good try, all

inept among the delightful tulips of hell
I think slowly over a potboiler past
of all the ladies I met who
at our beginnings
were already discouraged and un-
happy over
men

I was counted as just another and maybe I
was and maybe I wasn’t

the ladies had long been used and mis-
used
while undoubtedly adding their shade of
misjudgment

they were still
chary
and our affairs were much like reading an
old newspaper over
again (help wanted or obituary
sections)
or it was like hearing an old
song
too often listened to
until melody and words became
blurred
dulled

their needs were dizzied by
defeat
and I arrived too late with too
little

yet there were always moments
smaller than small
but there
when brightness and laughter
came tumbling
through

only to quickly re-shape   into the
same sad
uselessness

inept among the delightful tulips of hell
I can’t think of any one of those ladies
I’d rather not have lived with
no matter what stories they now
tell
as they edge again into new
lovers or
none.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1985
Source
Original manuscript