loss and mending

Standard

Woman
charles bukowski
this head like a saucer
decorated with everything
as lip to lip we hang
in mechanical joy;
my hands blaze with arias
but i think of books
on anatomy,
and i fall from you
as nations burn in anger…

to recover from most pitiful error
and rebuild, this is it
loss and mending
until they take us in.

the glory of a saturday afternoon
like biting into an old peach
and you walk across the room
heavy with everything
except my love.

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

your own terms

Standard

a note on the masses
charles bukowski
private hells made public
often puzzle the readers:
they wonder how this one
or that one
can endure and
continue.
well, there’s a secret:
don’t expect too
much of Humanity,
they have been
practicing hatred
for centuries,
it’s passed down
refined and
perfected,
oh, they have become
very good at that—
their hatreds blossom
with ever more frequent
regularity.
our public hell creates a
private hell and
there is no hell
except on
earth.
once you accept
this premise
you will be free to
exist
on your own terms
and you will never
know loneliness
and death will be as
nothing.
consider yourself
blessed in the
dark.

bad review

Standard

upon reading a critical review
Charles Bukowski
it’s difficult to accept
and you look around the room
for the person they are talking
about.
he’s not there
he’s not here.
he’s gone.
by the time they get your book you
are no longer your
book.
you are on the next page,
the next
book.
and worse,
they don’t even get the old books right.
you are given credit for things you don’t
deserve, for insights that aren’t
there.
people read themselves into books, altering
what they need and discarding what they
don’t.
good critics are as rare as good
writers.
and whether I get a good review or a
bad one
I take neither
seriously.
I am on the next page.
the next book.

lonely telephone

Standard

we must
charles bukowski
we must bring
our own light
to the
darkness.

nobody is going
to do it
for us.

as the young boys
ski
down the slopes

as the fry cook
gets his last
paycheck

as dog chases
dog

as the chessmaster
loses more than
the game

we must bring
our own light
to the
darkness.

nobody is going
to do it for us,

as the lonely
telephone
anybody
anywhere

as the great beast
trembles
in nightmare

as the final season
leaps into
focus

nobody is going
to do it
for us.

cat magic

Standard

in other words
charles bukowski
the Egyptians loved the cat
were entombed with it
instead of with the women
and never with the dog

but now
here
good people with
good eyes
are very few

yet fine cats
with great style
lounge about
in the alleys of
the universe.

about
our argument tonight
whatever it was
about
and

no matter how unhappy
it made us
feel

remember that
there is a
cat
somewhere
adjusting to the
space of itself
with a delightful
grace

in other words
magic persists
without us
no matter what
we may try to do
to spoil it.

Photo by Bing Han on Unsplash

shakedown

Standard

hello there!
Charles Bukowski
When death comes with its last cold kiss
I’ll be ready.
(I’ve already experienced my share of
deathly
kisses.)
the mad ladies who helped me
consume my hours
my years
have readied me for the
dark.

when death comes with its last cold kiss
I’ll be ready:
just another whore
come to
shake me
down.