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 Fidelio is on
our radio, and today at the track I lost 70 and a
got her foot caught in the escalator, and 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 but
most of us caught the wrong flash and 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
             are you all right?  she
asks.       Yeah, I

Charles Bukowski
This poem appeared in the following books: