this drunk

this drunk next door
he looks at baseball, football, and spy stories on
he gets 2 or 3 women a year
I hear him through the thin walls:
“Come on, baby, let me put this god damned thing
in there!”

he also falls out of bed about 4 a.m. every morning
then he falls out of bed about 5 a.m.
and sometimes at 6 a.m.

he’s worse than a church chime

when we had that earthquake 2 years ago
it was 6 a.m.
and I thought he had fallen out of bed again
but when the walls kept wavering
I got out of bed with everybody else
and went outside and smoked cigarettes
and waited for the world to end.

when I saw the drunk at noon
I asked him how he liked the earthquake and
he said, “What earthquake?”

one day the drunk went out
and the landlord went in there and
started cleaning his place out

empty cans of beer and bottles came
flying out, some by themselves
others in paper sacks.

it was an afternoon in October
and I stood outside and watched the cans and
bottles bounce on the

and then stiff and yellow
here came a Christmas tree

I thought you might like to know about him,
this drunk next door.

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