this habit

it’s done by living past the women
and finally without them;
it’s done standing by the window
and watching a small dog walk past;
it’s done in a cafe while reading the
race results and eating a sandwich;
it’s done while talking to your daughter
who is now a grown woman in college;
it’s done while weeding the garden as
the words form, the god damned lovely
words form again and again
into this habit of

“I can hear you typing at night,” says
my neighbor.

“oh, I’m sorry…”

“no,” he says, “it’s a pleasant sound…”

he’s right, it is.
and when I don’t cause the sound for
two or three days
I become fitful
my face gets an unhealthy sag, and–
you must believe me–
I have visions of the way that
I will die.

when typing I’m

well, maybe not immortal.
but habitually
this old typewriter and
this old man
live well together.

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript