Poem of the Week: in the bottom by Charles Bukowski

bukowski cat

in the bottom

in the bottom of the hour
lurks
the smoking claw
the red train
the letter home
the deep-fried blues.

in the bottom of the hour
lurks
the song you sang together
the mouse in the attic
the train window in the rain
the whiskey breath on grandfather
the coolness of the jail trustee.

in the bottom of the hour
lurks
the famous gone quite stupid
churches with peeling white paint
lovers who chose hyenas
schoolgirls giggling at atrophy
the suicide oceans of night.

in the bottom of the hour
lurks
button eyes in a cardboard face
dead library books squeezed upright.

in the bottom of the hour
lurks
the octopus
Gloria gone mad while shaving her armpits
the gang wars
no toilet paper at all
in the train station restroom
a flat tire halfway to Vegas.

in the bottom of the hour
lurks
the dream of the barmaid
as the perfect girl
the first and only homerun
the father sitting in the bathroom
with the door open
the brave and quick death
the gang rape in the Fun House.

in the bottom of the hour
lurks
the wasp in the spider web
the plumbers moving to Malibu
the death of the mother
like a bell that never rang
the absence of wise old men.

in the bottom of the hour
lurks
Mozart
fast food joints where the price
of a bad meal exceeds
the hourly wage
angry women
and deluded men and
faded children
the housecat
love as a swordfish.

in the bottom of the hour
lurks
17.000 people screaming at a homerun
millions laughing at the obvious jokes
of a tv comedian
the long and hideous wait in the
welfare offices
Cleopatra fat and insane
Beethoven in the grave

in the bottom of the hour
lurks
the damnation of Faust
and sexual intercourse
the sad-eyed dogs of summer
lost in the streets
the last funeral
Celine failing again
the carnation in the buttonhole
of the kindly killer.

in the bottom of the hour
lurks
fantasies tainted with milk
our obnoxious invasion of the planets
Chatterton drinking rat poison
the bull that should have killed
Hemmingway
Paris like a pimple in the sky.

in the bottom of the hour
lurks
the mad writer in the cork room
the falseness of the Senior Prom
the submarine with purple footprints.

in the bottom of the hour
lurks
the tree that cries in the night
the place that nobody found
being so young you thought
you could change it
being middle-aged and thinking
you could survive it
being old and thinking
you could hide from it.

in the bottom of the hour
lurks
2:30 a.m.
and the next to last line
and then the last.

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Categories: Poems

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