Charles Bukowski Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977 (1977)

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Charles Bukowski

Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977 (1977)


Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following publications where some of

these poems first appeared: Los Angeles Free Press, Poetry Now, Second Coming,

and Wormwood Review


to Carl Weissner

Bukowski, Charles:Sandra [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977 (1977),

Black Sparrow Press]

1 is the slim tall

2 ear-ringed

3 bedroom damsel

4 dressed in a long

5 gown

6 she's always high

7 in heels

8 spirit

9 pills

10 booze

11 Sandra leans out of

12 her chair

13 leans toward

14 Glendale

15 I wait for her head

16 to hit the closet

17 doorknob

18 as she attempts to

19 light

20 a new cigarette on an

21 almost burnt-out

22 one

23 at 32 she likes

24 young neat

25 unscratched boys

26 with faces like the bottoms

27 of new saucers

28 she has proclaimed as much

29 to me

30 has brought her prizes
[Page 16]
31 over for me to view:

32 silent blonde zeros of young

33 flesh

34 who

35 a) sit

36 b) stand

37 c) talk

38 at her command

39 sometimes she brings one

40 sometimes two

41 sometimes three

42 for me to

43 view

44 Sandra looks very good in

45 long gowns

46 Sandra could probably break

47 a man's heart

48 I hope she finds

49 one.

[Page 17]

Bukowski, Charles:you [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977 (1977),

Black Sparrow Press]

1 you're a beast, she said

2 your big white belly

3 and those hairy feet.

4 you never cut your nails

5 and you have fat hands

6 paws like a cat

7 your bright red nose

8 and the biggest balls

9 I've ever seen.

10 you shoot sperm like a

11 whale shoots water out of the

12 hole in its back.

13 beast beast beast,

14 she kissed me,

15 what do you want for

16 breakfast?

[Page 18]
Bukowski, Charles:the 6 foot goddess [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems,

1974-1977 (1977), Black Sparrow Press]

1 I'm big

2 I suppose that's why my women always seem

3 small

4 but this 6 foot goddess

5 who deals in real estate

6 and art

7 and flies from Texas

8 to see me

9 and I fly to Texas

10 to see her---

11 well, there's plenty of her to

12 grab hold of

13 and I grab hold of it

14 of her,

15 I yank her head back by the hair,

16 I'm real macho,

17 I suck on her upper lip

18 her cunt

19 her soul

20 I mount her and tell her,

21 "I'm going to shoot white hot

22 juice into you. I didn't fly all the

23 way to Galveston to play

24 chess."

25 later we lay locked like human vines

26 my left arm under her pillow

27 my right arm over her side

28 I grip both of her hands,

29 and my chest

30 belly

31 balls

32 cock

33 tangle into her

34 and through us

[Page 19]
35 in the dark

36 pass rays

37 back and forth

38 back and forth

39 until I fall away

40 and we sleep.

41 she's wild

42 but kind

43 my 6 foot goddess

44 makes me laugh

45 the laughter of the mutilated

46 who still need

47 love,

48 and her blessed eyes

49 run deep into her head

50 like mountain springs

51 far in

52 and

53 cool and good.

54 she has saved me

55 from everything that is

56 not here.

[Page 20]
Bukowski, Charles:I've seen too many glazed-eyed bums sitting under a bridge

drinking cheap wine [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977 (1977),

Black Sparrow Press]

1 you sit on the couch

2 with me

3 tonight

4 new woman.

5 have you seen the

6 animal-eater

7 documentaries?

8 they show death.

9 and now I wonder

10 which animal of

11 us will eat the

12 other first

13 physically and

14 last

15 spiritually?

16 we consume animals

17 and then one of us

18 consumes the other,

19 my love.

20 meanwhile

21 I'd prefer you go

22 first the first way

23 since if past performance

24 charts mean anything

25 I'll surely go

26 first the last

27 way.

[Page 21]
Bukowski, Charles:sexpot [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977 (1977),

Black Sparrow Press]

1 "you know," she said, "you were at

2 the bar so you didn't see

3 but I danced with this guy.

4 we danced and we danced

5 close.

6 but I didn't go home with him

7 because he knew I was with

8 you."

9 "thanks a bunch," I

10 said.

11 she was always thinking of sex.

12 she carried it around with her

13 like something in a paper

14 bag.

15 such energy.

16 she never forgot.

17 she stared at every man available

18 in morning cafes

19 over bacon and eggs

20 or later

21 over a noon sandwich or

22 a steak dinner.

23 "I've modeled myself after

24 Marilyn Monroe," she told

25 me.

26 "she's always running off

27 to some local disco to dance

28 with a baboon," a friend once told

29 me, "I'm amazed that you've

30 stood for it as long as you have."

[Page 22]

31 she'd vanish at racetracks

32 then come back and say,

33 "three men offered to buy me

34 a drink."

35 or I'd lose her in the parking

36 lot and I'd look up and she'd

37 be walking along with a strange man.

38 "well, he came from this direction

39 and I came from that and we

40 kind of walked together. I

41 didn't want to hurt his

42 feelings."

43 she said that I was a very

44 jealous man.

45 one day she just

46 fell down

47 inside of her sexual organs

48 and vanished.

49 it was like an alarm clock

50 dropping into the

51 Grand Canyon.

52 it banged and rattled and

53 rang and rang

54 but I could no longer

55 see or hear it.

56 I'm feeling much better

57 now.

58 I've taken up tap-dancing

59 and I wear a black felt

60 hat pulled down low

61 over my right

62 eye.

[Page 23]

Bukowski, Charles:sweet music [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977

(1977), Black Sparrow Press]

1 it beats love because there aren't any

2 wounds: in the morning

3 she turns on the radio, Brahms or Ives

4 or Stravinsky or Mozart. she boils the

5 eggs counting the seconds out loud: 56,

6 57, 58 ... she peels the eggs, brings

7 them to me in bed. after breakfast it's

8 the same chair and listen to the class-

9 ical music. she's on her first glass of

10 scotch and her third cigarette. I tell

11 her I must go to the racetrack. she's

12 been here about 2 nights and 2 days. "when

13 will I see you again?" I ask. she

14 suggests that might be up to me. I

15 nod and Mozart plays.

[Page 24]

Bukowski, Charles:numb your ass and your brain and your heart--- [from Love is a

Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977 (1977), Black Sparrow Press]

1 I was coming off an affair that had gone badly.

2 frankly, I was sliding down into a pit

3 really feeling shitty and low

4 when I lucked into this lady with a large bed

5 covered with a jeweled canopy

6 plus

7 wine, champagne, smokes, pills and

8 color tv.

9 we stayed in bed and

10 drank wine, champagne, smoked, popped pills

11 by the dozens

12 as I (feeling shitty and low)

13 tried to get over this affair that had gone

14 bad.

15 I watched the tv trying to dull my senses,

16 but the thing that really helped

17 was this very long

18 (specially written for tv) drama about

19 spies---

20 American spies and Russian spies, and

21 they were all so clever and

22 cool---

23 even their children didn't know

24 their wives didn't know, and

25 in a way

26 they hardly knew---

27 and I found out about counter-spies, double-spies:

28 guys who worked both sides, and

29 then this one who was a double-spy turned

30 into a triple-spy, it

31 got nicely confusing---

32 I don't even think the guy who wrote the script

33 knew what was happening---

34 it went on for hours!

[Page 25]
35 seaplanes rammed into icebergs,

36 a priest in Madison, Wisc. murdered his brother,

37 a block of ice was shipped in a casket to Peru

38 in lieu of the world's largest diamond, and

39 blondes walked in and out of rooms eating

40 creampuffs and walnuts;

41 the triple-spy turned into a

42 quadruple-spy and everybody loved

43 everybody

44 and it went on and on

45 and the hours passed and

46 it all finally vanished like a paperclip in a

47 bag of trash and I

48 reached over and flicked off the set and

49 slept well for the first time

50 in a week and a half.

[Page 26]
Bukowski, Charles:one of the hottest [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems,

1974-1977 (1977), Black Sparrow Press]

1 she wore a platinum blond wig

2 and her face was rouged and powdered

3 and she put the lipstick on

4 making a huge painted mouth

5 and her neck was wrinkled

6 but she still had the ass of a young girl

7 and the legs were good.

8 she wore blue panties and I got them off

9 raised her dress, and with the TV flickering

10 I took her standing up.

11 as we struggled around the room

12 (I'm fucking the grave, I thought, I'm

13 bringing the dead back to life, marvelous

14 so marvelous

15 like eating cold olives at 3 a.m.

16 with half the town on fire)

17 I came.

18 you boys can keep your virgins

19 give me hot old women in high heels

20 with asses that forgot to get old.

21 of course, you leave afterwards

22 or get very drunk

23 which is the same

24 thing.

25 we drank wine for hours and watched tv

26 and when we went to bed

27 to sleep it off

28 she left her teeth in all

29 night long.

[Page 27]

Bukowski, Charles:ashes [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977 (1977),

Black Sparrow Press]

1 I got his ashes, she said, and I took them

2 out to sea and I scattered his ashes and

3 they didn't even look like ashes

4 and

5 the urn was weighted with

6 green and blue pebbles ...

7 he didn't leave you any of his

8 millions?

9 nothing, she said.

10 after having to eat all those breakfasts

11 and lunches and dinners with him? after

12 listening to all his bullshit?

13 he was a brilliant man.

14 you know what I mean.

15 anyhow, I got the ashes. and you fucked

16 my sisters.

17 I never fucked your sisters.

18 yes, you did.

19 I fucked one of them.

20 which one?

21 the lesbian, I said, she bought me dinner and drinks,

22 I had very little choice.

23 I'm going, she said.
[Page 28]

24 don't forget your bottle.

25 she went in and got it.

26 there's so little to you, she said, that when you die and

27 they burn you they'll have to add almost all green and

28 blue pebbles.

29 all right, I said.

30 I'll see you in 6 months! she screamed and slammed the door.

31 well, I thought, I guess in order to get rid of her I'll have

32 to fuck her other sister. I walked into the bedroom and started

33 looking for phone numbers. all I remembered was that she

34 lived in San Mateo and had a very good

35 job.

[Page 29]

Bukowski, Charles:fuck [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977 (1977),

Black Sparrow Press]

1 she pulled her dress off

2 over her head

3 and I saw the panties

4 indented somewhat into the

5 crotch.

6 it's only human.

7 now we've got to do it.

8 I've got to do it

9 after all that bluff.

10 it's like a party---

11 two trapped

12 idiots.

13 under the sheets

14 after I have snapped

15 off the light

16 her panties are still

17 on. she expects an

18 opening performance.

19 I can't blame her. but

20 wonder why she's here with

21 me? where are the other

22 guys? how can you be

23 lucky? having someone the

24 others have abandoned?

25 we didn't have to do it

26 yet we had to do it.

27 it was something like

28 establishing new credibility

29 with the income tax

30 man. I get the panties

31 off. I decide not to

32 tongue her. even then

[Page 30]
33 I'm thinking about

34 after it's over.

35 we'll sleep together

36 tonight

37 trying to fit ourselves

38 inside the wallpaper.

39 I try, fail,

40 notice the hair on her

41 head

42 mostly notice the hair

43 on her

44 head

45 and a glimpse of

46 nostrils

47 piglike

48 I try it

49 again.

[Page 31]

Bukowski, Charles:me [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977 (1977),

Black Sparrow Press]

1 women don't know how to love,

2 she told me.

3 you know how to love

4 but women just want to

5 leech.

6 I know this because I'm a

7 woman.

8 hahaha, I laughed.

9 so don't worry about your breakup

10 with Susan

11 because she'll just leech onto

12 somebody else.

13 we talked a while longer

14 then I said goodbye

15 hungup

16 went into the crapper and

17 took a good beershit

18 mainly thinking, well,

19 I'm still alive

20 and have the ability to expell

21 wastes from my body.

22 and poems.

23 and as long as that's happening

24 I have the ability to handle

25 betrayal

26 loneliness

27 hangnail

28 clap

29 and the economic reports in the

30 financial section.

31 with that
[Page 32]
32 I stood up

33 wiped

34 flushed

35 then thought:

36 it's true:

37 I know how to

38 love.

39 I pulled up my pants and walked

40 into the other room.

[Page 33]

Bukowski, Charles:another bed [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977

(1977), Black Sparrow Press]

1 another bed

2 another woman

3 more curtains

4 another bathroom

5 another kitchen

6 other eyes

7 other hair

8 other

9 feet and toes.

10 everybody's looking.

11 the eternal search.

12 you stay in bed

13 she gets dressed for work

14 and you wonder what happened

15 to the last one

16 and the one before that ...

17 it's all so comfortable---

18 this love-making

19 this sleeping together

20 the gentle kindness ...

21 after she leaves you get up and use her

22 bathroom,

23 it's all so intimate and so strange.

24 you go back to bed and

25 sleep another hour.

26 when you leave it's with sadness

27 but you'll see her again

28 whether it works or not.

[Page 34]

29 you drive down to the shore and sit

30 in your car. it's almost noon.

31 ---another bed, other ears, other

32 ear rings, other mouths, other slippers, other

33 dresses

34 colors, doors, phone numbers.

35 you were once strong enough to live alone.

36 for a man nearing sixty you should be more

37 sensible.

38 you start the car and shift,

39 thinking, I'll phone Jeanie when I get in,

40 I haven't seen her since Friday.

[Page 35]

Bukowski, Charles:trapped [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977

(1977), Black Sparrow Press]

1 don't undress my love

2 you might find a mannequin;

3 don't undress the mannequin

4 you might find

5 my love.

6 she's long ago

7 forgotten me.

8 she's trying on a new

9 hat

10 and looks more the

11 coquette

12 than ever.

13 she is a

14 child

15 and a mannequin

16 and

17 death.

18 I can't hate

19 that.

20 she didn't do

21 anything

22 unusual.

23 I only wanted her

24 to.

[Page 36]
Bukowski, Charles:tonight [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977

(1977), Black Sparrow Press]

1 "your poems about the girls will still be around

2 50 years from now when the girls are gone,"

3 my editor phones me.

4 dear editor:

5 the girls appear to be gone

6 already.

7 I know what you mean

8 but give me one truly alive woman

9 tonight

10 walking across the floor toward me

11 and you can have all the poems

12 the good ones

13 the bad ones

14 or any that I might write

15 after this one.

16 I know what you mean.

17 do you know what I mean?

[Page 37]

Bukowski, Charles:the escape [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977

(1977), Black Sparrow Press]

1 escape from the black widow spider

2 is a miracle as great as art.

3 what a web she can weave

4 slowly drawing you to her

5 she'll embrace you

6 then when she's satisfied

7 she'll kill you

8 still in her embrace

9 and suck the blood from you.

10 I escaped my black widow

11 because she had too many males

12 in her web

13 and while she was embracing one

14 and then the other and then

15 another

16 I worked free

17 got out

18 to where I was before.

19 she'll miss me---

20 not my love

21 but the taste of my blood,

22 but she's good, she'll find other

23 blood;

24 she's so good that I almost miss my death,

25 but not quite;

26 I've escaped. I view the other

27 webs.

[Page 38]

Bukowski, Charles:the drill [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977

(1977), Black Sparrow Press]

1 our marriage book, it

2 says.

3 I look through it.

4 they lasted ten years.

5 they were young once.

6 now I sleep in her bed.

7 he phones her:

8 "I want my drill back.

9 have it ready.

10 I'll pick the children up at

11 ten."

12 when he arrives he waits outside

13 the door.

14 his children leave with

15 him.

16 she comes back to bed

17 and I stretch a leg out

18 place it against hers.

19 I was young once too.

20 human relationships simply aren't

21 durable.

22 I think back to the women in

23 my life.

24 they seem non-existent.

25 "did he get his drill?" I ask.

26 "yes, he got his drill."

27 I wonder if I'll ever have to come

28 back for my bermuda

29 shorts and my record album

30 by The Academy of St. Martin in the

31 Fields? I suppose I

32 will.

[Page 39]
Bukowski, Charles:texan [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977 (1977),

Black Sparrow Press]

1 she's from Texas and weighs

2 103 pounds

3 and stands before the

4 mirror combing oceans

5 of reddish hair

6 which falls all the way down

7 her back to her ass.

8 the hair is magic and shoots

9 sparks as I lay on the bed

10 and watch her combing her

11 hair. she's like something

12 out of the movies but she's

13 actually here. we make love

14 at least once a day and

15 she can make me laugh

16 any time she cares

17 to. Texas women are always

18 healthy, and besides that she's

19 cleaned my refrigerator, my sink,

20 the bathroom, and she cooks and

21 feeds me healthy foods

22 and washes the dishes

23 too.

24 "Hank," she told me,

25 holding up a can of grapefruit

26 juice, "this is the best of them

27 all."

28 it says: Texas unsweetened

29 PINK grapefruit juice.

30 she looks like Katherine Hepburn

31 looked when she was

32 in high school, and I watch those

33 103 pounds
[Page 40]
34 combing a yard and some change

35 of reddish hair

36 before the mirror

37 and I feel her inside of my

38 wrists and at the backs of my eyes,

39 and the toes and legs and belly

40 of me feel her and

41 the other part too,

42 and all of Los Angeles falls down

43 and weeps for joy,

44 the walls of the love parlors shake---

45 the ocean rushes in and she turns

46 to me and says, "damn this hair!"

47 and I say,

48 "yes."

[Page 41]

Bukowski, Charles:the spider [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977

(1977), Black Sparrow Press]

1 then there was the time in

2 New Orleans

3 I was living with a fat woman,

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