no bra, no panties…

the lights are on, the   lights are
off, I am sitting in an apt. on
S. Oxford Ave., I am 53 years old
and I do not answer the door and the
telephone co. says they can’t give me a
telephone, well, there are many things I can’t get
and now that I think of it I   really don’t want a
telephone because whenever it rings it is usually
somebody I don’t want to see who wants to come over
and we end up drinking until 4 a.m.

but the other day I did let one
in, she had on a light green smock
no bra    no panties…
looked like she’d been living with a jazz musician
who was on the shit and beat her 5 or 6 times a
anyhow, she sifted about the room, ass wobbling,
standing in front of the blinds
letting me look at her cunt and her ass
and she said she knew
Bob Dylan, Ginsburg, knew Kerouac too once, even
met Mailer (a real shit), and Capote (a real shit) and
she knew McClure and some of the Beatles and even
Red McK., and she knew Neal too once, and Ken, and she
knew Edward A. and this gut with the Rolling Stones, she’d
met Burroughs, Captain Kangaroo and x-mayor Yorty…

“what can I do for you?” I asked.

she stood in front of the blinds and said,
“do you have a shower?”

she went in and took a shower and I presume she
washed away Karl Shapire, Native Diver, Jesus Christ, the
Stanley Steamer, Ezra Pound, Sugar Ray Robinson, Tom Jones
and Mickey Mouse…

she then sat in a chair across from me:
“you got real soul.”


15 minutes went by.   30 minutes.   then she said,
“what the hell’s wrong with you?”

“I don’t know.”

“are you a fag?”

“I don’t think so.”

then she got up, pulled this cape out of her purse
made out of tabby cats, put it on, faced me:

“well, I’m going…”

“can I drive you

“you’re too drunk…”

then she walked over to the couch,
unzipped me and gave me 8 or 9

“I’m going,” she said.

“got my cigarettes?” I asked.

she threw half a pack, soft red cover,
down near my genitals.   by the time I lit up she was
gone.   somehow I did feel a sense of
loss.   she knew the big ones, had known.
she had come to see me.   it was like a god being
honored before he died.   I understood her
viewpoint.   I had deserved
her.   well, next time around with the next
one.   I finished that cigarette and then I
lit another, and by the time I had finished that one
I was thinking of
something else.

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