Fleet Week

It’s a late night
what do you do
when you’re being watched
and weighed
the heat is oppressive
and you comtimplate going it alone
but that’s redundant
there’s that moment of clarity.
where you
rise above the horde
and know
you are better.
you didn’t always carry yourself that way,
but you were always aware.
even now you sit
next to soldiers
who would die for god and country
but not you
for you
it’s only
and sometimes
that will ever matter
but there hasn’t been a
in a while
so tonight
like last night
every night
it’s just
and that will have to be enough
because you’ve had one drink
too many
and sailors, have a curfew
and as one pleads with his whore to waltz her out the door
she nuzzles up against
and you understand
that desperation has
a stink
collection will never
and acceptance
has no words
you just feel it
you belong here
while others are desperate
to prove it
so you giggle
and nod to the barkeep
for  you are remembered
before all others


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The Poet

What kind of poet
sits in a bar, wrestling with words
that just won’t  come.
and when they do
they refuse to fall in a pleasing order
they buzz around his head like a hive

What kind of poet
can’t write
because he’s worried
about his day job.
his position
the drinks in front of him
and the dollars in his pocket.
the brain can’t write the great works
when it’s doing math
with this round
on Monday
you don’t eat Friday
then Thursday.
some say a true author needs to suffer
but even a weed
needs a break in the weather
to grow.
How can a man write
sitting next to a woman
at 7
who’s been drinking
since 1

Who can create
while she fidgets
on her stool
hiking her skirt
high past her knee
giving just a glimpse
into the future.
Nothing is done
next to boys drinking beer
two kinds of whiskey
and one kind of scotch.
What kind of poet
can sandwich in between
go unnoticed
Ill received
and still hope

Who can create
with  horrors
and all this stupidity abound.

And as I finish pissing
I wash my hands
zip up
splash cool water on my face
stop the spinning
stare into the mirror
and say

I can
I can
I will

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The Meeting

Beautiful girl
who lingers too late
and stares too long,
do not catch my eye
It will only give me something
to fixate upon,
with my insidious stare
Something to target
Something to love
My words will  seduce
the heart
and infect
the soul
your soul
my soul
And then we are doomed

we will love
each other, for awhile
Forsaking all others
outside of our
And then it will end
Just like that

It will turn sour
spoil like milk
Rancid love
will send you away
and me running
we will spend
day upon night
passionately hating each other

Until you move on
I remain here
And so will be another
beautiful girl
Who lingers too long
sips too deeply
and eyes catch mine
and again
are doomed
to suffer
from loving me fully

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I met a girl one night
While out drinking
She was so beautiful that it made me hate god
She walked upon thick and sturdy stems
Not like that of orchids
Thin and spindly
Holding its beauty ashamed and bowed
Instead this beauty rides like a rose apon thick and throned trouble
Carrying her beautiful blossom well above this lowly souls reach.

And so I hate him

It made want to kill his only born son
Nail him up to a blank of wood
and hang him out to die
I wanted to blame him.
Blame him for making me
For making her
Blame him for bringing her here
Putting her in front of me
To see but never touch
And so I wanted to teach him a lesson
Take something away
And show him
You can’t always have what you want

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Bluebird (1992) ~ Charles Bukowski


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The Wait

And the bubbles float to the surface

and burst

like so many lost dreams

a life told through a glass

Jack’s life

Once overflowing


and head strong




and drained

“where have I gone”

he thinks

and sinks into his beer

staring into the bottom of a glass

and seeing

only he

once wild

and drunk

on opportunity

and immortality

now broken down

and tired

it has been a long time

since a man like Jack

had anything to fight for

any friends


any thanksgiving dinners with all the trimmings


but Jack

he has seen too much

and felt it too closely

this is not a world for the


ask Hemmingway

ask Thompson

ask any man

with nothing left to give

they know how it ends

a husk

sitting on stools

bent over drinks like question marks

all asking the same

when will I wake

when will I care

and for who

is there anyone left

anyone deserving

anyone worth the greatness

that sleeps within him

within others like

a bullet shot straight up

with the power to kill,

to feed

protect and destroy

to take a life and save one.

But without a target

Just waisted energy

Hurdeling aimless


and so Jack sits

and sips

and waits for change

he has seen

stranger things

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bad night

I am fairly drunk and there is a man jumping up and down on the floor in his shack next door, he’s rough on the floorboards and I listen to his dance while my wife is in the can and Fedelio is on our radio, and today at the track I lost $70 and a woman got her foot caught in the escalator , and all the drunks hollered at the usher: REVERSE IT! THROW IT IN REVERSE! meanwhile, the red blood and the gamblers
myself watching the tote for a meaningful flash and I dumped it in
the wrong place.
now the man has stopped jumping on the floor and has opened his bible. well, it has been a bad summer for all of us. a particular feeling a flailing feeling of too much. we are shocked almost senseless with the demand to put on our socks, we hang like paintings of blue-skinned virgins before young boys in dementia, & it’s too much hair on the neck and flowers dying in a bowl. my wife comes out of the can.
are you alright? she
asks. yeah, I
(not one of mine, but goddamn, it could be)

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