the media

we sat around her plush
pad and
she asked me,
“how come you never got
into the media?
you’ve got this talent.
how come you wasted all
those years
at common labor?”

and I sat there
with this class lady–
I didn’t answer her
right away–
but I thought,
what do you do?
knock on doors?
what do you tell
I’d often failed
to get a job
as a dishwasher.

then I told her,
“it never occured
to me.”

“you should have,”
she said, “it would
have saved you a lot
of agony.”

soon there was a
knock on the door, and
soon another, and
they started arriving–
many of the famous:
a famous cartoonist, a
famous columnist, a
famous actor…

soon they were all about,
especially in the
patio where food was
being served.

I’m lucky to be here,
I thought, I could never
afford a place like

I told the lady that
I was retiring
and I took a fifth of
whiskey to the bedroom,
had a few drinks
in the dark
then switched on
her cable tv
and watched it while
finishing the

after the lady went
to work the next
I got into my car
and drove slowly
out of those
Hollywood Hills
knowing I’d never
go back there

and I got back
into town
to my front court
with the busted
and I got inside
locked the door
got a tall
can of beer
from the refriger-
opened it
had a hit
sitting there at
10:30 a.m.
on that
derelict couch

it was one of the
best cans of beer
I ever

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript