the ordinary cafe of the world

places to shine like in the dust
coming up through the slums of the mind
to choke on mosquito
partial concepts like concubine kisses,
it’s most difficult
like eating another salad
in the ordinary cafe of the world.
it’s most difficult
to create an art
here.   look about.   the parts to work with are
missing.   they must be simulated or
guessed at.
the critics should be generous.
–those assholes think it’s easy to
put out water with fire.

but there’s been no waste
no matter what they’ve done
to us:
the lost women
the lost jobs,
damn them all anyhow
they’re hardly as interesting as

this ordinary cafe, this ordinary world,
we knew there should have been another places,
that’s out only secret
and it’s not
but it’s enough.

we have chosen, and dumb-ass we face the
withering fire…

to create an art means
to go crazy alone

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