“Style is the answer to everything.”
–Charles Bukowski

Bukowski is dead wrong here
Style is the answer to nothing

To do a thing for style’s sake
is proof you wouldn’t do it
for the sake of doing it alone

Style is always for someone else
A man of style is never living
for himself but worried about
what he looks like to the other

If Christ had style it came
from his substance, the same
for Caesar and Lorca

If you do a dull thing with style
you are still doing a dull thing
If you do a dangerous thing
you don’t need style anyway
the thing itself has its own style

Style is not honest, is not truth
Style is what we use to cloak lies

If style was everything
salesmen would be good
politicians and movie stars
would be our finest artists
while scientists would be silly
and our saints ordinary

Only people have substance
yet even hair can have style

by James Valvis

Return to Issue 43