a non-urgent poem, by Charles Bukowski


A great thanks to Manny Martinez and some other IU writing student whose name I’ve long forgotten… Those two gents turned me on to Bukowski, whose poetry changed my own, and whose poem “a non-urgent poem” has kept me hungry and working and letting the dying die ever since. I transcribed this in 2002… eight years later, I’m sharing it.

(My apologies for the line markers in between his lines. It was the only way to keep his spacing in tact.)



a non-urgent poem

by Charles Bukowski

available in You Get So Alone at Times That It Just Makes Sense

I had this fellow write me that

he felt there wasn’t the

“urgency” in my poems

of the present

as compared to my poems

of the past.

now, if this is true

why did he write me

about it?

have I made his days





Well, I too have felt

let down

by writers

I once thought were



at least

very damned



I never considered

writing them to

inform them that I

sensed their


I found the best thing

I could do

was just to type away

at my own work

and let the dying


as they always


One Reply to “a non-urgent poem, by Charles Bukowski”

  1. What makes poetry so wonderful is the fact that it involves all of life, every concern, every desire, and every feeling. If something has some great significance to a person’s existence, then it has a great significance in poetry as well.

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