Whilst reading through a collection of his works, "Upon Reading A Critical Review" was one poem that really stood out to me. Quite often as an artist, even before you have finished one piece/body of work and idea, you have already moved on to the next thing to capture your attention. This can cause varying amounts of frustration when all other people can see is the older, decaying ideas that no longer spur your artistic capabilities. All you want to do is show them the inside of your brain, to say "Look! Look how many better ideas are to come", when they get caught up in things no longer relevant to you or the art you are producing.
To me, this poem captures that sense of creative progression in a very simple, but powerful and clever way.
upon reading a critical review by charles bukowski
it's difficult to accept and you look around the room for the person they are talking about. he's not there he's not here. he's gone. by the time they get your book you are no longer your book. you are on the next page, the next book. and worse, they don't even get the old books right. you are given credit for things you don't deserve, for insights that aren't there. people read themselves into books, altering what they need and discarding what they don't. good critics are as rare as good writers. and whether I get a good review or a bad one I take neither seriously. I am on the next page. the next book.