as much as I hate to use this word…

maybe it was just being young
but I can’t find anybody
like I once found
T.S. Eliot, Pound, D.H.
Lawrence, Celine, Fante,
Hem and Turgenev,
all those,
most of them alive
when I read them.
maybe it’s because I’ve
lost the first light of
living the life
and nothing is as exciting,
the writers or the life.
maybe I’ve been writing
too long
and I see
in the new writers
that I might use myself.
but I long
for the old joy of
turning page after page
the words riding me
new areas of
chance and meaning.

now I’m just
an old dog
who drives his car
on the freeways
and takes out
the garbage.

being a professional writer
possibly deadens the
pleasure of reading others.
or perhaps
others are a threat
which one tries to keep
from the consciousness.

most writers I know
only appear to praise
dead writers or writers who
are their friends or allies.
when I die I expect to become
much more popular with
other writers

and to those who praise me
then, I say now: fuck

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript
This poem appeared in the following books: