From The Dept. Of English

100 million Chinese bugs on the stairway to
come drink with me
rub my back with me;
this filth-pitched room,
floor covered with yellow newspapers
3 weeks old; bottle caps, a red
pencil, a rip of
toilet paper, these odd bits of
broken things;
the flies worry me as icecream ladies
walk past my window;
at night I sleep, try to sleep
between mounds of stinking laundry;
ghosts come out
play dirty games, evil games, games of horror with
my mind;
in the morning there is blood on the sheet
from a broken sore upon my

putting on a shirt that rips across my
back, rotten rag of a thing,
and putting on pants with a rip in the
crotch, I find in the mailbox
(along with other threats):
“Dear Mr. Bukowski:
     Would like to see more of your poems for
     possible inclusion in
     ——— Poetry Review.

How’s it going?”

Charles Bukowski
This poem appeared in the following books: