The Claws of Paradise 

Poetry jams have been an interest of mine since I was still in high school .  I was encouraged , always , by Charles Bukowski and his raw style . The anti-hero he had not invented , but rather was merely giving a recital about .  In Claws of Paradise, a lesser -known work of his ,  he candidly and perhaps , to some ,  crassly and self -indulgently ,  gives us a somber and befitting synopsis of his regrets ,  perhaps more than a few ,  and too many to mention . Grammar check says the previous sentence was not run -on .  In this New Yorker article, Bukowski is a misunderstood populist and modern day cult icon . He writes to live . To survive . My favourite poetry book of all time is Love Is a Dog from Hell.

I drew my inspiration to write poetry after reading Chuck .  I started entering poetry jams . These were very big at a time when rap was being getting respect and there was no real threat from the Internet to kill our creativity . There was no TED talks or other too nicely -structured pedestal to please . So I came up with my first poem. I didn’t realize how short it was till later .  But for those who know me well ,  it was quasi -cathartic . The quasi being from my 17 years on earth .  


I leave yet always come back 

To the hills and the seaside 

Where sins beyond the ordinary were committed 

Where I let my future go 

As well as my past remain 

I see claws of storks 

And crows 


Redundant I’ve become 

Helping the man 

Helpless ,  but helping the man 

When they put my head in the furnace 

I stay still 


Knowing there’s future days 

Even if they won’t be as I wanted 

Better than the punches in the face 

The bloody lip 

From an otherwise lost young man 

Fixated on curbing someone’s growth 

He is now forever silenced 

And I don’t cry 

I won’t cry 

I may celebrate instead 

The seaside is hungry now 


Needing a plaything 

I indulge it 

Though it seems unflinching 

Perhaps unfulfilled by little old me 

Wanting to relive the sins it bore witness to 
Don’t show regret 

Evelyn agreed 

For it means you lived wrongly 

After years of shame 

Now she’s meek and polished 

And unamusing 

With the knowledge that comes before the onset of disease 

I feel ordained 


For I’d never regretted 

As the sea goes wild 

When Evelyn turns her back to it and me 



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