free dinner

I was still the starving writer       when I met this beautiful
lady who was young       educated       rich       I really can’t
remember how that       all came about       she had come to my
court a few       times for brief       visits       “I don’t want sex”
she told me       “I want you to understand       this”       “o.k.”
I said       “no sex”

one night she invited me to       dinner       on her       she
arrived in her Porsche       and we were       off

the table was in front       it was a fancy place       I suppose
and there was a fellow with       a violin and a fellow at the

I ordered a wine and then        we ordered dinner       it was quiet
and I was hungry and thirsty       it was a good red wine

it went quickly and I ordered       another

“tell me about your writing”       she said

“no       no”       I said

the dinner arrived       I had ordered a porterhouse and       fries
she had something delicate       I don’t know what it       was
we began       eating

then she started talking       it began easily enough       something
about an       Art exhibit       I nodded her on

being an almost starving       writer       it didn’t take me       very
long to finish my       plate

she began talking about the       life of Mozart       putting small
bits of food       into her mouth

I poured more wine

then she started talking about       saving the American Indian

I ordered another bottle of       wine

the waiter took our plates       and she began to pour her       own

she told me that Immanuel       Kant had a most brilliant mind
astonishingly       brilliant

her voice was getting louder       and louder and she spoke more
and more       rapidly

then the guy at the piano       started in and the guy with the
violin joined him

she raised her voice to be       heard over the       music

she was back to saving the       American Indian

I began getting a headache       I sat and listened to her       and
my headache got       worse

she began to explain to me       what Jean Paul Sartre really

the guy at the piano and the guy       with the violin       got louder
and louder

I waved my arms at her and yelled       “LOOK       LET’S GO TO MY

she paid the bill and I got her       out of there       she talked all
the way back to       my place       then she parked and came       on in

I had some scotch       I poured the scotch       I sat on the couch and
she sat on a       chair across the room       talking       loudly and

she was on Vivaldi       on and on about Vivaldi

she stopped to light a cigarette       and I got to speak

“look”       I told her       “I don’t want       to fuck you”

she jumped up       knocked over her       drink       began prancing about
the floor       “oh       hahaha!       I know you want       to fuck me!”

then she went into some type of       whirling dance       holding her
cigarette       over her head       she was very awkward       breathing
heavily       and staring at me

“I have a headache”       I told her       “I want to go to bed and

“haha!       you’re trying to trick me       into bed!”

then she sat down and looked at       me

“I’m not going to let you fuck       me”

“please don’t”       I said

“tell me about your writing”       she said

“look”       I said       “will you please       get out of here and leave
me       alone?”

“ha!”       she jumped up

“ha       you men are all alike!       all you think about is,

“I don’t have the slightest desire       to fuck you”

“haha!       you expect me to believe       that?”

she grabbed her purse       ran toward the door       then she was out of
there       slamming it

and my beautiful       rich       educated       lady was gone

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