listen, let me tell you of olden days…

what happened to those wild nights
with the almost beautiful whores
in those cheap hotel rooms?

ah, fellows, you should have seen
me then: mean, big but
thin and
aching for trouble.

it was bloody
symphonic
and I adored my lousy
act–

say
like in the bar

one guy
say
one wrong word
and I’d knock him off his
stool

why?
just because.

now
look at me
sitting here tonight:
fat and
far from
war
listening to
Stravinsky.

yet
I guess I’d be a worse
ass
still trying to follow out
my old
act

but

fellows, you should have
seen me then:
a fucking whiskey drinking
tiger fucking up and down
the avenues.

oh, I was good, so
very
good.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1986
Source
Original manuscript