Charles Bukowski

C
Charles Bukowski
a 340 dollar horse and a hundred dollar whore
don’t ever get the idea I am a poet; you can see me
at the racetrack any day half drunk
betting quarters, sidewheelers and straight thoroughs,
but let me tell you, there are some women there
who go where the money goes, and sometimes when you
look at these whores these onehundreddollar whores
you wonder sometimes if nature isn’t playing a joke
dealing out so much breast and ass and the way
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8 count
from my bed
I watch
3 birds
on a telephone
wire.

one flies
off.
then
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About My Very Tortured Friend, Peter
he lives in a house with a swimming pool
and says the job is
killing him.
he is 27. I am 44. I can’t seem to
get rid of
him. his novels keep coming
back. “what do you expect me to do?” he screams
“go to New York and pump the hands of the
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the difference between a bad poet and a good one is luck
I suppose so.
I was living in an attic in Philadelphia
It became very hot in the summer and so I stayed in the
bars. I didn’t have any money and so with what was almost left
I put a small ad in the paper and said I was a writer
looking for work . . .
which was a god damned lie; I was a writer
looking for a little time and a little food and some
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Hello, Willie Shoemaker
the Chinaman said don’t take the hardware
and gave me a steak I couldn’t cut (except the fat)
and there was an ant circling the coffee cup;
I left a dime tip and broke out a stick of cancer,
and outside I gave an old bum who looked about
the way I felt, I gave him a quarter,
and then I went up to see the old man
strong as steel girders, fit for bombers and blondes,
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I Am Visited by an Editor and a Poet
I had just won $115 from the headshakers and
was naked upon my bed
listening to an opera by one of the Italians
and had just gotten rid of a very loose lady
when there was a knock upon the wood,
and since the cops had just raided a month or so ago,
I screamed out rather on edge—
who the hell is it? what you want, man?
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i can't stay in the same room with that woman for five minutes
I went over the other day
to pick up my daughter.
her mother came out with workman’s
overalls on.
I gave her the child support money
and she laid a sheaf of poems on me by one
Manfred Anderson.
I read them.
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i wanted to overthrow the government but all i brought down was somebody's wife
30 dogs, 20 men on 20 horses and one fox
and look here, they write,
you are a dupe for the state, the church,
you are in the ego-dream,
read your history, study the monetary system,
note that the racial war is 23,000 years old.

well, I remember 20 years ago, sitting with an old Jewish tailor,
his nose in the lamplight like a cannon sighted on the enemy; and
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Interview by a Guggenheim Recipient
this South American up here on a Gugg
walked in with his whore
and she sat on the edge of my bed and
crossed her fine legs
and I kept looking at her legs
and he pulled at his stringy necktie
and I had a hangover
and he asked me
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The Japanese Wife
O lord, he said, Japanese women,
real women, they have not forgotten,
bowing and smiling
closing the wounds men have made;
but American women will kill you like they
tear a lampshade,
American women care less than a dime,
they’ve gotten derailed,
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the trash men
here they come
these guys
grey truck
radio playing

they are in a hurry

it’s quite exciting:
shirt open
bellies hanging out
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Trollius and trellises
of course, I may die in the next ten minutes
and I’m ready for that
but what I’m really worried about is
that my editor-publisher might retire
even though he is ten years younger than
I.
it was just 25 years ago (I was at that ripe
old age of 45)
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trouble with spain
I got in the shower
and burned my balls
last Wednesday.

met this painter called Spain,
no, he was a cartoonist,
well, I met him at a party
and everybody got mad at me
because I didn’t know who he was
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vegas
there was a frozen tree that I wanted to paint
but the shells came down
and in Vegas looking across at a green sunshade
at 3:30 in the morning,
I died without nails, without a copy of the Atlantic Monthly,
the windows screamed like doves moaning the bombing of Milan
and I went out to live with the rats
but the lights were too bright
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wax job
man, he said, sitting on the steps
your car sure needs a wash and wax job
I can do it for you for 5 bucks,
I got the wax, I got the rags, I got everything
I need.

I gave him the 5 and went upstairs.
when I came down 4 hours later
he was sitting on the steps drunk
and offered me a can of beer.
he said he’d get the car the next
day.

the next day he got drunk again and
I loaned him a dollar for a bottle of
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the weather is hot on the back of my watch
the weather is hot on the back of my watch
which is down at Finkelstein’s
who is gifted with 3 balls
but no heart, but you’ve got to understand
when the bull goes down
on the whore, the heart is laid aside for something else,
and let’s not over-rate the obvious decency
for in a crap game you may be cutting down
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x-pug
he hooked to the body hard
took it well
and loved to fight
had seven in a row and a small fleck
over one eye,
and then he met a kid from Camden
with arms thin as wires—
it was a good one,
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