Melancholia by Charles Bukowski

I can’t believe how much I’ve changed and not changed. Like I was evolving and stepping backwards inside myself at the same time. I’ve remade myself into a lot of genres but sometimes I still am the same vinyl record playing over and over.

During politics and governance class, we were talking about revolutions, particularly the first ever people power during ’86. My professor talked about how, being born during the revolt, we were as old as the dreams and aspirations those people were fighting for, years and years ago.

And that terrible, terrible weight settled upon my shoulders. How much has my generation fared, how have we been living up to that history?

Are we worth it?

I was thinking, yes, there are things that happen just once in your lifetime, like getting a boyfriend on a date especially marked as 010403. Kinda stupid, when I think about it now. All those romantic illusions. And when it’s over and done with, you still think about it years later, asking yourself if it was part of your history that you remember because the experience was significant, or the devastation was so real.

Finally, a poem:

Melancholia
Charles Bukowski

the history of melancholia
includes all of us.

me, I writhe in dirty sheets
while staring at blue walls
and nothing.

I have gotten so used to melancholia
that
I greet it like an old
friend.

I will now do 15 minutes of grieving
for the lost redhead,
I tell the gods.

I do it and feel quite bad
quite sad,
then I rise
CLEANSED
even though nothing
is solved.

that’s what I get for kicking
religion in the ass.

I should have kicked the redhead
in the ass
where her brains and her bread and
butter are
at …

but, no, I’ve felt sad
about everything:
the lost redhead was just another
smash in a lifelong
loss …

I listen to drums on the radio now
and grin.
there is something wrong with me
besides
melancholia.

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