the famous man

this guy in the long blue car
was sitting at the freeway exit
on Sunset waiting to get out and
I came along in my Volks and he
let that long blue machine edge
forward just enough to shut me
off.   I stopped, and like a
barracuda he shot out and curved
into the second lane, neatly in
between two cars, but as he
passed in front of me I saw that
he was a famous television person-
ality: each hair on his head was
explicitly in place and his suit
looked air-conditioned, and then
his car was far down the street
as I began to move forward in
mine.   I saw my head in the
mirror: hair uncombed–long
strands sticking out, brutal
and uncontrolled.   a button was
missing on my shirt just above
the bellybutton.   I thought of
the famous man, how he knew how
to outbluff traffic and save 3
minutes in Hollywood.   I was
surprised, that with all his
millions it was necessary for
him to do that, and I knew then
how he had reached the top, and
that he wanted to stay there.
I drove along wondering how he
urinated and excreted.
he probably had a short cut
for that too.

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript
This poem appeared in the following books: