how ya gonna keep ’em on the farm?

the idea of being absolutely physically
and sitting in your room
smoking a cigarette
and having the first drink
being alone
the brain quiet
all that war done for a
a roach sits on your dictionary
and you spray away his existence.

it’s so good to be tired and silent

then the phone rings
and you answer it
and it’s a voice you don’t want to hear
a stranger’s voice
and with its mad panic
it laps over you like a stink.

when you are rid of it
it is no longer the same in the room:
it has been invaded:
a parasite soul still whirls about the

two roaches in one night.

one needs a rifle with a telescopic sight
and a mountain top
yes a rifle
with 400 rounds of ammunition.

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