Caught Again At Some Impossible Pass

and the one with big feet, stupid, would not move
when I passed thro the aisle; that night at the barn
dance Elmer Whitefield lost a tooth fighting big
Eddie Green;
we’ll get his radio and we’ll get his watch, they said,
pointing at me, damn Yankee; but they didn’t know
I was an insane poet and I leaned there drinking wine
and loving all their women
with my eyes, and they were frightened and cowed
as any small town cattle
trying to figure out how to kill me
but first
needing a reason; I could have told them
how not so long ago
I had almost killed for lack of reason;
instead, I took the 8:15 bus
to Memphis.

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