good show

Rena had 30 pairs of high heeled shoes on the inside door
of the crapper and lived with Rickey in the front court.
New York magazine on the coffeetable we’d toke and drink
with the eternal stereo in high ripping action.
Rena worked as a nudey dancer, hostess, so forth, while
Rickey dealt, and after an hour or so Rena would begin
her act, coming out in a Frederick’s outfit, dancing
by… “Jesus, Jesus, look at that!” I’d holler and she’d
whirl about, vanish, then come back in another outfit,
higher heels… more breast and ass showing:::
“Jesus!   Oh my god!   I can’t STAND IT!”   Rena would
slip into my lap and Rickey would flash the camera.
“Oh, my god, I’m really LIVING!”

those nights were truly funny, sexless, mad, I’m not
sure they realized it; my girlfriend didn’t:   she broke
one of Rena’s fingers when Rickey showed her some photos.

Rena and Rickey split and Rena used to come by and see
me with her new men, guys with lockets; shirts open to
the waist, hairy, peripheral and dull…
then she started coming by alone:   “those guys are

I could never move on Rena, she looked damn good
but I just didn’t have the taste for her; she was
honest and funny and crazy, quite nervous, but I
just couldn’t move on her–I think she finally
realized it.
I moved out of that neighborhood, so that many
people couldn’t find me, including Rena.

last I heard she went to New York city to study
Frederick’s won’t be the same without her.

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