The Difficulty of Breathing | Charles Bukowski, 1920-94


Small.. unnerving occurrences..
keep coming up
one after the other:
haphazard dumb accidents of freakish chance-
the tiring tasks that are part of our routine 
and the sundry other ever-recurring annoyances–
all these inevitable small defeats and sorrows rub and push 
continually up against the moments the days the years
until one almost wishes
almost begs for a larger more meaningful destiny.
I can almost understand why people leap from bridges.
I even understand in part those who arm themselves and slaughter their friends and innocent strangers.
I am not exactly in sympathy with them 
and I decry their reckless behavior
but I can understand the ultimate undeniable persistent..
force of their misery.
the horrific violent failure of any one of us
to live properly
says to me that 
we are all equally guilty for every human crime.
there are no innocents.
and if there is no hell,
those who coldly judge these unfortunates 
will create one for us all.

Charles Bukowski, The Difficulty of Breathing,
The Flash of Lightning Behind the Mountain, 1920-94

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