the bedpan nightmare

5 days a week
I get in a speed duel with some
son of a bitch
on the freeway and
I usually
win.

death has never mattered
much to
me.

I can well understand
why a man will
stick his head into
the mouth of a
lion
or walk through a nest of
stakes.

I am not alone
when I tickle death
under the
armpits.

the nightmare is not
death
but the half-death,
the three-quarters death, the
fractional death
in bed in a room with
somebody servicing you with
bedpans,
pettiness and a
bad
temper

and the odds are that
it will be a person of
no-gamble,
wizened soul,
heavy dull plodding
footsteps, ugly
ankles, ugly
eyes, a
wasted being
mumbling prized
inanities.

better to die on the sidewalks of
hell with
gibbering monkey-folk
sliding out your
wallet, kicking your
dying ass with
curses…



today I beat out this
guy
on the freeway,
late model low-slung
car,
bright red, I
hate those bright red
sons of bitches.

when I see red
I get like a
bull.

wonder what he’s doing
tonight?
probably lives with his
mother and
drinks
warm milk.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1990
Source
Original manuscript