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Four B(s): Bach, Bukowski, Becktell & Brown

Posted by O'Maolchaithaigh on October 15, 2017

bach-johann-sebastian  Charles-Bukowski  Nathan Brown  JoelBecktell

So, another inspirational Sunday morning, spent at Chatter, a weekly event feauring music and poetry, and espresso drinks and baked goodies.

Bach is Johann Sebastion Bach, a composer who began decomposing  in 1750. He produced quite a body of work, and wrote some of the best music ever. We listened to his preludes from Cello Suites 1, 2, & 3, interspersed with readings of the modern-day poet Charles Bukowski, who has been decomposing since 1994, and a  little of the poetry of Nathan Brown, who is not dead yet. The music was played on cello by Joel Becktell, also still alive.

Loved the music. Hard to believe that a cello can produce all those notes, because they did sometimes come fast and furious, but so harmonious that one has to listen carefully to notice that. The poetry rocked as well. Here’s a very famous poem of Bukowski’s:

                 so you want to be a writer?

Charles Bukowski, 1920 – 1994

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you in spite of everything, don’t do it. unless it comes unasked out of your heart and your mind and your mouth and your gut, don’t do it. if you have to sit for hours staring at your computer screen or hunched over your typewriter searching for words, don’t do it. if you’re doing it for money or fame, don’t do it. if you’re doing it because you want women in your bed, don’t do it. if you have to sit there and rewrite it again and again, don’t do it. if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it, don’t do it. if you’re trying to write like somebody else, forget about it. if you have to wait for it to roar out of you, then wait patiently. if it never does roar out of you, do something else. if you first have to read it to your wife or your girlfriend or your boyfriend or your parents or to anybody at all, you’re not ready. don’t be like so many writers, don’t be like so many thousands of people who call themselves writers, don’t be dull and boring and pretentious, don’t be consumed with self- love. the libraries of the world have yawned themselves to sleep over your kind. don’t add to that. don’t do it. unless it comes out of your soul like a rocket, unless being still would drive you to madness or suicide or murder, don’t do it. unless the sun inside you is burning your gut, don’t do it. when it is truly time, and if you have been chosen, it will do it by itself and it will keep on doing it until you die or it dies in you. there is no other way. and there never was.

From sifting through the madness for the Word, the line, the way by Charles Bukowski. Copyright © 2003 by the Estate of Charles Bukowski.

 

We also listened to JS Bach’s preludes for Suites 4, 5, & 6. Powerful stuff, very ably performed by Mr. Joel Becktell.

On Charles Bukowski’s tombstome is written: “DON’T TRY”. That’s all it says. But it is the title of a poem by Nathan Brown, and it also became the title of a book of poems that are a collaboration of works by Nathan Brown and Jon Dee Graham.

Here is Nathan Brown’s take on “Don’t Try”:

                          To spend

even a minute pondering

what he might have meant,

Would be to ignore his advice.

Tricky bastard, that Bukowski.

So, forget about ‘im. He’s dead.

Which would also be his advice,

if ghosts were prone to giving it.

And, his epitaph does remind me

of something dad told me long ago,

right after a more upstanding

deacon stormed out of his study

at the church in a thick cloud

of righteous indignation:

Man… that guy

is gonna overshoot heaven

as sure as hell.

(from: TO SING HALLUCINATED: FIRST THOUGHTS ON LAST WORDS, by Nathan Brown, published 2015  (copyright © Nathan Brown), Mezcalita Press, LLC, Norman Oklahoma.)

It’s such a pleasant and inspiring way to spend my time, especially on a Sunday morning, when, at first I went because I had nothing better to do early on a Sunday, but now I go because there is nothing I’d rather be doing.

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