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(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994 / Andernach)

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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


Read poems about / on: suicide, magic, girl, river, god, woman, beautiful, friend, fire, poem, angel, women

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Comments about this poem (As The Sparrow by Charles Bukowski )

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  • Rouren Torres (1/3/2014 9:56:00 PM)

    He makes it so it doesn't feel like a true tragedy.

    3 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Billy Markham (6/23/2010 2:46:00 PM)

    @ Lee Crowell

    oh man, i hope you are not serious at all.

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Jesse Weaver (11/6/2008 6:40:00 PM)

    While you insult each other I guess I'll read this nice poem again.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Read all 19 comments »

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