Charles Bukowski


l had taken a tremendous beating,
I had chosen a real bull, and because of
the girls and for himself and just because of his
brutal escaping energy
he had almost murdered me:
I learned later
that even after I was out
he had kicked my head again and
and then had emptied several garbage cans
over me
and then they had left me there
in that alley.
I was the guy from out of town.

it was around 6 a.m. on a Sunday
morning when I came
my face was a mass o
fbruises, scabs, clots, bumps, lumps, my lips
thick and numb, my eyes almost swollen
tbut I got to my feet and began
I could see traces of the sun, houses, the shaking
sidewalk as I
moved toward my room
then I heard shuffling sounds from the
center of the street
and I forced my eyes to
focus and saw this
man staggering
his clothing ripped and bloody
he smelled of death and darkness
but he kept moving forward
down the middle of the street
as if he had been walking for
from some event so ugly that
the mind itself might refuse to accept
as part of life.
my impulse was to help him
and I stepped off the
and moved toward him.
he couldn’t see me, he moved forward
looking for somewhere to go,
anywhere, and
I saw one of his eyes hanging
out of the socket,
I backed away.
he was like a creature not of the
I let him go
I heard him moving away
behind me
those blind steps
lurching, in

I got back on the
I got back to my
room.I got myself to the
fell face up
the ceiling up there above me,
I waited.