tough cob

we tend to like those who starved or went mad or
killed themselves and were discovered afterwards
as more than exceptional talents.
it happens often because great talents are usually
fifty to one hundred years ahead of their immediate
most of those quickly acclaimed in their lifetime
are mediocre performers.
of course, this is common knowledge, so common that
many of those not recognized at this time
believe that this is only a sign of their genius,
and countless wives, children, relatives, friends
and bystanders must suffer under this delusion
because the worst are often the most sure
and the bitterest and the most hateful.

under the name of Creation
sadists, fools and charlatans infest and almost
disgust us with the arts.

but outside the arts there are also things of sickness
and disgust:
gerontocracy and the stagnicolous cachexia.

to laugh truly is to continue anyhow.

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript
This poem appeared in the following books: