I was dreaming about smoky rooms
and back stairwells, when
the ghost of Charles Bukowski
woke me up at 2:15 AM
“Help me write this poem.”
I rolled over and reached out in disbelief,
and I swear, I could have touched him,
but he turned
and left the room.
I swung my legs out of bed
and followed him to the kitchen.table.
He was drinking a cup of coffee
and mumbling to himself, doodling
on a napkin.
“I never wrote a poem about polar bears.”
Why does it have to be polar bears? I asked.
He wrote down that sentence.
What do you know about polar bears? I asked.
“Nothing,” he said and continued
to scribble and recite,
“Damned polar bears in zoos
have it good.
Their keepers throw them fish.
Nobody throws Chinaski a fish,
And they gawk at me all day.”
I left him at my kitchen table
with his head in his hands,
smoking a cigarette,
and mumbling to himself.
I faded off to sleep,
and dreamed of polar bears.
Bukowski is a lousy muse.
i’ve just been thinking about him…so many years of a love/hate relationship–I just don’t feel this conflicted about ANY other poet…
I know what you mean. I have not yet found another poet that generates such a visceral response. At times I am inspired, at other times I am disgusted. He is such a dichotomy to me, that I keep reading more. Thanks Miriam, for commenting.
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