ow ow ow

            fellow runs a bookstore
I go in there and sign some books for
            him
and he always forces a book on me
something on the rough and the mad
            life
but these books are written by
newspaper
            columnists
professors, born-into-wealthers,
            etc.
and these have had about as much
            low life
as a parish priest
            their lives
have been about as adventuresome as
dusting a library
            shelf
and none of them has ever missed a
            meal.
these books are well-written,
clever in a sense
just a touch
            daring
but there is an overriding sense
of comfort
in the writing and in the
            life.
the books fall from my
            hand.
this bookstore fellow is
going to have to think
of some other means of
            rewarding
me for
            signings
because reading this firmly
printed
            crap
only reminds me
once again
that I am competing
against
            myself.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1990
Source
Original manuscript
This poem appeared in the following books: