lost in San Pedro

no way to Duluth
the green soldiers have invaded the tombs of the dead
the flies rule Spain
and during a heat wave in 1952 I buried this concubine

no way to the Rock of Gibraltar
the bones on the hands of my mother are so still

distance between 2 points is a bayonet up the cheeks of the ass

stay still now
stay still

I hear great music in my left shoe.

the horse tossed the jock
the horse fell
then got up
had only 3 good legs–

the 4th bent under at the end like a flop of rubber
and all the people were worried about the jock
but my heart ached for the horse
the horse
the horse
it was terrible
it was truly terrible.

and about women
I sometimes think about one or the other or the many
I wonder what we were doing living together
trying to go on we were like the 4th leg of that horse in actual hell.

I always feel so foolish at flag-raising ceremonies
others seem to find   it connects them and they feel fine.

no way to Duluth

potatoes have changed the least
in 1937 they were between 19 and 29 cents a pound
tonight I read where you could get a ten pound bag of russets 59¢

may the devil bless the potato.

remember when women wore dressed and high-heels?
remember when a car door opened and all the men turned for a   look?
I think it was a beautiful time and I’m glad I was there to see it.

no way to Duluth

the world is less than a fishbone

I can pardon you for your stupidity but I can’t forgive you for your love

this place roars with the need for mercy

there is this fat gold watch here sent to me from Germany from a German cop
I wrote him a nice letter thanking him for it
but the cops have killed more of my life than the crooks have even touched

the philosophers are a glass of cold water
the religious folks are grasshoppers of lonely want

nothing to do but drink and wait for the pulling of the shade

I pull for the shade
I’m tired
I root for the shade

I’m no help to me tonight

the dancing girls of everywhere have a false appeal

Jack Dempsey is dead

I look    at this doorknob and there’s a tree outside with   a big head

my 3 male cats have had their balls clipped
they sit and look at me with these eyes emptied now of all but killing.

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript