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(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994 / Andernach)

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They don't make it
the beautiful die in flame-
suicide pills, rat poison, rope what-
they rip their arms off,
throw themselves out of windows,
they pull their eyes out of the sockets,
reject love
reject hate
reject, reject.

they don't make it
the beautiful can't endure,
they are butterflies
they are doves
they are sparrows,
they don't make it.

one tall shot of flame
while the old men play checkers in the park
one flame, one good flame
while the old men play checkers in the park
in the sun.

the beautiful are found in the edge of a room
crumpled into spiders and needles and silence
and we can never understand why they
left, they were so

they don't make it,
the beautiful die young
and leave the ugly to their ugly lives.

lovely and brilliant: life and suicide and death
as the old men play checkers in the sun
in the park.

Anonymous submission.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

Read poems about / on: suicide, beautiful, hate, silence, sun, death, butterfly

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

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  • Thomas Case (2/8/2010 9:01:00 AM)

    Bukowski captures humanity at its grittiest, goriest, glorious worst.

    4 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Marcia Zeller (12/4/2008 2:18:00 PM)

    in the words of toni morrison.

    'physical beauty is the most destructive thing in history. it originated envy, thrived on insecurity, and ended in delusion '

    mr. bukowski may have been on the verge of something great here. if he only pushed a little further.

Read all 2 comments »

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