professional counseling

it was an eleven o’clock freshman English class
and they had talked me into sitting with them
before my night reading.
it was a college in the midwest.
I read them a few poems.
the students were very polite.
I was sober and nervous.
I was used to reading in nightclubs
to drunks and disturbed people.
“any questions?” I asked.
there was silence.
“all right then,” I said,
“I’ll ask you questions.”
I picked out a boy in the 3rd. row
and pointed at him:
“how many pieces of ass have you had?”
I’d found one.   he blushed and didn’t
answer.
“it’s all right,” I said,
“I was a virgin until I was 24.
it’s best to get your rest early
and finish with a rush.”

I read some more poems and
got out.

and meanwhile the eleven o’clock freshman English class
began thinking of lunch.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1977
Source
Original manuscript
This poem appeared in the following books: