The Genius Of The Crowd

Posted on January 11, 2010


I’m surprised to find that over the past few months I’ve become thirsty for poetry and fiction. I’ve read more books in the past month than in all of 2009. One of my favorite, albeit from a distance, writers is Bukowski. Charles Bukowski was the text-book definition of the dirty old man. And he was proud of it, go figure. Below is a poem of his I just read that I felt the need to post. Maybe I’m posting it because it reminds me what the church looks like to those who are outside it, those who live in the bars and in the grungy cities. I’m not sure why but it moved me… Feel free to let me know what you think.

The Genius Of The Crowd

there is enough treachery, hatred violence absurdity in the average
human being to supply any given army on any given day

and the best at murder are those who preach against it
and the best at hate are those who preach love
and the best at war finally are those who preach peace

those who preach god, need god
those who preach peace do not have peace
those who preach peace do not have love

beware the preachers
beware the knowers
beware those who are always reading books
beware those who either detest poverty
or are proud of it
beware those quick to praise
for they need praise in return
beware those who are quick to censor
they are afraid of what they do not know
beware those who seek constant crowds for
they are nothing alone
beware the average man the average woman
beware their love, their love is average
seeks average

but there is genius in their hatred
there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you
to kill anybody
not wanting solitude
not understanding solitude
they will attempt to destroy anything
that differs from their own
not being able to create art
they will not understand art
they will consider their failure as creators
only as a failure of the world
not being able to love fully
they will believe your love incomplete
and then they will hate you
and their hatred will be perfect

like a shining diamond
like a knife
like a mountain
like a tiger
like hemlock

their finest art

Henry Charles Bukowski