down by the wings

they speak of angels or she
speaks of angels
from a plateglass window overlooking the
Sunset Strip
(she has these visions)
but maybe angels prefer people with
daughters of rich fathers who are dying of
throat cancer in Brazil.
myself–I keep seeing these
wingless creatures of mean story and dismal
and she says
when I defame her
            you are trying to
            pull me down
            by the wings.

she’s going to Europe in the summer–
Greece, Italy, most probably
Paris and she’s
taking some of her angels with
not all
but some
now there’s this 1/2 Chinese boy who used to
sleep on fire escapes
the Negro homosexual who plays chess and
recites Shelley at the Sensualist
then there’s the one who has real talent with the
brush (Nickey) but who simply can’t get
somehow and
there’s also Sieberling who cries because he
loves his mother (actually).

when many of these
leave town and
flow around the
Arch of Triumph
to be photographed or
to chase beetles at
9 Rue Git-Le-Coeur
it’s going to be a hot and
lonesome summer
for many of us when
the devil walks in and retakes Hollywood
once more.

Charles Bukowski
This poem appeared in the following books: