man in the sun

I could rant and rave about how beautiful this is, and what it means to me and how more than a third of my conversations with Ratul about writing end up referring to it. But like most good poetry, if it doesn’t grab you by the short hairs, it’s just so much prose with broken up sentences and the occasional rhyme. So, without further ado:

man in the sun

she reads to me from the New Yorker

which I don’t buy, don’t know

how they get in here, but it’s

something about the Mafia

one of the heads of the Mafia

who ate too much and had it too easy

too many fine women patting his

walnuts, and he got fat sucking at good

cigars and young breasts and he

has these heart attacks – and so

one day somebody is driving him

in his big car along the road

and he doesn’t feel so good

and he asks the boy to stop and let

him out and the boy lays him out

along the road in the fine sunshine

and before he dies he says:

how beautiful life can be, and

then he’s gone.

sometimes you’ve got to kill 4 or 5

thousand men before you somehow

get to believe that the sparrow

is immortal, money is piss and

that you have been wasting

your time.

— Charles Bukowski

From Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame (Selected poems 1955 – 1973)


3 thoughts on “man in the sun

  1. Sagarika says:


    This is a wonderful poem. I enjoyed it. Your intro (to this poem) somehow provided me a tangent to Aditya Pant’s intro (to himself) via a beautifully written Hindi poem on his blog.

    Speaking of your pal Ratul, I remember him from our sporadic e-mail conversations during your IIMC days and more recently about a verse that you’d tacked on to your e-mail signature. I was on his blog last month (clicking from your blogroll, of course) and really enjoyed his ramble, specifically that whole wind/ideas/island concept…simply beautiful. Why doesn’t he write any more? And why did you guys stop your oh-so-warped (in a beautiful sorta way) takes on your combo blog fac ut vivas? I was there a couple months ago and immensely enjoyed being a fly on the wall, listening to you two playfully banter (now thanks to Ratul’s take, among other things, on “3 minutes of smoking = 1 hour meeting = time deducted from your life” I’ve never been able to sit thru meetings in the new job I started this Jan, without shifting in my seat wondering about the minutes of my life slipping away). And your Epsilon City post…I was meaning to write to you earlier this year, when you *actually* moved to Mumbai…did you jinx yourself?? OK – let me stop hijacking this blog and go write that e-mail to you that I’ve been meaning to…not now (got a meeting coming up…yeah right, I can feel myself accelerating toward my halflife by the minute) but definitely tomorrow. Stay tuned. (And why are your posts here so few and far between?)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s