Charles Bukowski

downtown L.A.

throwing you shoe at 3 a.m. and smashing the window, then
your head through the shards of glass and laughing as the
         phone rings
with authoritative threats as you curse back through the
         receiver, slam
it down as the woman screeches: "WHAT THE FUCK YA
         DOIN', YA ASSHOLE!'

you smirk, look at her (what's this?). you're cut somewhere,
         love it, the
dripping of red onto your dirty torn undershirt, the whiskey
through your invincibility: you're young, you're big, and the
stinks from centuries of Humanity while

you're on course
and there's something left to drink -
it's good, it's a dramatic farce and you can handle it with
verve, style, grace and elite

another hotel drunk - thank god for hotels and whiskey and
         ladies of the

you turn to her: "you chippy hunk of shit, don't bad mouth
         me! I'm
the toughest guy in town, you don't know who the hell you're
         in this room

she just look, half-believing...a gigarette dangling, she's half-
onsane, looking for an out; she's hard, she's scared, she's been
fooled, taken, abused, used, over-

but under all that, to me she's the flower, I see her as she was
before she was ruined by the lies: theirs and

to me, she's new again as I am new: we have a chance

I walk over and fill her drink: "you got class, doll, you're not
         like the

she likes that and I like it too because to make a thing true all
got to do is believe.

I sit across from her as she tells me about her life, I give her
light her cigarettes, I listen and the City of Angels
listens: she's had a hard row.

I get sentimental and decide not to fuck her: one more man for
won't help and one more woman for me won't
matter - besides, she doesn't look that

acyually, her life is boring and rather common but most are -
         mine is too
except when lifted by

she gets into a crying-jag, she's cute, really, and pitiful, all she
is what she always wanted, only it's getting further and further

then she stops crying, we just drink and smoke, it's
peaceful - I won't bother her tha

I have trouble trying to yank the pull-down bed from the wall,
comes up to help, we pull together - suddenly, it
         releases - flings
itself upon us, a hard death-like mindless object, it knocks us
our asses beneath it as
first in fear we scream
then begin laughing, laughing like

she gets the bathroom first, then I use it, then we stretch out

I am awakened in the early morning... she is down at my
         center, has
me in her mouth and is working furiously.

"it's all right," I say, "you don't have to do

she continues, finishes...

in the morning we pass the desk clerk, he has on thick-rimmed
         dark glasses,
seems to sit in the shade of some tarantula dream: he was there
         when we
entered, he is there now: some eternal darkness, we are almost
         to the door
when he says:
"don't come back."

we walk 2 blocks up, turn left, walk one block, then on block
         south, enter
Willie's at the middle of the
block, place ourselves at bar

we order beer for starters, we sit there as she searches her purse
cigarettes, then I get up, move toward the juke box, put a coin
within, come back, sit down, she lifts her glass, "the first one's
and I lift my drink, "and the last..."

outside, the traffic runs up and down, down and