Tag Archives: Charles Bukowski

Vanitas Motel with a bad cold

Had a bad cold this week, so I reread Jon Loomis’ 1998 collection Vanitas Motel since it contains “Watching Wings of Desire With a Bad Cold,” one of those awesome you’ll-always-remember (and wish you wrote!) titles. And poem, for that matter. (Quick definition of vanitas painting, as I know not everyone’s parents were art history majors.)

Loomis’ poetry is tough, its situations blunt.

From “Divorce”:

Half-moon. Squidlight. Fog hung like a bedsheet
20 yards out. It’s a long walk across the breakwater—
gulls doze on the flats, hoping you’ll die. […]

From “Illness”:

Late December, dawn spreads like a rash
above the parking lot. Venus smokes itself down,
stubs itself out. The house is a whistle only I can hear—

From “Aubade at Your Hospital Window,” “Tuesday’s snow still with us, old pair/of underpants.”

Not tough-guy tough or down-and-out tough. Sure, there’s swearing, Continue reading

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