the hairy hairy fist, and love will die

the dull haunches will sit in chairs and
fart             see
the paper
flowers      old women in
Lent            horse with broken
leg
                    spider
taking it
in
                    wrinkles under bedpan
                                                               chins

acromegaly         diverticulitis       tabes
dorsalis

–your soul
                    filled with
mud and bats and curses, and the hammers will
                       go in
there will be the hairy
                               hairy
                               fists and
love will
die
love will stroke the balls of your worst
                    enemy
and your neck will ache and toiletpaper will
stick in your
                   crotch
and out the window:    the same:    the pictures of
                    torture & murder & horror:
cats with
                    birds
cats with
                    mice
dogs with
                    cats

blind men like ivory needing a
                                 shave
                      and
the petulant and nasty children of the
                                   universe
stealing climbing planning
                                   cutting
                      warring
always so healthy always so
                      strong

oh, your soul will beel so
                    bad
that the saliva will run from your
                    mouth
                                  in cupfulls
patches of paint
                             and sores
                    will appear
on your face
                            and under your
arms
and sleep will be the last thing they will let you
                     have

men you could trust will fade like
                       children’s
                                drawings
your wife will hate you
your child will
                    ignore
                          you
your boss will fire
                          you
the police will jail you
                         and
there will be no
                   bottom
                                the soul will fall like a wounded
                                bird of Paradise
                   into
the most horrible stinking swill of
                   shit
and
still            no death
                               still no
                   death
                            you will fail at
                         death
                    too
and there will not even be the
                          peace
                    of
                          isolation            the final
greyback cellar
                          just more
hammers
                          more saws more engines more bad
                    music more relaxed voices of
                    zero

you will be
                    ripped
                              up and
                              down
until your clothing no longer fits
you
                   you will be the
                               scarecrow
                   the
rag the smelling
                              the rag of a
                   thing

and

                   the enemy–which is
                             everyone–will
                   appear
beautifully clothed
                            calm
                   smiling
driving
                   smooth rolls of shining
                              steel
                              and
                   the sun
will fall upon him like a
flower

your soul will feel so bad
that you know it will not ever quite
live again and
there will be nothing you can
do–drink will not
patch it
prayer will not
save it
praise from the enemy will not
heal it
                   nothing will
                   work
                   nothing will be
                   nothing
like a harp with strings
broken
                   in somebody’s corner
                   in somebody’s misery garbage
while all around
                   like the 4th. of July
                   like a bedding with a virgin
                   like champagne over the head of
easy wildness
the force of other things and other ways will
                   celebrate the occasion their
existence
without     you. 

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1966
This poem appeared in the following books: