making it

I was that frenetic wretch of a man
I was with R. and C. and M. and L. and
we were fucking and there were arguments
there was unhappiness and my penis hurt
from constant overuse and ejaculation
I was sucking breasts
I was down between thighs
I was on top
I was on the bottom
I couldn’t remember the 7 last words of

I’d get spasms just sitting in a chair
drinking a beer.
I sat on my reading glasses.
my veins knotted out in large bunches.
I got toothaches
I got flat tires on my car
I got constipated
I didn’t comb my hair
but I was fucking–
sometimes with one I’d be down there
and she’d be down there on me
at the same time:
“now when I do it,” she’d say,
“you do it…”

I was walking into bathrooms toward wet
I couldn’t clean the ring out of my toilet
but I was fucking and fighting with women
with R. and C. and M. and L.
they were always threatening to leave me
for another
and I just couldn’t understand that.

I wasn’t any good at wars with women
I was too serious and they were
too good at it.
they were smarter than I
and I just felt worse and worse.
the more I fucked with them and fought
with them
the worse I felt.

I became totally inept at the least
minor of functions:
I didn’t answer the doorbell or the
I failed to make the bed
I didn’t shave
I didn’t brush my teeth
I got WARNING notices from the
phone co.
from the water and power people
from the IRS
from State Franchise.
I did mail in for my new license plate
tab (somehow) but when I got it
I promptly lost it…

but I was working out
I got some groans from
R. and C. and M. and L. that sounded
but I never did ask any of them if
they ever climaxed.
I sure as hell did.
the skin on the backside of my penis
was raw to the touch–like fire–
the m.d. said no v.d.
he said, “Christ, give that thing a
rest.   take a year off.   find some
other hobby.”

but I continued.
I laughed but without happiness.
I had ulcer attacks
I aged five minutes in one.
yet my jealousies of any outside
male intruders
consumed me, my imagination whirled
counter-clockwise in my brain.
I drove my auto recklessly as if I
were seeking finis.
I lost jobs, found jobs, lost jobs,
drank and smoked continually.
I had insomnia
the skin peeled and dried on the
top of my hands.
I had no appetite but I fucked and
I didn’t know how to get out
from under or above.
I was caught there, most often,
spanning between feet lifted ceiling-
now a man
doing it
again and again and again–
bedsheets, bedrungs, shades, curtains,
pillows, tits, breasts, buttocks, all
the smell of love sometimes and sex
with R. and C. and M. and L.
but oftentimes
in the most intense and passionate
wishing that I could be that
lonely fellow again
sitting in a movie house with
my bag of popcorn
as all about me
the couples sat
side by side.

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript