quiet

sitting tonight
at this
table
by the
window

the woman is
glooming
in the
bedroom

these are her
especially bad
days.

well, I have
mine

so
in deference
to her

the typewriter
is
still.

it’s odd,
printing this stuff
by
hand

reminds me of
past days
when things were
not
going well
in another
fashion.

now
the cat comes to
see
me

he flops
under the table
between my
feet

we are both
melting
in the same
fire

and, dear
cat, we’re still
working with the
poem

and some have
noted
that there’s some
“slippage”
here.

well, at age
65, I can
“slip”
plenty, yet still
run rings
around
those pamby
critics.

Li Po knew
what to do:
drink another
bottle and
face
the consequences.

I turn to my
right, see this huge
head (reflected in the
window) sucking at
a cigarette
and

we grin at
each
other.

then
I turn
back

sit here
and
print more words upon this
paper

there is never
a final
grand
statement

and that’s the
fix
and the trick
that works
against
us

but
I wish you could see
my
cat

he has a
splash
of white on his
face
against an
orange-yellow
background

and then
as I look up
and into the
kitchen

I see a bright
portion
under the overhead
light

that shades into
darkness
and then into darker
darkness and
I can’t see
beyond
that.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1985
Source
Original manuscript