Ivan The Terrible

found it difficult
either to stand or
to bend over

was fat with
big eyes and
low
forehead
had a perennial
smile
due to an
underslung
jaw
killed his eldest son
with blows
in a moment
of anger

appeared to be uncomfortable
after the age
of
40

excelled in progress
and
butchery

died in 1584
at the age of
54, weighing
209
pounds

last summer
they removed his
skeleton
from the Arkhangelsk Church
in the Kremlin
to make a
life-like
bust

now
he’s almost done
and looks like
a 20th century
bus driver

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1965
This poem appeared in the following books: