pleased to meet you

“oh my god,” she said, “Jean Don Carlo!
he doesn’t have to speak English!
he has everything!
mainly, it’s his eyes!”

“ah, bullshit,” you said.

“no,” she said, “he’s devastatingly charming,
even you would like him!”

it was only a night’s conversation
only a bit of a night’s conversation
and a year elapsed….

then one night you walked into a small party
with her
and there were various introductions
and then she said,
“and this is Jean Don Carlo!”

hello.
hello.

pleased.
pleased.

you shake hands.

Jean Don Carlo
had almost no chin
almost no eyes
no charm
nothing.

even when he sits down
it is like nothing
sitting down.

the night brings nothing now
to change him
although he now speaks
some English.

he makes his living selling French
racing bikes in America.

there are other people about and there
is nothing else to do but drink….

on the drive back in
you say nothing to her about Jean Don Carlo
and she says nothing to you
about Jon Don Carlo
and that’s very good
except that you wonder about all the other things
she has told you
and then you let that go too
because nothing has been very accurate anyhow
in the city in the nation in the
newspapers in the universe….

next time it will be something else she’ll say
about a new rock group or a new vitamin
or a way to suspend yourself in steam
in the casket-like contraption
for only $15 an hour
you are not touched by
atmospheric pressures.

it’s ALWAYS been Jean Don Carlo’s
with their pants down and
nothing to show.

shake hands with this poem.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1979
Source
Original manuscript
This poem appeared in the following books: