fire within the cesspool

the way it goes when the roses die in your hand and the band stops
playing (for you) there is always somebody to take your place
who can not only do it better but easier and with more
grace
and that’s nice: that the energy not only goes on but keeps
improving (so slowly)
but as I said
that’s nice–
otherwise it would be more than sad: all these buttocks and parts
going by
brains
intestines
fingernails
hair
etc.
with nothing going
forward
even to Ultimate Destruction
but it is going
forward, that’s why I feel good, say,
sitting in   a cafe somewhere
listening to dull conversation
and looking at faces that churn the
gut–
there’s still something working
(so slowly) but
it’s trying.
and we’ll only
quit
when they take it from
us (cessavit)
and never
before
and certainly not
now.

Like this website? Support it.
I want to bring all of Bukowski's poems online and make then freely available. This means hundreds of hours of work to retype over 1,000 of his poems from the original manuscripts. Your donations will help support this work.