Charles Bukowski

(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994 / Andernach)

His Wife, The Painter

Poem by Charles Bukowski

There are sketches on the walls of men and women and ducks,
and outside a large green bus swerves through traffic like
insanity sprung from a waving line; Turgenev, Turgenev,
says the radio, and Jane Austin, Jane Austin, too.
'I am going to do her portrait on the 28th, while you are
at work.'
He is just this edge of fat and he walks constantly, he
fritters; they have him; they are eating him hollow like
a webbed fly, and his eyes are red-suckled with anger-fear.
He feels hatred and discard of the world, sharper than
his razor, and his gut-feel hangs like a wet polyp; and he
self-decisions himself defeated trying to shake his
hung beard from razor in water (like life) , not warm enough.
Daumier. Rue Transonian, le 15 Avril, 1843. (lithograph.)
Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale.
'She has a face unlike that of any woman I have ever known.'
'What is it? A love affair? '
'Silly. I can't love a woman. Besides, she's pregnant.'
I can paint- a flower eaten by a snake; that sunlight is a
lie; and that markets smell of shoes and naked boys clothed,
and that under everything some river, some beat, some twist that
clambers along the edge of my temple and bites nip-dizzy...
men drive cars and paint their houses,
but they are mad; men sit in barber chairs; buy hats.
Corot. Recollection of Mortefontaine.
Paris, Louvre.
'I must write Kaiser, though I think he's a homosexual.'
'Are you still reading Freud? '
'Page 299.'
She made a little hat and he fastened two snaps under one
arm, reaching up from the bed like a long feeler from the
snail, and she went to church, and he thought now I h've
time and the dog.
About church: the trouble with a mask is it
never changes.
So rude the flowers that grow and do not grow beautiful.
So magic the chair on the patio that does not hold legs
and belly and arm and neck and mouth that bites into the
wind like the ned of a tunnel.
He turned in bed and thought: I am searching for some
segment in the air. It floats about the peoples heads.
When it rains on the trees it sits between the branches
warmer and more blood-real than the dove.
Orozco. Christ Destroying the Cross.
Hanover, Dartmouth College, Baker Library.
He burned away in his sleep.

Comments about His Wife, The Painter by Charles Bukowski

  • Edward Kofi LouisEdward Kofi Louis (6/13/2018 1:29:00 PM)

    Sketches on the walls! !

    The Painter.

    Thanks for sharing this poem with us.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Glen KappyGlen Kappy (6/13/2018 6:15:00 AM)

    In large part this feels like a found poem, lines taken or literally cut from books or newspapers and assembled together. The closing line however might suggest the circus of disparate thoughts that race through our minds when we lie in bed sleepless. For me it’s so idiosyncratic that feelingwise I stay on its surface. -GK(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Kumarmani MahakulKumarmani Mahakul (6/13/2018 2:58:00 AM)

    An imageful inscription has been made. Beautiful poem.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Robert Murray SmithRobert Murray Smith (6/13/2018 12:18:00 AM)

    A finely crafted write that is image filled.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Adam Holmes (4/6/2009 9:15:00 PM)

    why are half of Buk's peoms on here incomplete? should be a crime(Report)Reply

    5 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
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Read poems about / on: women, work, green, spring, woman

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Poem Edited: Thursday, July 21, 2016

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