Charles Bukowski

working it out

in this steamy a.m. Hades claps its Herpes hands and
a woman sings through my radio, her voice comes clambering
through the smoke, and the wine fumes...

it's a lonely time, she sings, and you're not
mine and it makes me feel so bad,
this thing of being me...

I can hear cars on the freeway, it's like a distant sea
sludged with people
while over my other shoulder, far over on 7th street
near Western
is the hospital, that house of agony -
sheets and bedpans and arms and heads and
everything is so sweetly awful, so continuously and
sweetly awful: the art of consummation: life eating
once in a dream I saw a snake swallowing its own
tail, it swallowed and swallowed until
it got halfway round, and there it stopped and
there it stayed, it was stuffed with its own
self. some fix, that.
we only have ourselves to go on, and it's

I go downstairs for another bottle, switch on the 
cable and there's Greg Puck pretending he's 
F. Scott and he's very excited and he's reading his
manuscript to his lady.
I turn the set
what kind of writer is that? reading his pages to
a lady? this is a violation...

I return upstairs and my two cats follow me, they are
fine fellows, we have no discontent, we have no
arguments, we listen to the same music, never vote for a
one of my cats, the big one, leaps on the back
of my chair, rubs against my shoulders and

"no good," I tell him, "I'm not going
to read you this

he leaps to the floor and walks out to the
balcony and his buddy 

they sit and watch the night; we've got the
power of sanity here.

these early a.m. mornings when almost everybody
is asleep, small night bugs, winged things
enter, and circle and whirl.
the machine hums its electric hum, and having
opened and tasted the new bottle I type the next
line. you
can read it to your lady and she'll probably tell you
it's nonsense. she'll be
reading Tender Is the