more than the blues

been sicker than hell, crawling in and out of bed, I’ve never been
a hypochondriac, have still made it to the track, placing bets
through a dim haze and still winning–yet all the time sad–thinking,
does this crap really have to end?–you’ve always been the
steel soldier from Hades that no flame could melt… yet, here and
now there is a ….hesitant…step… who moved those walls? and
where’s that fifth of whiskey waiting on the dresser when you
get in?
this Dillinger can’t accept a bed-pan reality, where are the
dancing girls?   …they were…here… a moment ago…
now, not too much better on the bread and easy on the salt…
drift into good French wines….  got a nurse now, lovely girl, she’s
fitting me out for a bib…   HEY, WHAT HAPPENED TO BUKOWSKI?
did you see him the other day, face grey as a sea otter, he glanced
at the sun, shivered….   he was the killer, the slugger, he kept us
ALL going!   whata we gonna do

I remember reading about Kerouac:   they told him to stop drinking, he
couldn’t, he just drank it in small thimbles full, dozens of them, it
didn’t work, nothing works, all you can do is stall it and bluff it…
I still roar down the freeways and the other night slugged down
4 bottles of wine while sitting in a room with 3 other faces… look,
buddy, it’s not self-pity, it’s just that I got started so late and
now they’re closing the other end down and

well…I blame my parents, well, I blame society, well, I blame the
dames, well well well–his tears flow like wine, he’s crying into his
            old Bukowski wavering in the celluloid sunset
            lighting a macho cigar over a fat drink

well, it’s good anyhow, never heard a better music than my own…

this…whole thing…is just a minor lull, I’ll have the cup
strapped back on under my trunks, be warming up in the corner as
the mike drops down before the announcer as the crowd sunders
in their cheap seats

we are all built too large and too small for the heart–the
plentitude and the emptiness clash as we move forward to
ring center
to try it

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript