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The Genius Of The Crowd by Charles Bukowski

“there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you”

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

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • LP February 21, 2021, 6:15 PM

    If Bukowski were right, I might despair.

  • Nori February 21, 2021, 7:03 PM

    Not sure where he’s wrong. He’s describing both Them and Us.
    Remus did so as well;just not quite so poetically.

  • Casey Klahn February 21, 2021, 9:38 PM

    Not having genius at anything fine, yet they have a genius for hatred. Because? Anybody? Bueller?

    Because they have an animating spirit not of themselves. “Pleased to meet you…I hope you guessed my name.”

  • gwbnyc February 21, 2021, 11:00 PM

    “your wife will hate you, your children will ignore you, and peace will be the last thing they let you have…”

    there’s a video of Charles punching his girlfriend, I think when he was touring in the Netherlands.

    later in their lives she had a beard.

    a friend, waaaay back, at the time a young rock&roll writer, interviewed him- ‘74?

    when the film ‘Barfly” came out I thought it was pronounced as “barflee”. possibly Frank Stallone’s greatest film.

  • Jack February 22, 2021, 10:12 AM

    Absolutely the first guy to invite to any party.

  • gwbnyc February 22, 2021, 10:25 PM


    in one of his stories he, in the guise of Hank Chinaski, attends a wedding officiated by a buddhist priest. he puts a load on, insults the brides mother, gets asked to leave IIRC, then shoots his mouth off to the priest on the way out. the priest is a blackbelt so he kicks Chinaski’s ass.

    correct- first guy.