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



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Bukowski, Charles:little tigers everywhere [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems,

1974-1977 (1977), Black Sparrow Press]

1 Sam the whorehouse man

2 has squeaky shoes

3 and he walks up and down

4 the court

5 squeaking and talking to

6 the cats.

7 he's 310 pounds,

8 a killer

9 and he talks to the cats.

10 he sees the women at the massage

11 parlor and has no girlfriends

12 no automobile

13 he doesn't drink or dope

14 his biggest vices are

15 chewing on a cigar and

16 feeding all the cats in

17 the neighborhood.

18 some of the cats get

19 pregnant

20 and so finally there are

21 more and more cats and

22 everytime I open my door

23 one or two cats will

24 run in and sometimes I'll

25 forget they are there and

26 they'll shit under the bed

27 or I'll awaken at night

28 hearing sounds

29 leap up with my blade

30 sneak into the kitchen and

31 find one of Sam the whorehouse

32 man's cats walking around on

33 the sink or sitting on top

34 of the refrigerator.


[Page 298]

35 Sam runs the love parlor

36 around the corner

37 and his girls stand in the

38 doorway in the sun

39 and the traffic signals go

40 red and green and red and green

41 and all of Sam's cats

42 possess some of the meaning

43 as do the days and the nights.

[Page 299]
Bukowski, Charles:after the reading: [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems,

1974-1977 (1977), Black Sparrow Press]

1 "... I've seen people in front of

2 their typewriters in such a bind

3 that it would blow their intestines

4 right out of their assholes if they

5 were trying to shit."

6 "ah hahaha hahaha!"

7 "... it's a shame to work that

8 hard to try to write."

9 "ah hahaha hahaha!"

10 "ambition rarely has anything to

11 do with talent. luck is best, and

12 talent limps along a little

13 bit behind luck."

14 "ah haha."

15 he rose and left with an 18 year old virgin, the most

16 beautiful co-ed of them

17 all.

18 I closed my notebook

19 got up and limped a

20 little bit behind

21 them.

[Page 300]


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

(1977), Black Sparrow Press]

1 sometimes after you get your ass

2 kicked real good by the forces

3 you often wish you were a crane

4 standing on one leg

5 in blue water

6 but there's

7 the

8 old up-bringing



9 you know:

10 you don't want to be

11 a crane

12 standing on one leg

13 in blue water

14 the distress is not

15 enough

16 and


17 the victory

18 limps

19 a crane can't

20 buy a piece of ass

21 or

22 hang itself at noon



23 in Monterey
[Page 301]

24 those are some of

25 the things

26 humans can do

27 besides

28 stand on one leg

[Page 302]
Bukowski, Charles:a gold pocket watch [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems,

1974-1977 (1977), Black Sparrow Press]


1 my grandfather was a tall German

2 with a strange smell on his breath.

3 he stood very straight

4 in front of his small house

5 and his wife hated him

6 and his children thought him odd.

7 I was six the first time we met

8 and he gave me all his war medals.

9 the second time I met him

10 he gave me his gold pocket watch.

11 it was very heavy and I took it home

12 and wound it very tight

13 and it stopped running

14 which made me feel bad.

15 I never saw him again

16 and my parents never spoke of him

17 nor did my grandmother

18 who had long ago

19 stopped living with him.

20 once I asked about him

21 and they told me

22 he drank too much

23 but I liked him best

24 standing very straight

25 in front of his house

26 and saying, "hello, Henry, you

27 and I, we know each

28 other."

[Page 303]
Bukowski, Charles:beach trip [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977

(1977), Black Sparrow Press]

1 the strong men

2 the muscle men

3 there they sit

4 down at the beach

5 cocoa tans

6 with the weights

7 scattered about them

8 untouched

9 they sit as the

10 waves go in and

11 out

12 they sit as the

13 stock market

14 makes and breaks

15 men and families

16 they sit while

17 one punch of a button

18 could turn their

19 turkeynecks to

20 black and shriveled

21 matchsticks

22 they sit while

23 suicides in green rooms

24 trade it in for space

25 they sit while former

26 Miss Americas

27 weep before wrinkled

28 mirrors

29 they sit
[Page 304]
30 they sit with less

31 life-flow than apes

32 and my woman stops and

33 looks at them:

34 "oooh oooh oooh," she

35 says.

36 I walk off with

37 my woman as the waves

38 go in and out.

39 "there's something wrong

40 with them," she said, "what

41 is it?"

42 "their love only runs in

43 one direction."

44 the seagulls whirl and

45 the sea runs in and out

46 and we left them

47 back there

48 wasting themselves

49 time

50 this moment

51 the seagulls

52 the sea

53 the sand.

[Page 305]
Bukowski, Charles:one for the shoeshine man [from Love is a Dog from Hell:

Poems, 1974-1977 (1977), Black Sparrow Press]

1 the balance is preserved by the snails climbing the

2 Santa Monica cliffs;

3 the luck is in walking down Western Avenue

4 and having the girls in a massage

5 parlor holler at you, "Hello, Sweetie!"

6 the miracle is having 5 women in love

7 with you at the age of 55,

8 and the goodness is that you are only able

9 to love one of them.

10 the gift is having a daughter more gentle

11 than you are, whose laughter is finer

12 than yours.

13 the peace comes from driving a

14 blue 67 Volks through the streets like a

15 teenager, radio tuned to The Host Who Loves You

16 Most, feeling the sun, feeling the solid hum

17 of the rebuilt motor

18 as you needle through traffic.

19 the grace is being able to like rock music,

20 symphony music, jazz ...

21 anything that contains the original energy of

22 joy.

23 and the probability that returns

24 is the deep blue low

25 yourself flat upon yourself

26 within the guillotine walls

27 angry at the sound of the phone

28 or anybody's footsteps passing;

29 but the other probability---

30 the lilting high that always follows---

31 makes the girl at the checkstand in the

32 supermarket look like

33 Marilyn

34 like Jackie before they got her Harvard lover


[Page 306]
35 like the girl in high school that we

36 all followed home.

37 there is that which helps you believe

38 in something else besides death:

39 somebody in a car approaching

40 on a street too narrow,

41 and he or she pulls aside to let you

42 by, or the old fighter Beau Jack

43 shining shoes

44 after blowing the entire bankroll

45 on parties

46 on women

47 on parasites,

48 humming, breathing on the leather,

49 working the rag

50 looking up and saying:

51 "what the hell, I had it for a

52 while. that beats the

53 other."

54 I am bitter sometimes

55 but the taste has often been

56 sweet. it's only that I've

57 feared to say it. it's like

58 when your woman says,

59 "tell me you love me," and

60 you can't.

61 if you see me grinning from

62 my blue Volks

63 running a yellow light

64 driving straight into the sun

65 I will be locked in the

66 arms of a

67 crazy life

68 thinking of trapeze artists

69 of midgets with big cigars

70 of a Russian winter in the early 40's

71 of Chopin with his bag of Polish soil
[Page 307]
72 of an old waitress bringing me an extra

73 cup of coffee and laughing

74 as she does so.

75 the best of you

76 I like more than you think.

77 the others don't count

78 except that they have fingers and heads

79 and some of them eyes

80 and most of them legs

81 and all of them

82 good and bad dreams

83 and a way to go.

84 justice is everywhere and it's working

85 and the machine guns and the frogs



86 and the hedges will tell you

87 so.
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