hymn from the hurricane of the blinking eye

paid my dues in Macon, went crazy in Tennessee,
found the glove of God in St. Louis,
got the hell out of there,
found the whore with the heart of gold Glendale,
got away from that,
floundered a while along the Mason-Dixon line,
came to my senses and got a job as a stock boy in New Orleans,
mailed a letter to King Tukanhamen and got knocked on my ass in Houston,
started sitting in the center of bars instead of at either end,
got rolled of 3 wallets in a row somewhere near the Appalachians,
married a woman with a crooked neck who died unclaimed in India,
name of the first horse I ever bet was Royal Serenade who won so long ago,
Johnny Longden and I are still alive.
what glistens best for me is the first drink of the night and the first of the morning,
I will hear forever the wheels of the Greyhound bus carrying me to nowhere,
Cash sang I KILLED A MAN IN RENO JUST TO WATCH HIM DIE as the cons yeahed.
I celled with x-public enemy #one in Moyamensing and he snored at night.
my women always tell me that I am screwed because of my parents and not myself.
sometimes I feel like a motherless child.
my favorite color is yellow and my backbone is and I’ll smash toward the sun as me.
nine tenths of Humanity embraces self-pity and the other tenth makes them pitiful.
the rat is the most powerful source of enduring life.
what was always best for me was seeing fear in the eyes of the bully and erasing him.
the saddest was old women watering geraniums at 2 p.m.
and what    I learned best was doing it now in spite of ultimate retribution.
and what I learned better was that something once said could quickly become not so.

I paid my dues in Macon and went crazy in Tennessee,
found myself on the 2nd floor of a hotel in Albuquerque with the bed bugs eating well.
found myself on a track gang going west and still didn’t yearn for a seat in Congress.
remembered the girl who showed me her panties when I was 8 years old.
remembered the red cars, and 2 vacant lots between each house in Los Angeles.
remembered the girl who showed her panties to half the town had showed me first.
I was always a coward who didn’t care.
I was always a brave man who didn’t want to win.
I found that screwing women was a social pressure like making money.

I paid my dues in Tennessee and went crazy in Macon.
I had no idea of the black white game.
I got on the back of a street car in New Orleans and the conductor rushed toward me.
I hate politics and I hate meaning and I hate the obvious answer.
I paid my dues in East Kansas City.
I beat hell out of a 6 foot four 240 pound guy in Philly.
I laid on the floor after a 150 pounder decked me with his first punch.
mind state is the state of the Union.
what you want to do and what you’ve got to do is the same thing.
I watched a sailor fight an alligator once and the alligator quit.

only boring people are bored.
only the wrong flags fly.
if the dogs of hell came to get me they’d be hockey players in drag.
the person who tells you that they are not God really thinks otherwise.
God is the invention of failure.
God is failure.
the only hell is where you are.
the psychiatrists and psychologists ask money to tell you that hell is your imagination.

Pygmalion is a hog with a hog’s ass.
Dulcia is the crucial effect of a hand-flog.
my father’s bad breath can beat up your father’s limp in the cornea.
no place like home especially after you ram a 40 foot   penis up the stack.
ask me and I’ll tell you and make you well.
well, well, well,
the gang’s all here and we’re queer and or we want to be or we should be
why not or a rose of any other color?
I realize that I am a freak and probably the last straight and I hide in the closet.
all the women were made for the other women and the men for the men.
I sit and empty forty bottles in 3 hours within an empty room.
I wish I were lonely for anything but the rat.

passed through Dallas and rammed through the Pasadena Freeway at 90 mph.
I never paid dues because there was nobody to take them.
I’ve smashed two full length bar mirrors and they are still looking for me.
I’ve walked into places where no man should ever go and was finally endeared.
I’ve also been mercilessly beaten and left for dead.
I have lumps and bumps all over my skull from blackjacks and etc.
the angels piss themselves in fear.
I open another bottle.
I am a beautiful person.

and you are.
and she is.
and the yellow thumping of space and the glory in the eyes of the rat singing.

let us

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript