Featured Poem, Poetry

Featured Poem: Combat Primer

Combat primer by Charles Bukowski

they called Celine a Nazi

they called Pound a fascist

they called Hamsun a Nazi and a fascist.

they put Dostoevsky in front of a firing


and they shot Lorca

gave Hemingway electric shock treatments

(and you know he shot himself)

and they ran Villon out of town (Paris)

and Mayakovsky

disillusioned with the regime

and after a lovers’ quarrel,


he shot himself too.

Chatterton took rat poison

and it worked.

and some say Malcolm Lowry died

choking on his own vomit

while drunk.

Crane went the way of the boat

propellor or the sharks.


Harry Crosby’s sun was black.

Berryman preferred the bridge.

Plath didn’t light the oven.


Seneca cut his wrists in the

bathtub (it’s best that way:

in warm water).

Thoma and Behan drank themselves

to death and

there are many others.

and you want to be a



it’s that kind of war:

creation kills,

many go mad,

some lose their way and

can’t do it


a few make it to old age.

a few make money.

some starve (like Vallego).

it’s that kind of war:

casualties everywhere.


all right, go ahead

do it

but when they sandbag you

from the blind side

don’t come to me with your



now I’m going to smoke a cigarette

in the bathtub

and then I’m going to


Featured Poem, Poetry, Uncategorized

Featured Poem: The Crunch (2)

The Crunch(2) by Charles Bukowski

too much

too little

or too late

too fat

too thin

or too bad

laughter or


or immaculate




armies running through streets of pain

waving wine bottles

bayoneting and fucking everyone

or an old guy in a cheap quiet room

with a photograph of Marilyn Monroe.

there is a loneliness in this world so great

that you can see it in the slow movement of

a clock’s hands.

there is a loneliness in this world so great

that you can see it in blinking neon

in Vegas, in Baltimore, in Munich.

people are tired

strafed by life

mutilated either by love or no


we don’t need new governments

new revolutions

we don’t need new men

new women

we don’t need new ways

we just need to care.

people are not good to each other

one on one.

people are just not good to each other.

we are afraid.

we think that hatred signifies


that punishment is


what we need is less false education

what we need are fewer rules

fewer policce

and more good teachers.

we forget the terror of one person

aching in one room




cut off

watering a plant alone

without a telephone that would never



people are not good to each other

people are not good to each other

people are not good to each other

and the beads swing and the clouds obscure

and dogs piss upon rose bushes

the killer beheads the child like taking a bite

out of an ice cream cone

while the ocean comes in and goes out

in and out

in the thrall of a senseless moon.

and people are not good to each other.

Featured Poem, Poetry

Featured Poem: The Circus of Death

The Circus of Death by Charles Bukowski

it’s there

from the beginning, to the middle, to the


there from light to darkness,

there through the wasted

days and nights, through

the wasted years,

the continuance

of moving toward death.

sitting with death in your lap,

washing death out of your ears

and from between your toes,

talking to death, living with death while

living through the stained wall and the flat


and the changing of the guard.

living with death in your stockings.

opening the morning blinds to death,

the circus of death,

the dancing girls of death,

the yellow teeth of death,

the cobra of death,

the deserts of death.

death like a tennis ball in the mouth of

a dog.

death while eating a candlelight dinner.

the roses of death.

death like a moth.

death like an empty shoe.

death the dentist.

through darkness and light and


through the painting of a


through the applause for the bowing


while taking

a walk through Paris,

by the broken-winged




runs through your fingers as


pick up an orange.

through the bottom of the sky

divided into sections like a





consumes nations and nations,

squirrels, fleas, hogs,


grandmothers, babies,




the bullfighter, the bull and

all those killers in the


it’s Plato and the murderer of a


the eyes in your head.

your fingernails.

it’s amazing, amazing, amazing.

we’re clearly at the edge.

it’s thunder in a snail’s shell.

it’s the red mark on the black widow.

the the mirrow without a reflection.

it’s the singular viewpoint.

it’s the fog over Corpus Christi.

it’s in the eye of the hen.

it’s on the back of the turtle.

it’s moving at the sun

as you put your shoes on for the last



knowing it.

Featured Poem, Poetry

Featured Poem: A New War

a new war by Charles Bukowski

a different fight now, warding off the weariness of


retreating to your room, stretching out upon the bed,

there’s not much will to move,

it’s near midnight now.

not so long ago your night would be just

beginning, but don’t lament lost youth:

youth was no wonder


but now it’s the waiting on death.

it’s not death that’s the problem, it’s the waiting.

you should have been dead decades ago.

the abuse you wreaked upon yourself was

enormous and non-ending.

a different fight now, yes, but nothing to

mourn, only to


frankly, it’s even a bit dull waiting on the


and to think, after I’m gone,

there will be more days for others, other days,

other nights,.

dogs walking, trees shaking in

the wind.

I won’t be leaving much.

something to read, maybe.

a wild onion in the gutted


Paris in the dark.

Featured Poem, Poetry

Featured Poem: Memory

Memory by Charles Bukowski

I’ve memorized all the fish in the sea

I’ve memorized each opportunity strangled


I remember awakening one morning

and finding everything smeared with the color of

forgotten love

and I’ve memorized

that too.

I’ve memorized green rooms in

St. Louis and New Orleans

where I wept because I knew that by myself I

could not overcome

the terror of them and it.

I’ve memorized all the unfaithful years

(and the faithful ones too)

I’ve memorized each cigarette that I’ve rolled.

I’ve memorized Beethoven and New York City

I’ve memorized

riding up escalators, I’ve memorized

Chicago and cottage cheese, and the mouths of

some of the ladies and the legs of

some of the ladies

I’ve known

and the way the rain came down hard.

I’ve memorized the face of my father in his coffin,

I’ve memorized all the cars I have driven

and each of their sad deaths,

I’ve memorized each jail cell,

the faces of each new president

and the faces of some of the assassins;

I’ve even memorized the arguments I’ve had with

some of the women

I’ve loved.

best of all

I’ve memorized tonight and now and the way the

light falls across my fingers,

specks and smears on the wall,

shades down behind orange curtains;

I light a rolled cigarette and then laugh a little,

yes, I’ve memorized it all.

the courage of my memory.

Featured Poem, Poetry

Featured Poem: Wind the Clock

Wind the Clock by Charles Bukowski

it’s just a slow day moving into a slow night.

it doesn’t matter what you do

everything just stays the same.

the cats sleep it off, the dogs don’t


it’s just a slow day moving into a slow night.

there’s nothing even dying,

it’s just more waiting through a slow day moving

into a slow night.

you don’t even hear the water running,

the walls just stand there

and the doors don’t open.

it’s just a slow day moving into a slow night.

the rain has stopped,

you can’t hear a siren anywhere,

your wristwatch has a dead battery,

the cigarette lighter is out of fluid,

it’s just a slow day moving into a slow night,

it’s just more waiting through a slow day moving

into a slow night

like tomorrow’s never going to come

and when it does

it’ll be the same damn thing,

Featured Poem, Poetry

Featured Poem: Time

Time by Charles Bukowski

one collapses and surrenders

not out of choice

or lack of intelligence

or bad teeth

or bad diet

one surrenders

because that’s the BEST MOVIE


once I was so disgusted

with the working of things

that I dialed the time

and listened to the voice

over and over again:

“it’s now 10:18 and 20 seconds

it’s now 10:18 and 30 seconds…”

I didn’t like the voice

and I didn’t care what time it was

yet I listened.

satisfied now

I’m glad somebody stole my last watch

it was so difficult to read

satisifed now

I’ve got a new one

it has a black face and

white hands

and I sit there and watch

the second hand

the minute hand

the hour hand

as outside

caterpillars crawl my walls

and finally fall

like empires

like old dead loves

and new loves


night’s best

with my black-faced watch

with white hands.