One For The Old Man

standing in the plaza I can hear speeches about a new
world–
          men asking for their kind of love
          while mine is a king of pinch-eyed drag of
going on, for that which seems so important to them
seems worthless to me
so
I go back to the hotel room
and look at the pitcher of water on the dresser
and the bits of glass hung on string
left in the window by a Mexican whore
to reflect what’s left of me
and this seems
sensible
as sensible as reading the history of the
Crimean War
as sensible as wax and women and
dogs.

I watch a fly and read the newspaper
then eat sausage and bananas
and an orange.

then I pull the shade on the speechmakers.
over the back of a chair are my
belt and necktie,
necktie knotted
for my throat
which is like a flower 80 feet high and
pumping out phrases of
bedlam.

mutilated forever at the age of
46.   our dear sweet father said we’d come to
this.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1967
This poem appeared in the following books: