Charles Bukowski

My Father

He was a truly amazing man He pretended to be rich Even though we lived on beans and mush and weenies When we sat down to eat, he said, "Not everybody can eat like this." And because he wanted to be rich or because he actually thought he was rich He always voted Republican And he voted for Hoover against Roosevelt And he lost And then he voted for Alf Landon against Roosevelt And he lost again, saying, "I don't know what this world is coming to, Now we've got that god damned Red in there again And the Russians will be in our backyard next!" I think it was my father who made me decide to become a bum. I decided that if a man like that wants to be rich Then I want to be poor, and I became a bum. I lived on nickels and dimes and in cheap rooms and on park benches. I thought maybe the bums knew something, But I found out that most of the bums wanted to be rich too. They had just failed at that. So caught between my father and the bums I had no place to go, and I went there fast and slow. Never voted Republican, never voted. Buried him like an oddity of the earth, Like a hundred thousand oddities, like millions of other oddities, Wasted.

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