purple

I drink wine all night long
and in the morning
when I go to the bathroom
my lips are purple
from the petite sirah
and I wash my lips once
dry them
and they are still a light
purple
and I wash them again
go back to the bedroom
the phone rings
it’s only 9:30 a.m.

I answer the phone
a woman asks,
“is this the sales division
of GM?
I tell her that it isn’t
hang up.

the phone rings again:
“is Garbriel Newhart there?”
the man asks.

“I’ve been telling you
people for 3 years
there’s no Garbriel Newhart
here.”

“thank you, sir,” he says
and hangs up.

the bill collectors never
stop hunting.

I go back to bed.

“god damned telephone,”
says Linda.

she’s right and this is
a lousy poem.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1981
Source
Original manuscript