Charles Bukowski

poems:

15

the crunch

Too much too little or not enough. Too fat too thin or nobody. Laughter or tears or immaculate non-concern. Haters lovers. Armies running through streets of blood waving wine bottles bayoneting and fucking virgins. Or an old guy in a cheap room with a photograph of Marilyn Monroe. Many old guys in cheap rooms without any photographs at all. Many old women rubbing rosaries when they'd prefer to be rubbing cocks. There is a loneliness in this world so great that you can see it in the slow movements of the hands of a clock. There is a loneliness in this world so great that you can see it blinking in neon signs in Vegas, in Baltimore, in Munich... There are people so tired, so strafed, so mutilated by love or no love that buying a bargain can of tuna in a supermarket is their greatest moment, their greatest victory. We don't need new governments, new revolutions, we don't need new men, new women, we don't need new ways, wife-swaps, waterbeds, good Columbian coke, water pipes, dildoes, rubbers with corkscrew stems, watches that give you the date. People are not good to each other one on one. Marx be damned the sin is not the totality of certain systems. Christianity be damned the sin is not the killing of a God. People are just not good to each other. We are afraid, we think that hatred means strength, we think that New York City is the greatest city in America. What we need is less brilliance, what we need is less instruction, what we need are less poets, what we need are less Bukowskies, what we need are less Billy Grahams. What we need is more beer, a typist, more finches, more green-eyed whores who don't eat your heart like a vitamin pill. We don't think about the terror of one person aching in one place alone untouched, unspoken to, watering a plant, being without a telephone that will never ring because there isn't one. More haters than lovers slices of doom like taffeta. 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 cloud, and the dogs piss upon the roses, and the killer beheads the child like taking a bite out of an ice cream cone, and the ocean comes in and out in and out under the direction of a senseless moon. And people are not good to each other. Rich are not good to the poor. We are afraid. Our educational system tells us that we can all be big-ass winners. It hasn't told us about the gutters or the suicides. Or the terror of one person aching in one place alone untouched, unspoken to watering a plant. People are not good to each other. People are not good to each other. People are not good to each other. I suppose they never will be. I don't ask them to be. But sometimes I think about it. The beads will swing, the clouds will cloud, and the killer will behead the child like taking a bite out of an ice cream cone. Too much too little. Too fat too thin or nobody. More haters than lovers. People are not good to each other. Perhaps if they were our deaths would not be so sad. Meanwhile I look at young girls stems flowers of chance. There must be a way. Surely there must be a way that we have not yet though of. Who put this brain inside of me? It cries it demands it says that there is a chance. It will not say "no."

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