Writers' Ink at Caledon Public Library

I am not Charles Bukowski

Poetry icon

I am not Charles Bukowski
puking on the sickness floor
so blotto that all I can do
is write poetry about poverty and whores
but here it is, the destiny of chaos
that landed her on my roof
like the tail-end of an exploded plane
bruises birling across her face
green eyes licked by bloodshot rain
I mean, Charles Bukowski didn’t complain
he just drank more and wrote about it

dropped onto my roof cascading her dread
rattled her delerium tremens from inside my head

if only I had been a shaman, a switch doctor
I could have incanted my way out of it
stepped away from her bone-weary obsession
drop-kicked it into the realm of dream
of what might have been had she not
swavered fully formed towards me
from the belly of the subway car
medusan snakes havering through her hair

I just happened to be there
in the fated moment of detonation
the karmic bomb inside the dove shouting
“You are not Charles Bukowski, but you can love,
yes, you can love.”

I loved so much that I did not would not
drink with this angel in a bottle bobbing in a feculent sea
instead carved messages into the skirts of mountains
tried to show her what she could be if only she…

only she needed more, needed to be wholly
deracinated, boned by a concupiscent moon
but I would not sing that tune, would not love her
like petroleum byproducts, like a howling werewolf
instead held her feet to another fire
expiscated the taloned demons
of her passerine horror-show
so she’d drive them out, aim higher, be better,
for her children, for her husband who’d lost her
in the clear-cut forest of fistic emotions

three months were three lifetimes in that studio bar
three lifetimes of sweat, DT’s, detox
the horror of war incarnate in the soul
of an intelligent woman,
a woman of Branksome breeding
lost in the labyrinthine box, no thread
her spirit a twisting bleeding threnody
shaken, not stirred, over ice

and though I am not Charles Bukowski
there are some things I can write about
that cannot erase puke stains, booze breath
french kisses to silence single malt screams
that cannot suck out pyrophoric poison,
or delumbate death

and in the end, in the end
there is no end
only the crapulent morning after burning head
the return to husband who stinks
of delatory dramas, who slaps to calm
it down, to make it sit, to make it fuck
and it’s the only way he knows how to
hold it together in the face of…

I am not Charles Bukowski
nowhere near as good a poet or drinker
but maybe one day I’ll slide onto a bar stool
in the Heaven Meets Hell Tavern
and we’ll trade poems, many from him,
one from me, the one about the fool
who thought he could hack his way
through the jungle, armed only with love,
drive a spike through the cool black soil,
siphon off the sweet crude
put an end to the boozy-lewd dreams of angels

and we’ll walk out of that bar
arm in arm weaving down the street
headed for home, he to a burned out scab of a flat
me to my comfortable studio apartment
and he’ll fart and say, “Let’s grab a cab, I’m too drunk to walk.”
and I’ll say, “No thanks, Chuck, I’ll take the subway.”

by Harry Posner

About Alton Chapter

The Alton Chapter of Writers' Ink meets the 1st Wednesday of the month from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Alton Branch.

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This entry was posted on February 7, 2015 by in Alton Chapter and tagged .

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