my 3 friends

one I know is just a bum.
he just loves to ride the
he comes by and tells me
of the prizes he finds in
the local trash dump and
of murders on the road
and about the eccentrics
and idiots who abound in
the brush and the mission
and the row and the road.

another I know is a white
who lives in the black
ghetto of Venice
raises vegetables and
chickens in his back-
gets up at 6 a.m. every
morning to guard his
he sets traps near all
the nests
starts mixing and drink-
ing Margueritias.
by 4 p.m. he is drunk
goes to bed
for his day
is done.

the other is in and out
of madhouses.
he stole a car the other
day and drove all over
finally ending up at the
Dallas-Fort Worth
thinking that
Lawrence Ferlinghetti was
going to arrive to
take him on a vacation of
the South Sea Islands.

these are the most brilliant
men that I know, their conver-
sations are full of insight,
humor and vision.

why is it that the sane and
successful rich always seem
to know less than the mad or
the near-mad?

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript