the deathly bravo

they always applaud each work
the four or five voices respond
with the same ringing
“BRAVO!   BRAVO!”
as if they had heard a fresh
and vital creative
breakthrough.

where has the audience gone
that used to select and
discriminate?

now the thought in the minds of
the audience is:
we understand music
we know
therefore we
respond.

and afterwards
at the wheels of their autos
they come out of the underground
parking lot
with more rudeness and crassness
than any boxing match crowd
than any horse race crowd
cutting off other cars…
swerving
bludgeoning…

the March to the Gallows, indeed
Pictures at an Exhibition, of course
the Bolero, yes
The Afternoon of a Fawn…

honking
zooming toward the freeways
BRAVO west L.A.
BRAVO Westwood Village
BRAVO the Hollywood Hills
BRAVO Beverly Hills.

The Pathetiqué, indeed.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1977
Source
Original manuscript
This poem appeared in the following books: