my big night on the town

sitting on a 2nd floor porch at 1:30 a.m.
and drinking beer while
looking out over the city.
it could be worse.

we needn’t do great things, we only
need to do things that make us feel
good or
not so bad.

of course, sometimes the fates will
not allow us to do

then, we must outwait the fates.

we must be patient with the gods.
they like to have fun,
they like to play with us.
they like to test us.
they like tell us that we are weak
and stupid, that we are

the gods need things to do.
we are their toys.

as I sit on the porch a bird begins
to serenade me from a tree in
the darkness.

it is a mocking bird.
I am in love with the mocking bird.

I make bird sounds.
he waits.
then he makes them back.

he is so good that I laugh.

we are all so funny and helpless,
all of us living things.

now a slight drizzle begins to
little chilled drops against my
hot skin.

I am half-drunk.
I sit in a folding chair with my
feet against the railing
as the mocking bird begins
to roll off every bird song
he has heard that

this is what us old guys do
on a big Saturday
we mock the gods, we
settle scores with
as the lights of the city
enter us
as the dark tree
holding the bird
looks at us,
keeps looking
and I lift the bottle and
drain it
and the world looks
as good as it ever

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript
This poem appeared in the following books: