Sunday, August 05, 2007

Hang On Sloopy

I don't write much poetry, so it's fun to see one of my poems in print from time to time. Old school publishing is slow, but when Pearl 37 arrived in my mailbox a few days ago, I was glad to see it even though it was a year-long process, because it includes "Lines from William Blake," my take on the breakdown of a traditional marriage. The journal Pearl started up in 1974 and has included, over the years, a lot of Charles Bukowski, among others. I particularly like the name for its association with Janis Joplin. Editors: Joan Jobe Smith (since 1974), Marilyn Johnson, and Barbara Hauk.

Today, it's Guy de Maupassant's birthday. One of his protagonists gives her take on how a progressive marriage ought to work, just the kind of thing that might scandalize a formal ceremony, even in 2007. Seems like a good deal to me when both parties are treated equally.

Now listen carefully: Marriage, to me, is not a chain but an association. I must be free, entirely unfettered, in all my actions -- my coming and my going; I can tolerate neither control, jealousy, nor criticism as to my conduct. I pledge my word, however, never to compromise the name of the man I marry, nor to render him ridiculous in the eyes of the world. But that man must promise to look upon me as an equal, an ally, and not as an inferior, or as an obedient, submissive wife. My ideas, I know, are not like those of other people, but I shall never change them. (~~Bel Ami, 1885)

Today's Rune: Harvest.

Birthdays: Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant, Conrad Aiken, John Huston, Neil Armstrong, Wendell Berry, John Saxon (b. Carmine Orrico), Ron Silliman, Rick Derringer (b. Richard Zehringer).



Danny Tagalog said...

Thanks for printing those words from Bel Ami, Eric. Something to organise discussion around; happen to agreee with it too..

Bubs said...

It must be a good day for discussing Bukowski and the rules of marriage. I just copied "the laughing heart" for my daughters, so they could see it, and me and my bride spent a good part of our afternoon talking about some family members who are going through a tough time in their marriage.

Excellent post.

the walking man said...


waiting for death
like a cat
that will jump on the

I am so very sorry for
my wife

she will see this
shake it once, then


Hank won't

it's not my death that
worries me, it's my wife
left with this
pile of

I want to
let her know
that all the nights
beside her

even the useless
were things
ever splendid

and the hard
I ever feared to
can now be

I love

Charles Bukowski
(C)1982 The last Night on Earth Poems

Pythia3 said...

Great post - hey, where can I go to read your poem?
My cousin just got married on Friday, in a very traditional ceremony - "The Wedding Song" and all . . .
I guess it depends on the individual people - I am very traditional and old fashioned in many ways - but always on my own terms.
I'll wear the apron and bake cookies because that is ME in that moment - then, the next minute I'm only wearing ammunition - bullets, that is!
When that RS cover came out it inspired me to wear my ammo in a more exotic way - can't post that pic, though!
Harvest away, today, Erik!

Charles Gramlich said...

Congrats on the poem. Was just talking with a poet fellow about Bukowski yesterday. "Love is a Dog From Hell" is a great collection.

an admirer of amoristicpillow said...

some interesting observations and truisms.