the finish of Moby Dick

the professor lived across the street from us
and he had some time off and was doing something
on Moby Dick
but whenever he came over
we’d be drunk and fighting
and we’d ask him in
talk a bit to him
and continue to drink and fight.
he came over 3 times
without his wife
and we were always like that.

I moved out finally
and we continued to drink and fight
only we didn’t live together all the time.
then we saw each other less and less.
one day I saw her in a department store
trying on a pair of sun glasses.
“say,” I asked her, “the professor: did he ever
finish Moby Dick?”
“yeah,” she said, “he finished Moby Dick and
he’s going back to teaching in the Fall.”
“don’t buy those shades,” I said, “you look awful
in them.”
“I quite like them,” she said.
I walked off down the aisle looking for

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