Charles Bukowski

(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994 / Andernach)

2 Flies - Poem by Charles Bukowski

The flies are angry bits of life;
why are they so angry?
it seems they want more,
it seems almost as if they
are angry
that they are flies;
it is not my fault;
I sit in the room
with them
and they taunt me
with their agony;
it is as if they were
loose chunks of soul
left out of somewhere;
I try to read a paper
but they will not let me
one seems to go in half-circles
high along the wall,
throwing a miserable sound
upon my head;
the other one, the smaller one
stays near and teases my hand,
saying nothing,
rising, dropping
crawling near;
what god puts these
lost things upon me?
other men suffer dictates of
empire, tragic love…
I suffer
I wave at the little one
which only seems to revive
his impulse to challenge:
he circles swifter,
nearer, even making
a fly-sound,
and one above
catching a sense of the new
whirling, he too, in excitement,
speeds his flight,
drops down suddenly
in a cuff of noise
and they join
in circling my hand,
strumming the base
of the lampshade
until some man-thing
in me
will take no more
and I strike
with the rolled-up-paper -
missing! -
they break in discord,
some message lost between them,
and I get the big one
first, and he kicks on his back
flicking his legs
like an angry whore,
and I come down again
with my paper club
and he is a smear
of fly-ugliness;
the little one circles high
now, quiet and swift,
almost invisible;
he does not come near
my hand again;
he is tamed and
inaccessible; I leave
him be, he leaves me
the paper, of course,
is ruined;
something has happened,
something has soiled my
sometimes it does not
take man
or a woman,
only something alive;
I sit and watch
the small one;
we are woven together
in the air
and the living;
it is late
for both of us.

Comments about 2 Flies by Charles Bukowski

  • (5/26/2018 11:27:00 PM)

    F’ing AwEsOmE. I hate flies. (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Bri Edwards (5/2/2018 5:11:00 PM)

    i'm sending this to my bored priest-friend Kostas Lagos, in Greece. he wrote three lines about swatting flies.

    bri :)

    0 person liked.
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  • Bri Edwards (6/26/2017 1:46:00 PM)

    i'm sure i've read this before now. it IS in MyPoemList aka favorite poem list on PH. hmmm?

    now i put it into my/our July 2017's 'showcase of and for PH poets'.

    thanks, 'Charles' OR whoever put this poem on PH.

    bri :)

    0 person liked.
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  • (3/12/2015 10:55:00 PM) this was incredible poem about some flies....very entertaining...truly enjoyed it :) (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
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  • Houssam Mokhtari (10/24/2014 3:22:00 PM)

    What a great poem the eldest couldn't do that (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • (5/28/2014 10:21:00 AM)

    So nice. The only poet really. Nothing else comes close... (Report)Reply

    3 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • (5/28/2014 10:12:00 AM)

    Bukowski is the poet. The rest make me think of uzis (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • (5/28/2014 10:11:00 AM)

    Bukowski is the poet. The rest are like greeting cards from hell (Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • (5/12/2014 4:33:00 AM)

    From a small incident a wonderful poem created and it is too nice. (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (3/23/2014 8:15:00 AM)

    This is not a poem. This is a decent short story masquerading as a poem.

    Allow me to write a more poem like representation:

    two flies buzzing, circling, Rest!
    while Two Eye reads a page
    Two Wings hum and do their best
    to avoid sudden squalls of rage
    a rhythmic circling of restless souls
    locked in an eternal buzzing gyre
    falling, kicking, to the bottom of the Well
    seeking solace sought in something higher?
    Each carefully bereft of a story to s(t) ell

    3 person liked.
    36 person did not like.
  • Pankaj Kumar (9/12/2013 3:44:00 AM)

    This IS Bukowsi! ! A plain common people poet. I really enjoy his writing. (Report)Reply

    19 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • (11/6/2012 4:43:00 AM)

    I for one really enjoyed the microscopic reality of this and the unique angles suggested... (Report)Reply

    58 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • (7/7/2011 2:04:00 PM)

    Who rates the top 500? Bukowski ahead of Yeats is nonsense. He just got drunk and ran from the mouth (pen) ! (Report)Reply

    20 person liked.
    150 person did not like.
Read all 13 comments »

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Poem Edited: Friday, July 8, 2011

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