The Danger in Romanticizing

 

A woman’s

hand, no matter

how much

it might

resemble a

dove,

isn’t one.

Seeing it as a

dove is

something

poets and

others who

romanticize

reality do.

And while

that can

be a lovely

way of looking

at life, it’s also

a dangerous

thing too —

especially when

that “dove”

flies

into your

wallet and

uses the

leaves

it finds

there

to fortify

a nest

in an

unromantic

heart.

 

— Fyodor Bukowski

 

 

Goodbye, My Valkyrie

Another morning of

trying to force this

failing body from

this warm futon

to carry on the

life struggles known

to peasantry. On

mornings like this,

I used to visualize

a woman standing

above me, a luminescent,

fair creature, an angel,

a warrior princess,

a valkyrie, holding

out her dove-white

but strong hand,

ready to clasp mine

and pull me up and

into the fray common

to those who never

won life’s lottery; but

just like the so-called

“real” women of flesh-

and-bowels, who cavort

their way through life’s

deadly pageantry, I finally

gave her up too this morning,

because she was never

really there anyway, you

see, just like the “real” ones,

a few of whom were

present, sure, for a

time, at least in body,

while the gravy was

good; but they never

stayed through the thin

gruel days. So where does

an imaginary warrior-

maiden and soul-mate

Sail after a man has finally

said goodbye?

Does she head over

to comfort the worst

of men: the braggarts,

the blockheads, the

mindless materialists,

the drug dealers, the

pimps and puppy abusers?

Are these the ones that

imaginary valkyries fly

towards to pull up from

their beds and futons to face

life’s hard realities? I wouldn’t

be surprised if that’s true;

after all, what did the so-called

real women do, most often,

with their priceless, life-giving

eyes, and thighs, and lips, and

all the rest, but gift them to the

most worthless and least grateful

of men? Therefore, following more

than half-a-century of scribbling 

love notes and poetry and even

sometimes song mixed

with sincerity of longing, and not

looking half-bad at all, according

to more than a few, I finally gave

up on those real women of lovely

flesh but thin blood; and this

morning, I even said my final

Farewell to my angel of light, my

valkyrie, my princess of the

mind. This may be poetry, or it

may be self-pity; but it

also happens to be the undiluted,

undeluded reality of my life, and

the lives of many others too. So fly

away fly on, and keep flying, my

valkyrie, because you

were never really there above my

bed. Spread those wings 

And soar into some gods-

forsaken eternity, and

I’ll stay under these covers just a

little while more. 

 

–Fyodor Bukowski, author of Mail-Order Annie