Ma Barker Would Have Loved Me

laying in the sack in the
sick from days of drinking,
watching the tv
head hurting
tongue thick
phone off the hook
tired of trying to relate to the
I watch the tv
the walls stacked up around me
like shields
I watch these guys blasting holes
in people with their submachineguns;
they need money, they have trouble
with their molls, things keep
screwing up.
I get up to piss during a tire
when I get back the main guy is
laying out in a field with his moll;
there’s a stream down below them,
it’s peaceful but he has a cigar stuck
in his mouth and a .357 magnum stuck
into a shoulder holster.
the moll leans over him, she has blonde
wispy hair which flicks in the wind, she
says, “Johnny, why don’t you give it up?”
“what’s that?” he asks, “give what up?”
“you know, Johnny,” she says, “killing
people and all, like you do…”
“now, baby,” he says, “I’m just trying
to get by…”
“you could give all that up, Johnny, we
could settle down to a nice little place
with a picket fence, have babies…”
“ah naw, baby, that life aint for me,”
he says.
“well, Johnny,” she smiles, “it’s either
give that up or lose me!”
he sits up, pushes her away, no, baby,
you don’t mean that?”
“yes,” she says, “I do Johnny!”
“I’m not gonna live without you, baby,”
he says, ” takes out the .357, jams it
between her legs and pulls the trigger.
I get up, go to the refrigerator and get
a beer.
when I come back there’s a shaving cream
commercial on.
I drain the beer, toss it in the basket,
put the phone back on the hook, dial,
she answers and I say, “listen, baby,
I can’t have you around anymore, you get
in the way of my action.   sorry.”
I hang up, take the phone back off
the hook.

time for another beer.
I always like the gangster movies

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript