Roll the Dice: an interpretation of Bukowski



Charles Bukowski: Roll the Dice

if you’re going to try, go all the
otherwise, don’t even start.

if you’re going to try, go all the
this could mean losing girlfriends,
wives, relatives, jobs and
maybe your mind.

go all the way.
it could mean not eating for 3 or 4 days.
it could mean freezing on a
park bench.
it could mean jail,
it could mean derision,

isolation is the gift,
all the others are a test of your
endurance, of
how much you really want to
do it.
and you’ll do it
despite rejection and the worst odds
and it will be better than
anything else
you can imagine.

if you’re going to try,
go all the way.
there is no other feeling like
you will be alone with the gods
and the nights will flame with

do it, do it, do it.
do it.

all the way
all the way.

you will ride life straight to
perfect laughter, it’s
the only good fight
there is.

My Take on this awesome poem:
I listened to this poem about 5 times.  What I distilled from the experience:
I need to dig down and write no matter what.  
I honor Bukowski for his commitment.
Now I need to focus.  Turn tail and run with the glory that is the written word.Image

2 thoughts on “Roll the Dice: an interpretation of Bukowski

  1. No….no…..NO!!! Your interpretation is the exact type of rationalization, which is typical of someone who isn’t willing to “roll the dice”, and go all the way.

    Go all the way, or don’t even start….means that if you’re truly going to try, that means going all in on yourself: your abilities, your work, and that which you’re passion for and that which only you can create ….and truly putting yourself out there, despite knowing all of the hardships mentioned in the poem not only are very real possibilities, but are almost certain to come to pass.

    ONLY after you are not only willing to endure the type of hardships mentioned, and find within yourself the resolve that not even these terrible consequences will deter you from living life on your terms, without compromise, will you truly find yourself….

    Isolation is the gift because, as an artist/writer, etc….you and only you can truly know your path, view the world with the perspective that your experiences, wisdom, and dreams provides you, and know what you know. Dreamers accomplish the things that the rest of the world ridicules, scoffs at, deems impossible, or simply cannot imagine.

    So, when you roll the dice, and push thru the some of the strongest blows that life has to dish out, and move, undeterred in the direction of your dreams….you gain the gift of being truly free, as you’ve weathered the worst storms life HAS, and despite odds that cause even the best of us to turn around and get back on the beaten path, trading off the freedom that allows one to push to accomplish extraordinary things for the safety net that the majority of people in this world actually NEED to function properly.

    Your interpretation says you have to dig deep and be true to writing….if you didn’t grasp what Bukowski was saying, then you probably are a person that must have a safety net and acceptance, to thrive. If that’s the case, isolation isn’t a gift for you, and will actually leave you incredibly frustrated and depressed.

    One either is or isn’t an artist….One cannot be taught how to be an artist (meaning one of that has vision, is able to creatively express that vision thru their art in a way that people simply get). I am not qualified to tell you whether or not you really have what it takes, that’s something only you can know. All the schooling in the world cannot make one produce work that inspires others, even if it results in very sound technique and many polished works. Your work, when you’ve put all of yourself into it, if you truly have a gift, will grab people and MOVE them. That is being one with the Gods.

  2. When I first read your wonderful, impassioned response, I took it all very personally. I felt insulated from the world, not isolated. An isolation you require, it seems. Now I am humbled to admit, that whenever I actually finish the books I start, I am afraid I may read it and think, ok, this is what doesn’t work. Try again. And I will. In that way, I will roll the dice.

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