Charles Bukowski

(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994 / Andernach)

Nirvana - Poem by Charles Bukowski

not much chance,
completely cut loose from
purpose,
he was a young man
riding a bus
through North Carolina
on the wat to somewhere
and it began to snow
and the bus stopped
at a little cafe
in the hills
and the passengers
entered.
he sat at the counter
with the others,
he ordered and the
food arived.
the meal was
particularly
good
and the
coffee.
the waitress was
unlike the women
he had
known.
she was unaffected,
there was a natural
humor which came
from her.
the fry cook said
crazy things.
the dishwasher.
in back,
laughed, a good
clean
pleasant
laugh.
the young man watched
the snow through the
windows.
he wanted to stay
in that cafe
forever.
the curious feeling
swam through him
that everything
was
beautiful
there,
that it would always
stay beautiful
there.
then the bus driver
told the passengers
that it was time
to board.
the young man
thought, I’ll just sit
here, I’ll just stay
here.
but then
he rose and followed
the others into the
bus.
he found his seat
and looked at the cafe
through the bus
window.
then the bus moved
off, down a curve,
downward, out of
the hills.
the young man
looked straight
foreward.
he heard the other
passengers
speaking
of other things,
or they were
reading
or
attempting to
sleep.
they had not
noticed
the
magic.
the young man
put his head to
one side,
closed his
eyes,
pretended to
sleep.
there was nothing
else to do-
just to listen to the
sound of the
engine,
the sound of the
tires
in the
snow.


Comments about Nirvana by Charles Bukowski

  • (5/21/2014 5:52:00 AM)


    Thanx for posting the whole poem. It is a wonder.* * (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Justin Gonzalez (12/9/2012 4:05:00 AM)


    Thank you James for your contribution (I will now proceed to comment on this BRILLIANT poem)
    This has to be my favorite poem by Charles. It really shows how powerful the simple things in the world are to him, and how from something as mundane as sitting in a cafe while it's snowing could have such a powerful effect on him. There is magic in this world, but it's hidden. If you're lucky enough to actually have your mind, heart, soul, and eyes open when you're in it's presence, then you will understand this poem personally.
    (Report) Reply

  • (8/3/2007 3:09:00 AM)


    This is not the full text of the poem. It's actually much more interesting and meaningful than that. The full text of this poem taken from another poetry site (americanpoems.com) is:

    not much chance,
    completely cut loose from
    purpose,
    he was a young man
    riding a bus
    through North Carolina
    on the wat to somewhere
    and it began to snow
    and the bus stopped
    at a little cafe
    in the hills
    and the passengers
    entered.
    he sat at the counter
    with the others,
    he ordered and the
    food arived.
    the meal was
    particularly
    good
    and the
    coffee.
    the waitress was
    unlike the women
    he had
    known.
    she was unaffected,
    there was a natural
    humor which came
    from her.
    the fry cook said
    crazy things.
    the dishwasher.
    in back,
    laughed, a good
    clean
    pleasant
    laugh.
    the young man watched
    the snow through the
    windows.
    he wanted to stay
    in that cafe
    forever.
    the curious feeling
    swam through him
    that everything
    was
    beautiful
    there,
    that it would always
    stay beautiful
    there.
    then the bus driver
    told the passengers
    that it was time
    to board.
    the young man
    thought, I'll just sit
    here, I'll just stay
    here.
    but then
    he rose and followed
    the others into the
    bus.
    he found his seat
    and looked at the cafe
    through the bus
    window.
    then the bus moved
    off, down a curve,
    downward, out of
    the hills.
    the young man
    looked straight
    foreward.
    he heard the other
    passengers
    speaking
    of other things,
    or they were
    reading
    or
    attempting to
    sleep.
    they had not
    noticed
    the
    magic.
    the young man
    put his head to
    one side,
    closed his
    eyes,
    pretended to
    sleep.
    there was nothing
    else to do-
    just to listen to the
    sound of the
    engine,
    the sound of the
    tires
    in the
    snow.
    (Report) Reply

  • (12/3/2006 11:09:00 AM)


    Shame! ! ! , 'not much chance 'to read (and print) the full text from your site............Why is it? ? ?
    That's it; I'll go somewhere else to get this powerful poem I discovered through Tom Waits' latest album listening.Thanks to him, shame on you!
    (Report) Reply

  • (3/28/2006 7:34:00 PM)


    HAH! I wonder if I can swear? FXXX BRILLIANT. That's humanity not? (The majority) (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Poem Edited: Thursday, July 21, 2016


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