poor night

I think I’m in the first dry
period of my life.
nearing 62
one considers senility.
there’s an end to the

I drink two glasses of wine and
stare at the white page.
it has always come so easily.
I have always laughed at writers who
claimed that creation was painful.

I change stations of the radio,
pour another wine.

“papa,” she opens the door, “do you
have any book matches?”

“sure,” I say and hand her a couple.

she leaves.

Henry Miller is dead.
Nelson Algren.

they’ve been dead for some

“papa,” she walks back into the room,
“this pen is terrible, do you have a
good pen?”

“sure,” I say and hand her a
good pen.

“there is so much smoke in this room,”
she opens a window, “you should let some of
the smoke out.”

“you’re right,” I say.

she leaves and I have my blank page

(so I put this down to fill it

(then came the decision whether to tear or
to save.)

(as you can see
I’ve done the wrong thing.)

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript