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Archive – Poetry Corner

October 11, 2007

A couple of poems for a lazy Sunday afternoon…

the anarchists

one time I began sitting around my place
with some fellows with long dark beards
who were very intense.
many people come to see me but
I usually roust them after a while.
none of them ever bring women,
they hide their women.
I drink beer and listen, but not too
attentively.
but this particular crowd kept coming
back. to me it was mostly beer and
chatter. I noticed that they
usually arrived in a caravan and had
some central yet confused organization.
I kept telling them that I didn’t give
a fuck-either about America or about
them. I just kept sitting there and each
morning when I awakened they’d be gone-
and that was the best.
finally they stopped coming and a
few months later I wrote a short story
about their political chatter-which
of course, trashed their idealism.
the story was published somewhere and
about a month later the leader walked
in, sat down and split a six-pack.
“I want to tell you something, Chinaski,
we read that story. we held a council
and took a vote on whether to murder
you or not. you were spared, 6 to 5.”
I laughed then, some years ago,
but I no longer laugh. and even
though I paid for most of the beer and
even though
some of you fellows pissed on the
toilet lid, I now appreciate that
extra vote.
-Charles Bukowski

And…

law

look, he told me,
all those little children dying in the trees,
and I said, what?
and he said, look,
and I went to the window
and sure enough, there they were hanging in the trees,
dead and dying,
and I said, what does it mean?
and he said, I don’t know, but it’s been authorized.
the next day when I got up
they had dogs in the trees
dead and hanging and dying,
and I turned to my friend and said,
what does it mean?
and he said, don’t worry about it,
it’s the way of things, they took a vote,
it was decided,
and the next day it was cats,
I don’t see how they caught all those cats so fast
and hung them in the trees
bu they did,
and the next day it was horses and that wasn’t so good
because many branches broke,
and after bacon and eggs the next day
my friend pulled the pistol on me
over the coffee and said,
let’s go,
and we went outside
and there were all these men and women in the
trees, most of them dead or
dying, and he got the rope ready, and I said,
what does it mean? and he said, don’t worry,
it’s been authorized, it’s constitutional, it passed by
majority vote, and he tied my hands behind my back,
and opened the noose.
I don’t know who’s going to hang me, he said,
when I get done with you. I suppose, finally,
there’ll be just one of us left
and he’ll have to hang
himself.
suppose he doesn’t? I asked.
he has to, he said, it’s been authorized.
o, I said, well, let’s get on
with it
then.

-Charles Bukowski

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