working out on the hot brick road

the clean washing machine,
the wax machinegun mounted upon the tilting tower,
the signs declaiming competition,
the apple in the hand of an idiot,
the midget declining to smoke milder and fuck less,
the truck with hands the way Al Jolson used to sing,
Claremont College burning like a candle in a pumpkin,
rock and roll roll and rock roll and roll rock and rock,
strangle the bluebird and elevate the worm,
consign the roach to breed in the bible,
slice the onion with iron hands,
blow the wind back like cheesecloth,
take the elevator up to 9 and ask for Dr. Pepper,
note everyday that you’re getting fatter and badder and madder,
subscribe to your local PBS to keep culturally bored,
talk about the weather talk about the bettor talk about the bladder,
decide to plunge  and shick and stick with Riva Diva.
amount to something amount to something amount to.
read Thomas Wolfe on a rotating stairway.
pass red pass black pass the salt pass piss burning.
reject irony inject incense pass the salt piss yearning.
down to my last dime thinking of Amos and Andy.
the way out is not to shout.
the way in is what it’s all about.
garters on the table stand.
hummingbird on the hoof.
(if I killed myself now they’d say he only did it for gratification.)
the most overexaggerated lack of talent resembles the seed.
take wing take heart take fart take off.
I’ll give you one guess then shout your balls off.
the toothless eat the toothless.
:as if the earning of money excused mediocrity.
the mediocrity of the masses creates the mediocrity of its entertainers.
the how now brown cow jumped the fence and ripped its udder bags to shit.
good deal.
do you know I often think of you when the high tide whips my ass with seaweed?
substitute reality with reality.
I had a frog named Shostakovich who died.
dogs in a basket looking upward toward Turgenev.
clearly drunk holds the edge on sleep.
little girls express and big girls demand.
war kills men but constipation worries them more.
(my son, what is ever going to become of you?)
(please, mother, go back to sleep…)
what you hold most dearly quickly let go of lest it poison you.
if love takes practice I   have no patience with it.
to believe in something is a prejudice.
kindness is superior to love.
(turning over and over.)
76 dogs running sideways.
downstairs comes upstairs with a bottle.
the pleasure of passing through hell.
3 a.m. plays the piano on the radio.
we just fondle all these things sadly.
to come all the way to here
to here to here
to here
all the way
whatever happened to Vienna?
he’s a horse trainer.

Charles Bukowski
Original manuscript