block

in the past two months the poems have
riveted themselves to paper in ungodly
numbers
and if a poet may judge–
most of them were of high quality.
now I have become spoiled,
I walked into here tonight expecting
more luck
but the night has been slow.
and rightfully so–
occurrence must precede action,
the tank must refill.
writing, at its best, is not a contest,
it’s not even an occupation,
it’s a hazardous madness
that arrives at its own
behest.
prod it and you lose it.
pretend and the words fall
ill.


when the lulls arrive there is
nothing to do but
wait,
do other things.

the writing must leap upon you
like a wild beast.

there are none of those in this
room with me
tonight.
they are elsewhere
they are with somebody
else.

so all I can do is sit in this chair
tonight
and tell you that I can’t
write.

there are other things to do.
like now I am going downstairs
to see my wife
and my 6 cats
and they will see me
and we will look at each
other.
it will be all right.
I’m sure it
will.

they might even remember
me.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1991
Source
Original manuscript