swinging from the dumb hook

often times while driving down the freeway I feel like
putting my head on the steering wheel and sleeping,
or in the supermarket check-out line while the girl is
tabulating the sale I feel like reaching out and tearing
the top of her dress away so that I can look at her
breasts, and
often times in the mornings when I awaken I don’t feel
like getting up and doing my toilet and dressing and
beginning to do what should be done, instead I feel
like staying in bed for 3 or 4 days and nights
or
often times when I have stopped my car at a red light
and there aren’t any other cars about I have this
desire to go through the red light
and then when I get that thought I get another thought
like
who is allowing me to drive this car?
it doesn’t seem sensible that I am allowed to steer
and stop and start and speed this machine just like
I saw that old lady in the blue hat doing
a few moments ago as we passed each other on a
steep hill.
or sometimes at night I awaken and sit upright
and I stare straight ahead out the window at the
night but meanwhile I can feel my dumbness sitting
there next to me, stacked up next to me like a
set of rubber tires,
and even when I am copulating sometimes
I think, what am I doing copulating?
I am spooked continually by having to do all the
ordinary things, the things most people can do so
easily.
I sit here drunk now at 12:09 a.m. and I want to
light this cigarette and I keep picking up the same
5 or 6 empty book matches, opening them and staring at
their insides.   anybody else would have a cigarette
lighter, anybody else would be asleep, instead at this
moment I think of a totally insane woman I lived with
for 3 years who could do all those many tiny things
properly and without thinking, and still probably
does.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1980
Source
Original manuscript
This poem appeared in the following books: