My Almost Made-Up Poem
For Charles Bukowski
Bukowski, I would have loved you more if
I could have sat cross-legged on yr
dirty carpet, rolling cigarettes
and watching the clippings of yr toenails,
those dingy quarter moons, tumble
as you hunched over the side of yr bed burping
and trimming away.
I would have leaned with you, over the railing
at the track, swearing at the muted jockeys,
knowing we spent our last buck of beer money
on Jack Chance.
Bukowski, I would have
held you up, walked you past last call and
down the dirty streets. Past the whores
and firehouses that never stop wailing.
I’d lay you down, let yr demons weep
for you, the lost girl,
her poems in upper case letters
about ANGELS AND GOD. Let them sink
into the stained mattress.
And finally, I too, would sink back
to the stained carpet, and mumble sadly
how the great American poem
is dead. We’d share a laugh,
a rolled cigarette, and watch the blue-gray smoke
slip out the window.