two writers

been bothered with skin
cancer lately,
been going to this doctor
who burns the stuff
off.

strange waiting room
full of thick glossy
magazines
about
Art.
you know, painting,
sculpture,
etc.

about my 3rd or 4th
trip
he found out I was a
writer.

and he was working on
a doctorate in the Arts
or some such
thing
and he layed this
massive treatise
on me.

“read it, read it,
let me know what you
think.”

“look, doc, you
don’t understand
I write real
SIMPLE
stuff.”

“that’s all
right, read it,
read it…”

so I took it
home,
75 pages,
single spaced.

something about how
when some civilizations
took over other
civilizations
they left their own
artworks upon
them:
buildings, statues,
shrines and the
like.

that was interesting
to an
extent.
he had done his
research, plus
personal
travel.

but
it wasn’t my kind
of thing.

and that’s what I
told him when
I brought the
papers back.

“but what did you
think of it?”

“good, yeah, good…”

“what’s that on your
ear?”

“I dunno…”

“come on in and I’ll
burn it off.”

he did that.
I smelled burning
flesh.
it seemed a long
time,
then he was
finished.

“when are you going
to give me one of
your books?” he
asked.

“next time.”

I walked out and
had the girl put
it on
Medicare.

“he’s writing better
all the time,”
she said.

“so am I,” I
said.

then I walked out
of there
toward my car
in parking,
trying to stay out
of the
sun.

Author
Charles Bukowski
Written
1988
Source
Original manuscript