red with blood and blood is not so red
the crazies pump the avenues
because there are no longer sufficient funds
to lock them up
so they become presidents of U.S. Steel
and of the United States of America
the weasels play golden harps
gunfire goes through thin doors
bathtubs spit up turds
and at the county fair
you can get a 3 foot stuffed dog
with plastic brown eyes
for 10ยข if you can throw
the ring over the prong.
and the weather has been good lately
a little bit dry
and when you get your things from the laundry
the buttons are missing
and on the freeways
automobiles blow up, burn
backing up traffic for 15 miles
everybody sitting there
listening to the same radio station.

it is a wonder we have come this far.
our dumb courage is

drinking a coffee at McDonald’s
out of a paper cup
is almost more victory than we can
hope for.

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