giving thanks

I have to:
to that most hated of the
species:
the white American
male.

as a writer
I have been attacked for
writing badly of
some females.
other writers have been
attacked
for writing badly of
blacks,
yellows,
homosexuals,
transexuals,
lesbians,
Indians,
the aged,
the unborn
and the hardly
born
or the Chicanos
or the French
or the Italians
or the Greeks
or the English
or the
whatevers.

actually
making mild minor
references to
almost any
group
has ruined the
careers of not only
writers but
of politicians
sports commentators,
people in
entertainment.

it is a touchy age.
everybody is
defensive.
you must not
speak against
us,
they say.
or,
we will finish
you
off.

now for a writer,
this is a grade-a
one hell.
a good writer
must simply let
it go.

if I find a black
or a woman
or a dog
or a tree
or a rose
or an oriental
individually
obnoxious
I will find it my
duty to name
them as
such.

I often name myself
as obnoxious.

I find all territories
open.

I will not give way
to treading
easy
against truth.

yet,
I still give everlasting
thanks
to the white American
male
who can be trashed and
slurred and
demeaned again and
again
and he never protests,
he just doesn’t give a
damn.

but, oh, says the
chorus,
he just too busy
with mundane
values!

yes, most of them
are,
but not all of them.
some of them are
just as much there
as the homosexuals
and the lesbians
and the bisexuals
and the etceteras..
and in some cases,
more
so.
but he doesn’t
protest
vehemently
when I find him
out of
order.
he doesn’t say
anything.

but, says, the
chorus, it’s because
he’s running the
show.

maybe.
maybe not.

but as a writer
he’s good fair
meat
for me.
I can abuse him
and punch
him about,
I can lay him
straight down through
the line.
I can do him in
in stories, novels,
screenplays, poems
and he’ll take it
without a
whimper.

in our very restrictive
protective
age,
it’s great for a writer
to have a final
playground to play
around
in.

so here’s to
the white American
male,
the joke-butts of
sitcoms,
the clown,
the brute,
the dog,
the hog,
the pig,
the sexist,
the fat beer belly
who watches them all
down him
and says
nothing,
lights a new
cigar,
shifts in his
chair and
smiles.

here’s to the
forgotten
hero:
the white
American
male.

now, go
ahead,
hate
me.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1991
Source
Original manuscript
This poem appeared in the following books: