Nov. 2, 2002

a wild, fresh wind blowing...

by Charles Bukowski

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Poem: "a wild, fresh wind blowing…," by Charles Bukowski from Septuagenarian Stew (Black Sparrow Press).

a wild, fresh wind blowing…

I should not have blamed only my father, but,
he was the first to introduce me to
raw and stupid hatred.
he was really best at it: anything and everything made him
mad-things of the slightest consequence brought his hatred quickly
to the surface
and I seemed to be the main source of his
I did not fear him
but his rages made me ill at heart
for he was most of my world then
and it was a world of horror but I should not have blamed only
my father
for when I left that… home… I found his counterparts
everywhere: my father was only a small part of the
whole, though he was the best at hatred
I was ever to meet.
but others were very good at it too: some of the
foremen, some of the street bums, some of the women
I was to live with,
most of the women, were gifted at
hating-blaming my voice, my actions, my presence
blaming me
for what they, in retrospect, had failed
I was simply the target of their discontent
and in some real sense
they blamed me
for not being able to rouse them
out of a failed past; what they didn't consider was
that I had my troubles too-most of them caused by
simply living with them.

I am a dolt of a man, easily made happy or even
stupidly happy almost without cause
and left alone I am mostly content.

but I've lived so often and so long with this hatred
my only freedom, my only peace is when I am away from
them, when I am anywhere else, no matter where-
some fat old waitress bringing me a cup of coffee
is in comparison
like a fresh wild wind blowing.

It's the birthday of explorer, woodsman and pathfinder Daniel Boone, born near Reading, Pennsylvania (1734). He said that whenever he could see the smoke from another chimney, he felt the neighborhood was getting too crowded and it was time to move on. He was one of the first to explore the Cumberland Gap in the late 1760s, and in 1775, he and the Transylvania Company established the first road through the Cumberland Gap. He said that he was "an instrument ordained of God to settle the wilderness." During the American Revolution, while searching for salt in the Blue Licks of the Licking River, he was captured by Shawnee Indians, and spent time in British prison in Detroit, before an escape back to Kentucky. He published his memoir, Adventures, in 1784, which made him even more legendary. He said, "I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks."

It's the birthday of Marie Antoinette, the Queen of France, born in Austria (1755). She married the prince of France at the age of 15, and she moved to Versailles to live in her new homeland. When King Louis XV died in 1774, she became queen as her husband was named King Louis XVI. Convicted of treason, she was sentenced to be executed at the guillotine on October 16, 1793. On the scaffold, she accidentally stepped on the executioner's foot, and said "Monsieur, I ask your pardon. I did not do it on purpose." Those were her last words.

It was on this day in 1920 that the first government-licensed regularly scheduled radio broadcast in the United States, on KDKA in Pittsburgh, PA.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®




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