the wine poems

as the poems come off the
machine I put them about the
desk
pour more
red.

I am a wine
writer.

I am not a suffering
writer.
I suffer most when I’m not
writing.

I am a wine
writer.

it’s like a bar around
here.

I am the bartender and
the patron
and
there’s no
closing time.

except for the poems:
3, 4 or 5, then I’m
finished.

I pour another and
read the
poems.

I note that many of
them
have wine-
smears.

I should send them
through
like that
but the editors are
oversuspicious,
they’d think,
he’s putting me
on,
he’s playing at
genius,
deliberately splashing
on the wine.

“Dear Mr. Chinaski:   our next issue
is dedicated to all writers
under the age of 30 and then our
next issue will be an all-woman
number and after that we intend to
publish an all-gay
issue but
in 1993 we intend to open to
general submissions
again
and the staff will gladly welcome
and consider your
work…”

so I run the work through the
xerox machine
and the wine-stains do not
show through
and I wastebasket the
originals
which would horrify a
few collectors that I
know
but those
sick romantics are
strictly out of
place, time and
mind.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1990
Source
Original manuscript