spit out and falling….

there’s no hell like your own hell,
none can compare,
twisting in your sheets at night,
your ass freezing,
your mind on fire,
everything is stupid, stupid,
you are stuck with your body and
your life
and it’s all dissolving, dripping away
into nowhere
like the other bodies, the other
lives.
we are all being counted out,
taken down
by disease
by just being rubbed against by
the days, the years.
there’s no rising up out of
this,
we just have to take it,
accept it,
or like most–
don’t think about it.

shoes off and on.
holidays in and out.
hello.
goodbye.
dress, undress.
eat, sleep.
drive an automobile.
pay your taxes.
wash under the arms and
behind the neck
and get the genital
area, for sure.

pick your own coffin ahead
of time.
feel the wood.

go for the soft, hushed
insides.
the man will commend you
for your good
taste.

horrify him.
tell him you want to test it for
size.

there’s no hell like your own
hell and there’s nobody
ever
to share it with
you.

you might as well be the only
person on earth.
sometimes you feel as if you
were.
and maybe you are.

meanwhile, pluck the lint from
your bellybutton,
get drunk once in a while,
shake hands with nowhere,
it’s been like this, it’s been like
this.
don’t scream.
there’s nobody to hear.

strange thing, not to kill ourselves.
strange thing, these cities, these trees;
our feet walking sidewalks….
the blood caught inside of us, our
hearts whirling it
through…
centuries shot apart
as you pull on your stockings, slip them
up to your
ankles.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1992
Source
Original manuscript