upon reading an interview with a best selling novelist in the metropolitan daily

he talks as he writes:    white fissures of placidity,
and he has a face like a dove, untrampled by externals
or internals.
a little shiver of horror runs through me as I read
his comfortable assured success drones on through
the print.
and lest we over-worry he interjects:
“I am going to write a novel next  year.”
next year?
I skip some paragraphs, even the interviewer is
but the interview goes on for two and one half
it’s like milk spilled on a tablecloth, it’s talcum
powder, it’s the bones of a dead fish, it’s a crease
in a faded necktie, it’s a gathering hum of nowhere.
this man is very fortunate in that he is not standing
in the line of a soup kitchen.
this man has no idea of his failure because he is
paid so well for it.
I am on the bed, reading.
I drop the paper to the floor.
then I hear a sound.
it is a small fly buzzing.
I watch it flying, circling in its irregular

life at last.

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