Charles Bukowski

His Wife, The Painter

There are sketches on the walls of men and women and ducks, and outside a large green bus swerves through traffic like insanity sprung from a waving line; Turgenev, Turgenev, says the radio, and Jane Austin, Jane Austin, too. "I am going to do her portrait on the 28th, while you are at work." He is just this edge of fat and he walks constantly, he fritters; they have him; they are eating him hollow like a webbed fly, and his eyes are red-suckled with anger-fear. He feels hatred and discard of the world, sharper than his razor, and his gut-feel hangs like a wet polyp; and he self-decisions himself defeated trying to shake his hung beard from razor in water (like life), not warm enough. Daumier. Rue Transonian, le 15 Avril, 1843. (lithograph.) Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale. "She has a face unlike that of any woman I have ever known." "What is it? A love affair?" "Silly. I can't love a woman. Besides, she's pregnant." I can paint- a flower eaten by a snake; that sunlight is a lie; and that markets smell of shoes and naked boys clothed, and that under everything some river, some beat, some twist that clambers along the edge of my temple and bites nip-dizzy. . . men drive cars and paint their houses, but they are mad; men sit in barber chairs; buy hats. Corot. Recollection of Mortefontaine. Paris, Louvre. "I must write Kaiser, though I think he's a homosexual." "Are you still reading Freud?" "Page 299." She made a little hat and he fastened two snaps under one arm, reaching up from the bed like a long feeler from the snail, and she went to church, and he thought now I h've time and the dog. About church: the trouble with a mask is it never changes. So rude the flowers that grow and do not grow beautiful. So magic the chair on the patio that does not hold legs and belly and arm and neck and mouth that bites into the wind like the ned of a tunnel. He turned in bed and thought: I am searching for some segment in the air. It floats about the peoples heads. When it rains on the trees it sits between the branches warmer and more blood-real than the dove. Orozco. Christ Destroying the Cross. Hanover, Dartmouth College, Baker Library. He burned away in his sleep.

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