one falls inward
not out of choice
bad teeth
bad diet

one falls inward
because that’s the BEST MOVIE

once I was so disgusted
with the workings of things
that I dialed the time operator
and listened to her voice
over and over again…

“it’s now 10:10 and twenty seconds
it’s now 10:10 and thirty seconds…”

I didn’t like the voice
and I didn’t care what time it was

yet I listened over and over again.

drunk now
I’m glad somebody stole my last watch
it was so difficult to read

drunk now
I’ve got a new one

it has a black face and
white hands

and I sit here and keep watching
the second hand
the minute hand
the hour hand
as outside
caterpillars crawl my walls
like empires
like old dead loves
and new loves

night’s best

and a black-faced watch
with white hands.

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