Ink Blots: ‘Girlfriends’ by Charles Bukowski

by Kariza Montealegre

Memories are stories we’ve kept in the tiny compartments of our heads. If we look into our minds, they’re probably libraries housing books about our past. One part of that library could be named Past Lovers (which could be in the Restricted Section for some *wink*). If given a chance, would you pick up a book from this section? Or, would you just leave it until it gathers dust?


If you’re torn, you could probably get some advice from Charles Bukowski’s poem Girlfriends. (It happens to be the 95th birth anniversary of Charles Bukowski, so allow me to share one of his poems in honor of his birthday.) Published in the book Love is a Dog from Hell in 1977, the piece speaks about leaving the past behind and not looking back (there goes the advice).


the women of the past keep
there was another yesterday
arrived from out of
she wanted to see
I told her

I don’t want to see
I won’t see them.
it would be
gruesome and

I know some people who can
watch the same movie
more than

not me.
once I know the
once I know the
whether it’s happy or
unhappy or
just plain

for me
that movie is
and that’s why
I refuse
to let
any of my
old movies play
over and over again


So, would you revisit those stories from the Past Lovers section? Or shall I say, would you play those old movies over and over?

While we’re at it, allow me to play matchmaker between poetry and music. I suggest you listen to Star’s “Your Ex-Lover is Dead” because Bukowski would have totally sung “Live through this, and you won’t look back.” ☁

Anything to share? :)

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