“Love Is a Dog from Hell”, Charles Bukowski (I)
reading now this poetry book. and i find it very interesting and touching…
so far, i’ve only read only a fifth of the book, and want to share 3 poems that i especially like.
one for old snaggle-tooth
1 I know a woman
2 who keeps buying puzzles
7 pieces that finally fit
8 into some order.
9 she works it out
11 she solves all her
13 lives down by the sea
14 puts sugar out for the ants
15 and believes
17 in a better world.
18 her hair is white
19 she seldom combs it
20 her teeth are snaggled
21 and she wears loose shapeless
22 coveralls over a body most
23 women would wish they had.
24 for many years she irritated me
25 with what I considered her
27 like soaking eggshells in water
28 (to feed the plants so that
29 they’d get calcium).
30 but finally when I think of her
32 and compare it to other lives
33 more dazzling, original
34 and beautiful
35 I realize that she has hurt fewer
36 people than anybody I know
37 (and by hurt I simply mean hurt).
38 she has had some terrible times,
39 times when maybe I should have
40 helped her more
41 for she is the mother of my only
43 and we were once great lovers,
44 but she has come through
45 like I said
46 she has hurt fewer people than
47 anybody I know,
48 and if you look at it like that,
50 she has created a better world.
51 she has won.
52 Frances, this poem is for
trying to get even:
1 we’d had any number of joints and some
2 beer and I was on the bed stretched out
3 and she said, “look, I’ve had 3 abortions
4 in a row, real fast, and I’m sick of
5 abortions, I don’t want you to stick that
6 thing in me!”
7 it was sticking up there and we were both
8 looking at it.
9 “ah, come on,” I said, “my girlfriend fucked
10 2 different guys this week and I’m trying to
11 get even.”
12 “don’t get me involved in your domestic
13 horseshit! now what I want you to do is
14 to BEAT that thing OFF while I WATCH!
15 I want to WATCH while you beat that thing
16 OFF! I want to see it shoot JUICE!”
17 “o.k. get your face closer.”
18 she got it closer and I spit on my palm
19 and began working.
20 it got bigger. just before I was ready I
21 stopped, I held it at the bottom
22 stretching it,
23 the head throbbed
24 purple and shiny.
25 “oooh,” she said.
26 she ducked her mouth over it, sucked at
27 it and
28 pulled away.
29 “finish it off,” I said.
31 I whacked away and then stopped again
32 at the last moment and held it at the
33 bottom and waved it all around the
35 she eyed it
36 fell upon it again
38 and pulled away.
39 we alternated the process
40 back and forth
41 again and again.
42 finally I just pulled her off
43 the chair
44 onto the bed
45 rolled on top of her
46 stuck it in
47 worked it
48 worked it
49 and came.
50 when she walked back out of
51 the bathroom she said,
52 “you son of a bitch, I love you,
53 I’ve loved you for a long time.
54 when I get back to Santa Barbara
55 I’m going to write you. I’m
56 living with this guy but I hate
57 him, I don’t even know what I’m
58 doing with him.”
59 “o.k.,” I said, “but you’re up
60 now. can you get me a glass of
61 water? I’m dry.”
62 she walked into the kitchen and
63 I heard her remark that
64 all my drinking glasses were
66 I told her to use a
67 coffee cup. I
68 heard the water running and I
69 thought, one more fuck
70 I’ll be even
71 and I can be in love with my girlfriend again—-
72 that is
73 if she hasn’t slipped in an
75 and she probably
quiet clean girls in gingham dresses…
1 all I’ve ever known are whores, ex-prostitutes,
2 madwomen. I see men with quiet,
3 gentle women—-I see them in the supermarkets,
4 I see them walking down the streets together,
5 I see them in their apartments: people at
6 peace, living together. I know that their
7 peace is only partial, but there is
8 peace, often hours and days of peace.
9 all I’ve ever known are pill freaks, alcoholics,
10 whores, ex-prostitutes, madwomen.
11 when one leaves
12 another arrives
13 worse than her predecessor.
14 I see so many men with quiet clean girls in
15 gingham dresses
16 girls with faces that are not wolverine or
18 “don’t ever bring a whore around,” I tell my
19 few friends, “I’ll fall in love with her.”
20 “you couldn’t stand a good woman, Bukowski.”
21 I need a good woman. I need a good woman
22 more than I need this typewriter, more than
23 I need my automobile, more than I need
24 Mozart; I need a good woman so badly that I
25 can taste her in the air, I can feel her
26 at my fingertips, I can see sidewalks built
27 for her feet to walk upon,
28 I can see pillows for her head,
29 I can feel my waiting laughter,
30 I can see her petting a cat,
31 I can see her sleeping,
32 I can see her slippers on the floor.
33 I know that she exists
34 but where is she upon this earth
35 as the whores keep finding me?