Charles Bukowski

(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994 / Andernach)

Death Wants More Death


death wants more death, and its webs are full:
I remember my father's garage, how child-like
I would brush the corpses of flies
from the windows they thought were escape-
their sticky, ugly, vibrant bodies
shouting like dumb crazy dogs against the glass
only to spin and flit
in that second larger than hell or heaven
onto the edge of the ledge,
and then the spider from his dank hole
nervous and exposed
the puff of body swelling
hanging there
not really quite knowing,
and then knowing-
something sending it down its string,
the wet web,
toward the weak shield of buzzing,
the pulsing;
a last desperate moving hair-leg
there against the glass
there alive in the sun,
spun in white;
and almost like love:
the closing over,
the first hushed spider-sucking:
filling its sack
upon this thing that lived;
crouching there upon its back
drawing its certain blood
as the world goes by outside
and my temples scream
and I hurl the broom against them:
the spider dull with spider-anger
still thinking of its prey
and waving an amazed broken leg;
the fly very still,
a dirty speck stranded to straw;
I shake the killer loose
and he walks lame and peeved
towards some dark corner
but I intercept his dawdling
his crawling like some broken hero,
and the straws smash his legs
now waving
above his head
and looking
looking for the enemy
and somewhat valiant,
dying without apparent pain
simply crawling backward
piece by piece
leaving nothing there
until at last the red gut sack
splashes
its secrets,
and I run child-like
with God's anger a step behind,
back to simple sunlight,
wondering
as the world goes by
with curled smile
if anyone else
saw or sensed my crime

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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  • Rookie Johnathan Stokes (11/22/2012 7:17:00 PM)

    The first poem I ever read by Bukowski. Left a big impression on me when I was 17 or so. Such a great piece of work and so much truth within it. Also very dark. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Eric Bradburn (11/6/2009 2:19:00 PM)

    this poem gives me a heated desire to write. thanks Chuck Bu Kow. Your work is sick. (great) (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Liv Jade (12/11/2007 7:03:00 PM)

    I love the honesty here and in everything he writes. These words are frightening because we know we have all done it, watched the injustice of the world take its course for the first time. Then do what we thought would make it right, only to become unjust with our actions. It's compelling, knowing that our compassion can bring forth the monster in us. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Craig Bloxham (10/18/2007 2:07:00 PM)

    I felt compelled to comment on this, as no one else has, this is the best I've read of CB thus far. (Report) Reply

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