Thursday, 21 February 2013

Poetry Reads: Girl in a Miniskirt Reading the Bible Outside my Window by Charles Bukowski


Charles Bukowski, the godfather of the dirty realism genre is undoubtedly the master of his craft. This poem has none of the fancy and beautiful lines of poetry. In their place, there emerges a description of an urban setting and a girl of ‘Eastern descent’ reading the Bible. The setting is evident from the description of the girl’s attire and her accessories. There is brevity in his choice of words and something of a narration made from the surface level: eating a grapefruit, the girl’s complexion and skin, her clothes and earrings, her legs’ movement, and his listening to music and peering at her. However it is the last line that abruptly grips the reader. The narrator feels a connection with that girl; like god watching her from above reading the Bible, he says, “I am God.”

A work of dirty realism, this poem also reveals literary minimalism. It highlights a matter-of-fact scene and feeling with a striking and profound revelation at the end.
 

Girl In A Miniskirt Reading The Bible Outside My Window
by Charles Bukowski 

Sunday, I am eating a
grapefruit, church is over at the Russian
Orthodox to the
west.

she is dark
of Eastern descent,
large brown eyes look up from the Bible
then down. a small red and black
Bible, and as she reads
her legs keep moving, moving,
she is doing a slow rhythmic dance
reading the Bible. . .

long gold earrings;
2 gold bracelets on each arm,
and it's a mini-suit, I suppose,
the cloth hugs her body,
the lightest of tans is that cloth,
she twists this way and that,
long yellow legs warm in the sun. . .

there is no escaping her being
there is no desire to. . .

my radio is playing symphonic music
that she cannot hear
but her movements coincide exactly
to the rhythms of the
symphony. . .

she is dark, she is dark
she is reading about God.
I am God.

#

(Article by Kabita Sonowal) 

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