Bluebird in My Heart: Our Secret Pact

Poetry is really not my thing, but I keep returning to it. A few words, a few thoughts, and suddenly I’m facing that soul-clarifying Bluebird melancholy when your heart opens fully to the gems of experience: to the love of a woman or to the reality of death. And I sit quietly, in 10-year-old jeans, with a glass of too-warm water, listening to Tom Waits, in a stream of irrationally-organized memories at 4am.

That’s the challenge of real experience: the more vulnerable I am to it, the more I take from it. But it’s against my nature, against my instinct, and can hurt like hell. The poem again is from Bukowski: a simple struggle within a man between the toughness of his shell and the tenderness of his heart.

Bluebird
by Charles Bukowski

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going
to let anybody see
you.
there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
he’s
in there.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
works?
you want to blow my book sales in
Europe?
there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody’s asleep.
I say, I know that you’re there,
so don’t be
sad.
then I put him back,
but he’s singing a little
in there, I haven’t quite let him
die
and we sleep together like
that
with our
secret pact
and it’s nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don’t
weep, do
you?

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