the laughing heart

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the laughing heart — 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.

Henry Charles Bukowski was a hairy, wrinkly, old man. He loved only a few things: drinking, the ideal of women, and gambling at the horse track. For the majority of his writing, these things were the focus. However, the way in which these worldly addictions (quite frankly) of his are described is completely un-worldly. There is some sort of spark about his words that suggest the world and “the gods” took delight in him. It is debated that Bukowski single-handedly revolutionized the realm of free verse poetry, but there is no debate that Bukowski was put on this world to write. Because Bukowski fulfilled that purpose, the world took delight. Bukowski’s poems and novels will be published and read for centuries to come. Through his written words, Bukowski beat death. (Even through this post of mine: Bukowski died in ’94 and there is no reason that an 18 year old girl should be talking about much less praising his brash poetry–this is the world, manifesting its delight in Bukowski through me.)

And that’s what we’re all here to do, isn’t it? “Beat death in life”? “Live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us”? I seem to think so. I seem to think that through our passions and our pursuits (coupled with an outside Force, perhaps), we can beat death, or death in life, anyway. The “death in life” is something not everyone knows exists, and that is it’s biggest victory. It “club[s] your life into dank submission” without our approval and, more often than not, without our realization. If we pursued and explored what the world (and what Outside of this world) had for us, the world would be alive and utterly delighted (and therefore delightful).

The way this idea is manifested is described perfectly by Bukowski in the title: “The Laughing Heart”. What do you think about when you hear those words? A person? A person with so much light inside them and surrounding them that there is no room for darkness? A person so filled with joy that even their insides burst forth with a manifestation of happiness? This person is who I strive to be. A person filled with so much laughter that even my vital organs should be described as laughing. A person who is marvelous.

So read (if you want) and enjoy (I would hope) my processing of life in trying to live this way: my pursuits and my passions, my failures and my successes, my life and my death-in-life, and most importantly my heart and its laughter. The world waits to delight in YOU, and it’s dying (quite literally, I believe) to give you the chance to be something delightful.

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