the new neighborhood

my neighbor, his name is Charley.
he caught me trimming my hedge
(or the UCBank’s hedge)
and he tells me his business is
doing a million dollars a day,
and I tell him,
“that’s great Charley.”

he runs up the red, white and
blue on his flag pole every
day, takes it down at night.
you can’t blame him.

he’s 83 years old and has a fat dog
named Hildegard.

I used to be afraid to go into the
kitchen during bad moments
the butcher knife was in there.

now I sleep with a switchblade
under my pillow,
more for them than for

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