little tigers everywhere

Sam the whorehouse man
has squeaky shoes
and   he walks up and down
the court
squeaking and talking to
the cats.
he’s 310 pounds,
a killer
and he talks to the cats.
he sees the women at the massage
parlor and has no girlfriends
no automobile
he doesn’t drink or dope
his biggest vices are
chewing on a cigar and
feeding all the cats in
the neighborhood.
some of the cats get
and so finally there are
more and more cats and
everytime I open my door
one or two cats will
run in and sometimes I’ll
forget they are there and
they’ll shit under the bed
or I’ll awaken at night
hearing sounds
leap up with my blade
sneak into the kitchen and
find one of Sam the whorehouse
man’s cats walking around on
the sink or sitting on top
of the refrigerator.

Sam runs the love parlor
around the corner
and his girls stand in the
doorway in the sun
and the traffic signals go
red and green and red and green
and all of Sam’s cats
possess some of the meaning
as do the days and the nights.

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript