The Hollywood Hustle

the first guy came up to me while I was
eating in this cafe
and he said
“pardon me, sir, may I read a section
of your newspaper?”
“no,” I said, “you may not.”

I finished eating and went outside and
a guy stopped me at the corner:
“hey, Jack Daniels, can you use a
he opened his fingers and in his
palm was this
wristwatch.   “can’t use it,”
I said.

I walked across the street and down
half a block and another guy stopped
me.   he was carrying 2
pools sticks.
“listen,” he said, “I need 3 more cents
to get a meal.   by the way , can I
sell you a poolstick?”

I gave him a quarter and walked

a man can’t say “no” all night
long.   besides, anybody can shoot a
bad game.

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