Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bukowski and Cleaning

My friend Kelly always teases me that she will never ever help me move again unless I get rid of some books. I don't know that I will be moving any time soon, but I have been attempting to downsize some of my belongings. Books are close to impossible to part with. If I do manage to find one I don't want (from one of my four bookshelves), I end up rationalizing buying four more.

I spend more time on Amazon than I do at the library. This weekend I decided that one entire bookshelf had to go. The shelf itself was an eyesore. It took an entire day. I managed to rid myself of about 3 whole books. But I took some baby steps. I reshuffled and decided that some books could be stacked neatly in one of my closets. I mean seriously, what are the chances of me ever rereading Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics or Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals? I majored in philosophy for a year or so in undergrad and for some reason, I seem to think that I need these books forever.

And Bukowski. I thought he was a god when I was much much younger. I must have 20 0r more of his books. I still admire his infinite drive to write every day. There is something to say about coming home from a night out and hammering out three poems. I used to do that. Truthfully, those poems of mine need burned. It was a satisfying experience but nothing came out of it. I suppose it was a necessary stage in my early writing life, but in the end I had to distance myself from his work. His line breaks...I won't even get started.

I will never be able to write three poems in one night again. I'm ecstatic if I write three poems in a month. I can think about one line for hours, even days. My process is slow and neurotic.

As for Bukowski, well, I am not quite ready to part with his books, but all of them, except for one, are stacked in a closet. I imagine some day I will let go.


Karen J. Weyant said...

I, too, went through a Bukowski stage. In fact, I wrote a poem about that Bukowski stage. But like you, I have grown out of him -- and also like you, I haven't gotten rid of this books. They are stacked in back of the closet!

Rick said...

Loved this post and the one just before. Sounds to me like Bukowski and your jeep have a lot in common. Hope you get some good riding in over at Brandywine before the ice sheet is gone. Did Boston Mills today and it was sweet.

Maggie May said...

getting rid of books is the most impossible thing for me. anything else, aside from my children's art, i can do it.

Jennifer Sullivan said...

Karen-I'd love to see that poem. It's nice to acknowledge that we do grow out of writers sometimes.

Rick-For the first time, I am sick of snow. I do need to get to Seven Springs though. My friend wanted me to go to Utah (I wish!)...but it is impossible with my schedule.

Maggie-I hear you. If I ever have children, I will need a really really big fridge to magnet their work to:)