Charles Bukowski (1996)
Your life is your life don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission. be on the watch. there are ways out. there is light somewhere. it may not be much light but it beats the darkness. be on the watch. the gods will offer you chances. know them. take them. you can’t beat death but you can beat death in life, sometimes. and the more often you learn to do it, the more light there will be. your life is your life. know it while you have it. you are marvelous. the gods wait to delight in you. Roll the Dice If you’re going to try, go all the way. otherwise, don’t even start. if you’re going to try, go all the way. this could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives, jobs and maybe your mind. go all the way. it could mean not eating for 3 or 4 days. it could mean freezing on a park bench. it could mean jail, it could mean derision, mockery, isolation. isolation is the gift, all the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. and you’ll do it despite rejection and the worst odds and it will be better than anything else you can imagine. if you’re going to try, go all the way. there is no other feeling like that. you will be alone with the gods and the nights will flame with fire. do it, Do It, DO It. DO IT! all the way. ALL THE WAY! You will ride life straight to perfect laughter, it’s the only good fight there is.
by Hobo Moon (2020)
What is a hobo? Well, it's funny that you ask. A Hobo isn’t some crazed loon Screaming at the night. He isn’t a funny character in some comic strip cartoon, though that would be all right. Nor is he a strong man or goon with great feats of might. A hobo finds comfort and reassurance in the moon when his inspiration seems out of sight. He’ll never arrive too late or too soon. He’ll join his friends and family when the time is just right. It doesn’t matter if he sleeps passed noon Cause he follows the moon by the starry twilight. He rides the rails from sea to sea Collecting each and every memory He is not woeful and does not worry For his life makes him happy And I think you will find without difficulty That there is a hobo living free inside the mind of both you and me.
Matt Groening & Edgar Allan Poe (1990)
Treehouse of Horror is a series of Halloween-themed episodes of the Adult animated series The Simpsons, each consisting of three separate, self-contained segments. These segments usually involve the Simpson family in some horror, science fiction, or supernatural setting. They take place outside the show’s normal continuity and completely abandon any pretense of being realistic, being known for their far more violent and much darker nature than an average Simpsons episode. The first, entitled Treehouse of Horror, aired on October 25, 1990, as part of the second season and was inspired by EC Comics horror tales. Since then, there have been 30 other Treehouse of Horror episodes, with one airing every year. Episodes contain parodies of horror, science fiction, and fantasy films, as well as the alien characters Kang and Kodos, a special version of the opening sequence, and scary names in the credits.
Take a look, if you dare, at the episode that started it all: the original showcase of Hallowe’en goodies that have come to be know as The Treehouse of Horror, found in the Simpsons archives, season 2 episode 3. Following, I have included Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven for reference to The Simpsons unique take on the classic poem.
Edgar Allan Poe (1845)
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Nameless here for evermore.
And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
This it is and nothing more.”
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—
Darkness there and nothing more.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
Merely this and nothing more.
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
’Tis the wind and nothing more!”
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as “Nevermore.”
But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
Then the bird said “Nevermore.”
Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!
Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted—nevermore!
Charles Bukowski (1977)
Animated by Murder Slim Press
Narrated by WhoIsJeremyWard
Love Is a Dog from Hell is a raw, lyrical, exploration of the exigencies, heartbreaks, and limits of love. Bukowski embodies the strange, symbiotic relationship between vulnerability and cynicism; he feels too deeply to not have had the ravages of disappointment and betrayal take their toll.
Charles Bukowski is one of America’s best-known contemporary writers of poetry and prose and, many would claim, its most influential and imitated poet. He was born in 1920 in Andernach, Germany, to an American soldier father and a German mother, and brought to the United States at the age of two. He was raised in Los Angeles and lived there for over fifty years. He died in San Pedro, California, on March 9, 1994, at the age of seventy-three, shortly after completing his last novel, Pulp.
Charles Bukowski (1992)
A gang of kids find a strange house with an overgrown garden where they play. Only once do they meet the man who lives there, a dead-beat alcoholic with a free and easy spirit who welcomes them. The children see him as a romantic character in stark contrast to their neurotically house proud parents.
A collaboration between Animator Jonathan Hodgson and Illustrator Jonny Hannah.
Director: Jonathan Hodgson
Producer: Jonathan Bairstow
Designer: Jonny Hannah
Poem: Charles Bukowski
Sound: Jonathan Hodgson
Voices: Peter Blegvad, Louis Schendler
Production Company: Sherbet
Leonard Cohen (2011)
“There are very, very few people who occupy the ground that Leonard Cohen walks on.”-Bono
The Flame is the final work from Leonard Cohen, the revered poet and musician whose fans span generations and whose work is celebrated throughout the world. Featuring poems, excerpts from his private notebooks, lyrics, and hand-drawn self-portraits, The Flame offers an unprecedentedly intimate look inside the life and mind of a singular artist.
A reckoning with a life lived deeply and passionately, with wit and panache, The Flame is a valedictory work.
“This volume contains my father’s final efforts as a poet. It was what he was staying alive to do, his sole breathing purpose at the end.
“Each page of paper that he blackened was lasting evidence of a burning soul.”-Adam Cohen
Leonard Cohen died in late 2016.
Excerpted from Leonard Cohen’s Acceptance Address for the Prince of Asturias Award.
Animation by Astral Studio
She walks with me in my dreams,
and loves me true, so it seems,
but upon awake she is not there,
she is with someone else without a care.
I have loved her for many years,
and cried far too many tears.
The time has come that I told
of the feelings for her that I hold.
Always running in a different direction.
Never very good at showing affection.
This time I’ll do it right.
I’ll tell her under the starry moonlight.
Stay with me girl, just for a while.
You know you always make me smile.
Walk with me along the sand,
and don’t let go of my hand.
This love for you is very real.
Please tell me how you feel.
If you just want a friend
I’ll stick with you until the end.
Pete Beard (2020)
Mervyn Peake was an English writer, artist, poet, and illustrator. He is best known for what are usually referred to as the Gormenghast books. The three works were part of what Peake conceived as a lengthy cycle, the completion of which was prevented by his death.
The hands that once pointed in every direction Have failed to move since she gave it away, And though the band is much to tight, He still wears it every day. It helps him to remember that moonless night. That night he tried to make her stay. Losing himself in his own reflection, He remembers the words that she used to say, The sweet reverberation, Trembling from her lips in exasperation. Eyes lost in a distant fading memory, Like fog dissipating with the arrival of the day, He stares at his watch, Waiting, For those hands Hoping, To continue Stuck in the past, Their ritualistic dance. Those hands.
Ralph Bakshi (1989)
THIS Ain’t BeBop is Ralph Bakshi’s first live-action short, starring Harvey Keitel and featuring Ron Thompson (Tony & Pete of American Pop) as the beatnik poet and Rick Singer (Benny of American Pop) as Jackson Pollock.
Mark Bakshi produced the film; his first professional collaboration with his father. Ralph Bakshi wrote a poem influenced by Jack Kerouac, jazz, the Beat Generation and Brooklyn that served as the narration, which was spoken by Harvey Keitel.
After a car crash, Bakshi completed the post-production in stitches and casts. Bakshi said of the work, “It’s the most proud I’ve been of a picture since Coonskin — the last real thing I did with total integrity.”
Writing these poems is rather difficult you see. Like climbing a mountain or wrestling a shark. Searching in the dark for the right words to say just what you are thinking. Searching for the words to say exactly how you feel without losing any rhythm or zeal. What do you do when you cannot think of a rhyme? What happens when you have not got the time? Do you sit down and pout? Do you ask a boy scout? I prefer to take the more scenic route. Howling at the moon, I know I will find myself soon written into a poem, and from this world, I shall be forgotten.