Ignis Fatuus, Ferment 6, 1965

hank solo

Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights
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#4
Found on the web:-

IGNIS FATUUS​

I​

THE ONLY SOLITUDE IS SLEEP OR DEATH​

II​

WE, WERE NOT CLEVER ENOUGH-​

KIND TO OTHERS AND​

CRUEL TO SELF WHEN SELF​

ASKED FOR MERCY AND WAS​

DENIED​

III​

THE HOLIEST PRIVACY REMAINS​

WAITING ON US,​

AND ALL THAT WAS MISUNDERSTOOD​

OR ABANDONED WILL COME TOGETHER.​

IV​

LET MY FAILURE BE YOUR​

FORTUNE: THIS THAT WAS BROKEN IN CARELESS​

ERROR--LET IT BE KNOWN​

THAT TO KNOW YOUR OWN DEATH​

IS TO DIE TWICE: ONCE REALLY​

AND THEN​

HARDLY AT ALL.​

V​

LET IT BE KNOWN THAT THERE IS​

NOTHING AS UGLY​

IN ALL IT'S TANGENTS​

AS THE HUMAN BEAST--A TRICK​

SET AGAINST THE BLOOD OF YOUR​

SOUL.​

VI​

LET IT BE KNOWN THAT​

SOLITUDE IS THE ONLY MERCY AND THE ONLY​

LOVER.​

VII​

LET IT BE KNOWN THAT MOST MEN​

LOVE WHAT THEY CAN SEE​

AND THEY CAN SEE EACH OTHER​

AND THEY LOVE THIS​

BECAUSE THEY ARE VERY​

LITTLE.​

VIII​

LET IT BE KNOWN THAT I AM​

BITTER AND DAMNED AND TIRED AND​

USELESS; LET IT BE KNOWN THAT​

WHEN THE FINAL HOPE GOES​

THERE REMAINS BUT A​

STARING AT THE DANCE AND A​

WATCHING OF THE FEEBLE INTERCOURSE​

OF THE IDIOTS​

WITH VERY LITTLE​

NOTE TAKING.​

IX​

LET IT BE KNOWN THAT I AM​

DEAD BUT THAT THERE IS NO​

ANGER; LET IT BE KNOWN THAT​

MOST MEN ARE DEAD MANY YEARS​

BEFORE BURIAL; LET IT BE KNOWN​

THAT MANY MEN DIE IN CHILDHOOD,​

THAT MANY MEN ARE BORN DEAD--​

ALTHOUGH THEIR PARTS MOVE AND​

THEY MAKE SOUND AND GROW AND​

ADVANCE INTO ADULT BEHAVIOR​

AND DO THE THINGS OF CIVILIZATION;​

LET IT BE KNOWN THAT THESE MEN​

NEVER EXISTED AND THAT THEIR FUNERALS​

WERE EXTREME FARCE, AND ALSO THE DEAD TEARS​

FOR THE ALREADY DEAD; LET IT BE KNOWN​

THAT THE WORMS THEMSELVES WERE NEARER TO TRUTH​

IN THAT THEY DID NOT​

CRY.​

X​

LET IT BE KNOWN THAT A MAN NEED NOT BE​

CHRIST TO BE CRUCIFIED; LET IT BE KNOWN THAT​

A MAN CAN BE CRUCIFIED EACH DAY, EACH MOMENT​

EACH BREATH;--TO SLEEP AND AWAKEN AND BE​

TORMENTED AGAIN; LET IT BE KNOWN THAT​

A MAN CAN DIE AND DIE AND DIE AND DIE AND​

STILL FEEL THE PAIN AND KNOW HE IS DEAD​

AND STILL FEEL THE PAIN AND KNOW THERE IS​

NOTHING HE CAN DO AND​

STILL FEEL THE PAIN. LET IT BE KNOWN.​

XI​

LET IT BE KNOWN THAT THE TEMPLES ARE NOTHING​

AND THE BELLS ARE NOTHING AND FAME IS NOTHING​

AND VICTORY IS NOTHING AND SEX IS NOTHING AND​

THAT SOLITUDE BRINGS MADNESS AND THE CROWD​

BRINGS MADNESS AND DRINK EATS THE BODY LIKE A​

TIGER; THAT THERE IS NO VOICE TO SPEAK WITH,​

NO EAR TO HEAR.​

XII​

LET IT BE KNOWN THAT​

THERE WILL BE OTHER MEN SUCH AS I--​

LIFTED FOR THE LION'S MOUTH, BURNED DOWN​

BY FALSE LOVES, TRICKED BY KINDNESS, MISLED BY​

INTELLECT, DIZZIED BY POESY, SACRIFICED FOR​

PROFIT, USED AS CHEAP LABOR; AND THESE WILL BE​

THE KINDEST OF THE HAPPENINGS COMPARED TO WHAT​

WILL ENTER THE EYE AND THE EAR AND THE BRAIN​

AND SEEP TO THE INNARDS TO BEGIN THEIR DEATH-WORK.​

I PITY ALL SUCH BROTHERS OF MINE WHO WILL FOLLOW ME​

IN THE CENTURIES, UNABLE TO LOVE BECAUSE THERE IS​

NOTHING TO LOVE; UNABLE TO KILL BECAUSE THERE IS​

NOTHING ALIVE; FOREVER HANGING AND BLEEDING AND​

DIZZIED BY THE BEAST-HUMAN, THE WALLS, THE GARDENS,​

THE SUN, THE FLOWERS, THE KISSES, THE FLAGS,​

THE SEAS, THE ANIMALS, THE FOOD, THE LIQUORS,​

THE PAINTINGS, THE SYMPHONIES, ALL USELESSNESS.​

XIII​

LET IT BE KNOWN THAT​

BIRTH IS NOT HOLY, THAT DEATH IS NOT HOLY,​

THAT LIFE IS NOT HOLY; LET IT BE KNOWN THAT​

I HAVE BLED WITHOUT CROWNS,​

THAT I WILL BLEED IN A MOMENT,​

THAT I WILL BLEED FOREVER​

RED RED RED​

AND THE HAWKS WILL DANCE WITHIN MY BONES AND REJOICE;​

BUT THAT I DIE FOR WHAT MAN IS AND NOT FOR WHAT I ALMOST WAS--​

THEY TOO LITTLE OF ANYTHING,​

AND MYSELF JUST LIFTED ENOUGH​

TO SEE THE HORROR,​

TO SICKEN AND GO MAD​

AND WILT.​

XIV​

DO NOT TAKE AS PERSONAL​

WHAT I SAY ABOUT LIFE​

ALTOGETHER, UNLESS,​

ON ANOTHER PLANE,​

YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A​

DEFENDER OF LIFE AND MAN​

WHICH IS ONLY ANOTHER WEAKNESS​

OF THE SPECIES​

LIKE A RAT GAURDING IT'S NEST​

AND FOR WHICH I CAN NOT HOLD YOU​

TOTALY TO BLAME.​

XV​

THE ONLY SOLITUDE IS DEATH; BUT​

NOT THIS DEATH, NOT THIS DEATH, NOT THIS DEATH...​

*WRITTEN BY CHARLES BUKOWSKI, ORIGINALY PUBLISHED 1965 BY FERMENT, ISSUE #6​
 

roni

Over 5000 posts
#6
btw the audio-version appears on the 1st CD of the 'Terror Street' album under the name of 'Ignus Fatuus' being track #3.
 

mjp

I fight to realize the essence of time
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#8

David

Over 500 posts
#9
What I may have not made clear in my original post is that I am looking for a copy of the poem directly from Ferment 6, 1965. All help much appreciated.
 
#10
Anybody have a copy of this poem they can post? Sounds like an interesting poem but can't seem to find it.
Hi, I have the original hard copy of that magazine. My grandmother had a copy because she was published in it along with Bukowski. Also, entertainingly enough, that transcript of the text of the poem below is one that I typed up when I was about 15 years old, I know because I decided to break up the verses with those roman numerals to keep track of it, also the blog where I was posting it had shitty text options and the only way to read the poem decently was in all caps. I'll dig it up, I have in one of my book vaults and I'll see if I can get it scanned as jpegs or pdfs or something. Anyway, the text as entered is extremely close to nearly identical to its format within the magazine if memory serves.

Ahahaaa! I typed up this transcription of this poem when I was 15, and did it directly out of an original copy of Ferment. Did you find this on Xanga, or Livejournal, or off of Deviant Art?
 

Erik

If u don't know the poetry u don't know Bukowski
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Over 1000 posts
#11
Thanks for bumping this.
This one passed me by earlier.
Powerful - one of his darkest.
Sort of "Thus Spoke Zarathustra"-ish.

Google translate gives the following meaning to the title's words:

ignis = fire
fatuus = fool

My take: "a burning fool" - "a fool burning" - "A fool's fire"?
Any latin scholars out there?
Is the latin correct?

Amazing that it hasn't been published since.
 
#13
Any latin scholars out there?
I am a little bit of a scholar of Latin as well, however, that aside; I do know that literal translation of the term ignis fatuus. Anyway. It's often translated as willow the wisp, or fairy fire; swamp fire or swamp lights. In olden times, it was believed that the lights of fairies, imps, or perhaps the damned or spirits typically referred to as willow the wisp would lead the foolish astray to their deaths within the trackless swamps; hence the title is perfectly apt to the poem as it repeatedly refers to the misleading temptations of this world which are all emptiness and which consume and destroy the humanity of the soul in a world bereft, or entirely blind to those most essential things that truly define us as humans as opposed to members of this debased or misguided world in which we live. It is extremely on the nose as far as titles go.
 

Otto jr

Over 100 posts
#15
I've always liked this poem, among Buk's finest. I have seen this transcription before with the roman numerals and all caps. There is a typo in the transcription. If you listen to Buk's reading you will hear him read it correctly. My correction as-per Buk below in RED.

LET IT BE KNOWN THAT THE TEMPLES ARE NOTHING

AND THE BELLS ARE NOTHING AND FAME IS NOTHING

AND VICTORY IS NOTHING AND SEX IS NOTHING AND

THAT SOLITUDE BRINGS MADNESS AND THE CROWD

BRINGS MADNESS AND DRINKS AND EATS THE BODY LIKE A

TIGER; THAT THERE IS NO VOICE TO SPEAK WITH,

NO EAR TO HEAR.
 
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