during my worst times
on the park benches
in the jails
or living with
whores
I always had this certain
contentment-
I wouldn’t call it
happiness-
it was more of an inner
balance
that settled for
whatever was occuring
and it helped in the
factories
and when relationships
went wrong
with the
girls.
it helped
through the
wars and the
hangovers
the backalley fights
the
hospitals.
to awaken in a cheap room
in a strange city and
pull up the shade-
this was the craziest kind of
contentment

and to walk across the floor
to an old dresser with a
cracked mirror-
see myself, ugly,
grinning at it all.
what matters most is
how well you
walk through the
fire.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Charles Bukowski's poem How Is Your Heart?

1 Comment

  1. Terry Trueman says:

    Just found this website while trying to find where Buk had first written the line, “What matters most is how well you walk through the fire” To me one of his greatest lines, although there are so many hundreds of great, brilliant, perfect lines in Buk.

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