Treasure Island

Charles Bukowski

(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994 / Andernach)

An Almost Made Up Poem


I see you drinking at a fountain with tiny
blue hands, no, your hands are not tiny
they are small, and the fountain is in France
where you wrote me that last letter and
I answered and never heard from you again.
you used to write insane poems about
ANGELS AND GOD, all in upper case, and you
knew famous artists and most of them
were your lovers, and I wrote back, it’ all right,
go ahead, enter their lives, I’ not jealous
because we’ never met. we got close once in
New Orleans, one half block, but never met, never
touched. so you went with the famous and wrote
about the famous, and, of course, what you found out
is that the famous are worried about
their fame –– not the beautiful young girl in bed
with them, who gives them that, and then awakens
in the morning to write upper case poems about
ANGELS AND GOD. we know God is dead, they’ told
us, but listening to you I wasn’ sure. maybe
it was the upper case. you were one of the
best female poets and I told the publishers,
editors, “ her, print her, she’ mad but she’
magic. there’ no lie in her fire.” I loved you
like a man loves a woman he never touches, only
writes to, keeps little photographs of. I would have
loved you more if I had sat in a small room rolling a
cigarette and listened to you piss in the bathroom,
but that didn’ happen. your letters got sadder.
your lovers betrayed you. kid, I wrote back, all
lovers betray. it didn’ help. you said
you had a crying bench and it was by a bridge and
the bridge was over a river and you sat on the crying
bench every night and wept for the lovers who had
hurt and forgotten you. I wrote back but never
heard again. a friend wrote me of your suicide
3 or 4 months after it happened. if I had met you
I would probably have been unfair to you or you
to me. it was best like this.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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Comments about this poem (An Almost Made Up Poem by Charles Bukowski )

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  • Frank Avon (9/15/2014 10:35:00 PM)

    This is depressing, not the Bukowski I'm accustomed to - and so well written. I wonder which of his (many) books it's from. It confirms my hope to read more of his work, but I hope some of it is more cheerful. He was a man of many, many words. (Report) Reply

  • * Sunprincess * (6/17/2014 10:41:00 PM)

    ..........this poem is keeping it real....so true and so honest....would have loved, if he could have had a chance to meet her.... (Report) Reply

  • Mazhari David (5/21/2014 4:03:00 AM)

    The famous are worried about their fame... and the not famous are worried about their fame too... silly world made of pride and vanity* * (Report) Reply

  • Byron Crosby (3/1/2010 10:43:00 PM)

    So powerful, so incredibly powerful. It's the kind of raw beauty that is pure Bukowski. Brilliant darkness. (Report) Reply

  • Joey Valenzuela (9/1/2009 11:46:00 PM)

    yea, nice poem, , , coz i always appreciate poems...
    well hell yah, , for you who said tis not likely a poem...hammp, , shut up ye not a genius....ye an idiot...a fool... (Report) Reply

  • Caliban Jigsaw (6/3/2009 1:16:00 PM)

    The form is as obscure as beat can be - but it is not the package that makes it art, it is the content.

    I like it. It is not the be all or end all of anything. It rings of truth. Truth as voiced from a selfish man, from a cynic's perch where touch is but a wish.

    I do enjoy his voice. I am certain I would despise the man. (Report) Reply

  • Lee Crowell (5/2/2009 7:51:00 PM)

    in my humble opinion there's only one person who ever wrote a poem, his name is Bukowski
    all the rest, and I mean all, are wannabes (Report) Reply

  • Alex Webb (1/7/2009 6:17:00 PM)

    I didn't realize trolls roamed these parts. 'To the hills! ' I say, 'to the hills. We must finally escape from this misbegotten bunch. Don't stop for lunch, we must be off, and on out way, if we do not want out feet trampled on.'

    Like the poem. Loved the comments. (Report) Reply

  • Iohannes Silvaticus (10/28/2008 8:27:00 AM)

    Lamont. If you are under-read, keep quiet and people would think you are more stupid than you are now. At least do some research before you post dumb comment on a man who was written more poetry than you've spouted intelligent words. And it goes for all you other under-read people too. (Report) Reply

  • Mark Stickney (5/23/2008 2:58:00 PM)

    lauren, couldn't agree with you more. too long? what a ridiculous statement for such a beautiful poem. (Report) Reply

  • Lauren Michaels (5/9/2008 12:46:00 AM)

    What is wrong with some of you people? Nice but too long? Thats the most ridiculous thing I've ever encountered. Its not nice, its beautiful, raw and real and honest. To read this and say 'nice poem but too long' I can't even comprehend. And who cares about whats written on bathroom walls? Bukowski probably would have writen on bathroom walls buts its could never just be the writing on bathroom walls. Thats not what this is, its poetry and incredible poetry. How come this is a poem? Why would you try to minimise what poetry is by giving it boundaries? Whats Happening Here? ! (Report) Reply

  • Briana Ochoa (3/20/2008 11:49:00 AM)

    i find the stuff written on bathroom stalls entertaning. especially when others comment back. i never do, just laugh. i suppose this would resemble something like it, though not as lengthy. i liked it. (Report) Reply

  • The Former Badjist (3/5/2008 6:44:00 PM)

    well, yes, but how come this is a poem? it
    is something scribbled on the back of an
    unposted postcard and there are millions
    of those suppose i said i don't feel your pain?
    this sort of thing could maybe be written on
    the back of public lavatoty doors where tra-
    ditionaL poetry readers don't go in search of new
    apercus and surprise some poor guy who thinks
    like that but has never picked up a poetry book
    in his

    LIFE (Report) Reply

Read all 24 comments »

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