8 count

can’t get the hatch open
and they are poking me
with instruments through the sides
and I have my left shoe on my right foot
and my left foot in my right shoe
and the breathing’s difficult.
I keep remembering places like
Savannah and New Orleans
as if they might have saved
me
but that doesn’t seem
sensible,
yet what does?
a face looks through at me now
and days,
“How’s it going?
Feel any better?”
the face smiles and turns into a
boxing glove.
there was nothing in the books
which warned me of
this.
I feel like pissing, can’t.
I work at the hatch again.
there are small levers, I turn them
and turn them
but nothing happens.
then a voice booms through my
enclosure:
“YOU STOLE MY AUTOMOBILE!”
“what automobile?” I ask.
“YOU KNOW WHAT GOD DAMNED
AUTOMOBILE!” the voice booms
again.
then it’s silent.
then something is dripping down,
stuff looks like strawberry jam.
I stick out my tongue and get a bit.
it tastes like gasoline.
I gag, then gag again.

“YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN NICER
TO YOUR MOTHER!” the voice booms
again.
“WHAT MOTHER?” I scream back,
“I NEVER HAD A GOD DAMNED
MOTHER!”
then the boxing glove is inside of the
compartment with me.
it doubles up as if a fist were inside.
then it smashes against my
face.
it is a vicious punch, flashes of color
dance about.
my head aches, I open my eyes and
the glove is gone.
then the hatch opens, an arm reaches
in.
I grab it and am pulled out.
I stand in an all green room.
there is nobody around.
“YOU HAVE PASSED THE TEST!”
the voice booms.
“what test?” I ask.
“YOU ARE NOW GOING TO BECOME A
NOVELIST!”
“NO!” I scream, “NO, ANYTHING BUT
THAT!”
“ONE DAY YOU WILL EVEN MEET
NORMAL MAILER!”
“NO! ┬áNO! ┬áPLEASE, PLEASE!”
I am shaved from behind, I am pushed
toward a door, I am pushed through
flying toward New York City, cocktail
parties, tv interviews, women, fame,
fortune and
imbecility, I am of the
chosen, I land and am
consumed.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1991
Source
Original manuscript