Are You Drinking? Poem by Charles Bukowski

Are You Drinking?

Rating: 3.1


washed-up, on shore, the old yellow notebook
out again
I write from the bed
as I did last
year.
will see the doctor,
Monday.
"yes, doctor, weak legs, vertigo, head-
aches and my back
hurts."
"are you drinking?" he will ask.
"are you getting your
exercise, your
vitamins?"
I think that I am just ill
with life, the same stale yet
fluctuating
factors.
even at the track
I watch the horses run by
and it seems
meaningless.
I leave early after buying tickets on the
remaining races.
"taking off?" asks the motel
clerk.
"yes, it's boring,"
I tell him.
"If you think it's boring
out there," he tells me, "you oughta be
back here."
so here I am
propped up against my pillows
again
just an old guy
just an old writer
with a yellow
notebook.
something is
walking across the
floor
toward
me.
oh, it's just
my cat
this
time.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Reyvrex Questor Reyes 07 October 2012

Yes I am drinking: Check this out: Drunken Sonnet When in my lowest stock of wine and praise I just content myself with this cheap beer And wish in some hotel I with my raise In yuletide, enjoying a good cheer; But most I get from work that I contend, Is reprimand from bossy chief and staff, And scorn from lady love whom I pretend, To have, when all I get from her is chaff; And thinking of this love, this love of fools, That no angel finds worthy of a cent, Spit out, might I, in any of my drools, And wonder how my glossy life have went; .... Seeing your face, and hearing your tirade, .... I might with bandits give my life to trade.

12 28 Reply
Kasia Fedyk 17 May 2012

Wow, he is just incredible, such simplicity comes through him when he expresses his emotion, simplicity and play with the words, his whole state of being, yet the heaviness he carries with him you can feel to the bone. He is brilliant. I love his work. Rest in peace Charles Burkowski. Thank you for sharing your amazing talent and your life.. [3

21 7 Reply
David Woods 16 March 2009

A laconic poem, I feel like i've been there, felt that same world weariness. I wonder who/what he saw the last time someone walked across the floor

13 10 Reply
Just Jes 30 April 2008

the beauty of Bukowski is that he is a master of crafting words that Everyman can relate to. That heavy side of life that you'd find talking to any person suffering through life is so present in this poem. You don't have to have watched a person suffer through the ravages of Cancer to comprehend this. Fighting is tiresome, even if the demons are self inflicted. This is just great writing. Its not covered in perfume, or redundant cerebral metaphors. it simply is what it is!

16 6 Reply
Smoky Hoss 10 December 2013

Bukowski knew and expressed the heavy part of life as well as anyone could. This poem is a picture, some will see its meaning, and some will not. Either way it goes to a deeper place, and speaks honestly.

17 4 Reply
Dr Antony Theodore 11 December 2020

" are you drinking? " he will ask. " are you getting your exercise, your vitamins? " I think that I am just ill with life. life and its vows..... tony

0 1 Reply
Dr Antony Theodore 24 September 2020

I think that I am just ill with life, the same stale yet fluctuating factors. even at the track a very fine poem. tony

0 1 Reply
Kim Barney 28 December 2019

Bukowski was no genius. He just told it as he saw it, and it usually worked well as poetry. I really like this one, especially the ending.

1 0 Reply
Michael Walker 10 August 2019

I used to be drinking often, but not now. Bukowski uses lower case letters, little punctuation, and he is usually successful with it. His liking of horse racing is again mentioned here. A poem which I like.

2 0 Reply
majhi 22 May 2019

events consistency.the genius mind.

0 0 Reply
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