A reader, Bill, sent me the following poem by Charles Bukowski:
What can we do?
at their best, there is gentleness in Humanity.
some understanding and, at times, acts of courage.
but all in all it is a mass, a glob that doesn’t have too much.
it is like a large animal deep in sleep and almost nothing can awaken it.
when activated it’s best at brutality, selfishness, unjust judgments, murder.
what can we do with it, this Humanity?
avoid the thing as much as possible.
treat it as you would anything poisonous, vicious, and mindless.
but be careful. it has enacted law to protect itself from you.
it can kill you without cause.
and to escape it you must be subtle.
it’s up to you to figure a plan.
I have met nobody who has escaped.
I have met some of the great and famous but they have not escaped
for they are only great and famous within Humanity.
I have not escaped
but I have not failed in trying again and again.
before my death I hope to obtain my life.
— Charles Bukowski1:40 pm on July 1, 2012 Email Butler Shaffer