feeding the chickens and you

what’s bothering you now? said the fly to the horse’s
ass, stop twitching!   as the maid fluffed her butt
with butter and said, dinner’s on!   Ezra Pound beat
his meat on a hot summer night in Salerno    as the 6
horse ran up on the heels of the 8 and the 6 went
down and the jockey of the 6 somersaulted like a
tumbleweed and somehow escaped the hooves of the
field which followed
which is all the luck a fellow can expect in one
day.
night is a different matter.
night is always a different matter.
I had 3 women in one night at the same hotel room
but come to think of it now
I don’t know if that was luck at all.
dogs have done better.
and sometimes with women.
you know
the best thing about old women is that all you have
to do is talk to them.
I used to feed the chickens for my landlady, Mrs.
McCarthy
and afterwards in the breakfastnook she’d pour me
half a glass of whiskey.
I’d sit there as the sun came through the curtains,
I’d sit there feeling good and easy and Mrs. Mc
Carthy asked me once, you’re a young man, why don’t
you get a job?
I took a hit of whiskey, lit a cigarette, nodded
toward the backyard, the chickencoop, said, I got
one.
shit boy, she said, you’re just no damned
good.
thank you, mam, I told her.
like
you know, you’ve got to sulk a bit when things move
toward you, you’ve got to get it in a rectangle,
step back, look at it, give it some minor thought.
too many men walk right into the cleaver.
for country, for cunt, for a living, for lack of
anything else to do.
I always had something to do:   nothing
you know
you gotta rest up good and strong in order to die
properly.
too many men die worn out.
I’m gonna die fresh as a daisy, a fresh daisy,
that is.
and no remarks from you.
anyhow
you know what the horse’s ass said to the
fly?
it said
how can anything so much smaller than I
give me
so much hell?
well wait,
it didn’t say that to the fly, it thought that
about the
fly.
how can anything so much smaller than I
give me
so much hell?
Kant you
apply it to yourself like a
lotion?
and if you can’t come up with anything
then
eat a bag of potato chips and get a new battery
for your
wristwatch.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1990
Source
Original manuscript