drunkenly caterwauling along to that...
[here I "sing" in a gruesome flat howl] Waaaaaaaaaaassted an' wooooooooouuuuuuuuuunnnnnnnnnnndED, it ain't what the moooooooooooon diiiiiiiid.....

TW cleaned up and sobered up about 15 years ago, as far as I know. He doesn't shout about it from the houses, but makes no secret of it either.
REALLY?! Tom Waits is sober?! He still sounds like he's gargling whiskey and asphault. For some reason I find a lot of encouragement in finding out people I've liked/admired are sober. He's a surprising one though.
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:49 AM
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"For years, he was the booze-soaked bard of the barstool, the keeper of 'a bad liver and a broken heart'. But Tom Waits was saved by his wife, hasn't had a drink for more than a decade and, at 56, is making the music of his life. Interview..."
Tom Waits, now teetotaller, is at 56 making the music of his life, he tells Sean O'Hagan | Magazine | The Observer
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Old 01-09-2008, 11:32 AM
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Jeez, I'll never remember how many times I thought I was just going to "do it all the way" and wound up blacked out, hungover, miserable. Here's to recovering from romantic dellusions. The road of excess never led me to the palace of wisdom--unless that's code for the toilet!

I do kinda miss reading Bukowski, but I avoid him these days--too much celebrating booze for me.
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Old 01-09-2008, 04:03 PM
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Hi BT,

Thanks for sharing this poem.

I noticed the thread you posted about book recommendations. If you like poetry (how could you not, with that user name?!), you might like "Last call : poems on alcoholism, addiction & deliverance" (Gorham & Skinner, eds.). I did!
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Old 01-09-2008, 06:55 PM
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Thank you Autopathography!

I think a book of poetry like that to accompany some of the other suggestions would be perfect. And yes, of course, the William Blake reference is probably a dead givaway that I like me some poetry.

Thanks again, and I'm glad that some of y'all have enjoyed this poem.

Burning bright,

B'sT
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Old 01-23-2008, 03:25 PM
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A couple more poems

Good Girl
-Kim Addonizio

Look at you, sitting there being good.
After two years you're still dying for a cigarette.
And not drinking on weekdays, who thought that one up?
Don't you want to run to the corner right now
for a fifth of vodka and have it with cranberry juice
and a nice lemon slice, wouldn't the backyard
that you're so sick of staring out into
look better then, the tidy yard your landlord tends
day and night — the fence with its fresh coat of paint,
the ash-free barbeque, the patio swept clean of small twigs —
don't you want to mess it all up, to roll around
like a dog in his flowerbeds? Aren't you a dog anyway,
always groveling for love and begging to be petted?
You ought to get into the garbage and lick the insides
of the can, the greasy wrappers, the picked-over bones,
you ought to drive your snout into the coffee grounds.
Ah, coffee! Why not gulp some down with four cigarettes
and then blast naked into the streets, and leap on the first
beautiful man you find? The words Ruin me, haven't they
been jailed in your throat for forty years, isn't it time
you set them loose in slutty dresses and torn fishnets
to totter around in five-inch heels and slutty mascara?
Sure it's time. You've rolled over long enough.
Forty, forty-one. At the end of all this
there's one lousy biscuit, and it tastes like dirt.
So get going. Listen: they're howling for you now:
up and down the block your neighbors' dogs
burst into frenzied barking and won't shut up.


But
-Kim Addonizio

They'd known each other a month and had decided to marry, but two days before the wedding she hit him over the head with a beer bottle during an argument and the paramedics had to come and he got sixteen stitches but what the hell, they reconciled as soon as they were sober. And then the wedding, a party in the warehouse space he lived in, and everyone still drinking and dancing as they headed off to a big hotel in the city. But the friend who was going to loan them a Lincoln to arrive in style never showed up, so they took the groom's old car and pulled up and staggered into the lobby, but with his bandaged head and the two of them being pretty wasted and some kind of complication about the name on the credit card -- another friend had arranged for the room -- the hotel refused to let them register. So back to his car, the old car that had no passenger window and now wouldn't start. He tried to hotwire it but somehow pulled out the ignition wire instead, after a while he got the car going but it had started to rain, hard, and they had to drive back home with her getting soaked and him holding one hand out the window to help the wiper blade sweep back and forth. At home the party was still going but by now the two of them wanted to be alone, and a nasty argument broke out between the groom and a few revelers who didn't want to leave, but finally they did and the newlyweds went to sleep after the bride threw up in a hand-painted ceramic pasta bowl someone had given them. In the morning they made love and things seemed better but when she got out of bed to pee she stepped on a piece of glass from a broken bottle, maybe the one she'd broken over his head the other night or maybe one of the several that had been broken the night before, and it was back to calling the ambulance and now no one has seen them for three days but they're probably fine, just holed up together in marital bliss, not killing each other with one of the guns he keeps, sometimes things start out badly but get better, by now they're surely better, they couldn't possibly screw things up any further but maybe they could.

-- In the Box Called Pleasure, Black Ice Books, 1999
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Old 03-14-2008, 02:56 PM
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Good Girl
-Kim Addonizio

Look at you, sitting there being good.
After two years you're still dying for a cigarette.
And not drinking on weekdays, who thought that one up?
Don't you want to run to the corner right now
for a fifth of vodka and have it with cranberry juice
and a nice lemon slice, wouldn't the backyard
that you're so sick of staring out into
look better then, the tidy yard your landlord tends
day and night — the fence with its fresh coat of paint,
the ash-free barbeque, the patio swept clean of small twigs —
don't you want to mess it all up, to roll around
like a dog in his flowerbeds? Aren't you a dog anyway,
always groveling for love and begging to be petted?
You ought to get into the garbage and lick the insides
of the can, the greasy wrappers, the picked-over bones,
you ought to drive your snout into the coffee grounds.
Ah, coffee! Why not gulp some down with four cigarettes
and then blast naked into the streets, and leap on the first
beautiful man you find? The words Ruin me, haven't they
been jailed in your throat for forty years, isn't it time
you set them loose in slutty dresses and torn fishnets
to totter around in five-inch heels and slutty mascara?
Sure it's time. You've rolled over long enough.
Forty, forty-one. At the end of all this
there's one lousy biscuit, and it tastes like dirt.
So get going. Listen: they're howling for you now:
up and down the block your neighbors' dogs
burst into frenzied barking and won't shut up.
Love it. That's me that is.
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