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



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14 and shellstars.

15 they might even

16 say


17 nice things about

18 me


19 as if I had

20 finally

21 come to my

22 senses.

[Page 156]
Bukowski, Charles:something [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977

(1977), Black Sparrow Press]


1 I'm out of matches.

2 the springs in my couch

3 are broken.

4 they stole my footlocker.

5 they stole my oil painting of

6 two pink eyes.

7 my car broke down.

8 eels climb my bathroom walls.

9 my love is broken.

10 but the stockmarket went up

11 today.

[Page 157]


Bukowski, Charles:a plate glass window [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems,

1974-1977 (1977), Black Sparrow Press]

1 dogs and angels are not

2 very different.

3 I often go to this place

4 to eat

5 about 2.30 in the afternoon

6 because all the people who eat

7 there are particularly addled

8 simply glad to be alive and

9 eating baked beans

10 near a plate glass window

11 which holds the heat

12 and doesn't let the cars and

13 sidewalks inside.

14 we are allowed as much free

15 coffee as we can drink

16 and we sit and quietly drink

17 the black strong coffee.

18 it is good to be sitting someplace

19 in a world at 2:30 in the afternoon

20 without having the flesh ripped from

21 your bones. even

22 being addled, we know this.

23 nobody bothers us

24 we bother nobody.

25 angels and dogs are not

26 very different

27 at 2:30 in the afternoon.

28 I have my favorite table

29 and after I have finished

30 I stack the plates, saucers,


[Page 158]
31 the cup, the silverware

32 neatly---

33 my offering to the luck---

34 and that sun

35 working good

36 all up and

37 down

38 inside the

39 darkness

40 here.


[Page 159]
Bukowski, Charles:junkies [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977

(1977), Black Sparrow Press]

1 "she shoots up in the neck," she told

2 me. I told her to stick it into my

3 ass and she tried and said, "oh oh,"

4 and I said, "what the hell's the matter?"

5 she said, "nothing, this is New York

6 style," and she jammed it in again and said,

7 "oh shit." I took it and put it into

8 my arm, I got part of it.

9 "I don't know why people

10 fuck with the stuff, there's not that

11 much to it. I think they're all losers

12 and they want to lose real bad. there's

13 no other way, it's like they can't

14 get where they're going or want to go

15 and there's no other way.

16 this has got to be it.

17 she shoots up in the neck."

18 "I know," I said. "I phoned her, she

19 could hardly talk, said it was

20 laryngitis. have some of this wine."

21 it was white wine and 4:30 a.m. and her

22 daughter was sleeping in the bedroom. she

23 had cable tv with no sound and

24 a large screen young John Wayne watched

25 us, and we neither kissed nor made

26 love and I left at 6:15 a.m.

27 after the beer and wine were gone

28 so her daughter wouldn't awaken for

29 school and find me sitting in

30 bed with her mother

31 with John Wayne and the night gone

32 and not much chance for anybody---

[Page 160]
Bukowski, Charles:99 to one [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977

(1977), Black Sparrow Press]

1 the blazing shark

2 wants my balls

3 as I walk through the meat section

4 looking for salami and cheese

5 purple housewives

6 fingering 75 cent avocados

7 know my shopping cart is an

8 oversized cock

9 I am a man with a switchball watch

10 standing in a honky-tonk phonebooth

11 sucking strawberry red titty

12 upsidedown in a Philadelphia crowd.

13 suddenly all about me are screams of

14 RAPE RAPE RAPE RAPE RAPE

15 and I am stiffing it to something beneath me

16 dyed red hair, bad breath, blue teeth

17 I used to like Monet

18 I used to like Monet very much

19 it was funny, I thought, the way he did it

20 with colors

21 women are so expensive

22 dog leashes are expensive

23 I am going to start selling air in dark orange bags

24 marked: moon-blooms

25 I used to like bottles full of blood

26 young girls in camel-hair coats

27 Prince Valiant

28 Popeye's magic touch


[Page 161]

29 the struggle is in the struggle

30 like a corkscrew

31 a good man doesn't get cork in the wine

32 the thought has occurred to millions of men

33 while shaving

34 the removal of life might be preferred to

35 the removal of hair

36 spit out cotton and clean your rearview

37 mirror, run like you mean it, drunk jock,

38 the whores will win, the fools will win,

39 but break like a horse out of the gate.

[Page 162]
Bukowski, Charles:the crunch [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977

(1977), Black Sparrow Press]

1 too much

2 too little

3 too fat

4 too thin

5 or nobody.

6 laughter or

7 tears

8 haters

9 lovers

10 strangers with faces like

11 the backs of

12 thumb tacks

13 armies running through

14 streets of blood

15 waving winebottles

16 bayoneting and fucking

17 virgins.

18 or an old guy in a cheap room

19 with a photograph of M. Monroe.

20 there is a loneliness in this world so great

21 that you can see it in the slow movement of

22 the hands of a clock.

23 people so tired

24 mutilated

25 either by love or no love.

26 people just are not good to each other

27 one on one.
[Page 163]

28 the rich are not good to the rich

29 the poor are not good to the poor.

30 we are afraid.

31 our educational system tells us

32 that we can all be

33 big-ass winners.

34 it hasn't told us

35 about the gutters

36 or the suicides.

37 or the terror of one person

38 aching in one place

39 alone

40 untouched

41 unspoken to

42 watering a plant.

43 people are not good to each other.

44 people are not good to each other.

45 people are not good to each other.

46 I suppose they never will be.

47 I don't ask them to be.

48 but sometimes I think about

49 it.

50 the beads will swing

51 the clouds will cloud

52 and the killer will behead the child

53 like taking a bite out of an ice cream cone.

54 too much

55 too little
[Page 164]
56 too fat

57 too thin

58 or nobody

59 more haters than lovers.

60 people are not good to each other.

61 perhaps if they were

62 our deaths would not be so sad.

63 meanwhile I look at young girls

64 stems

65 flowers of chance.

66 there must be a way.

67 surely there must be a way we have not yet

68 thought of.

69 who put this brain inside of me?

70 it cries

71 it demands

72 it says that there is a chance.

73 it will not say

74 "no."

[Page 165]


Bukowski, Charles:a horse with greenblue eyes [from Love is a Dog from Hell:

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

1 what you see is what you see:

2 madhouses are rarely

3 on display.

4 that we still walk about and

5 scratch ourselves and light

6 cigarettes

7 is more the miracle

8 than bathing beauties

9 than roses and the moth.

10 to sit in a small room

11 and drink a can of beer

12 and roll a cigarette

13 while listening to Brahms

14 on a small red radio

15 is to have come back

16 from a dozen wars

17 alive

18 listening to the sound

19 of the refrigerator

20 as bathing beauties rot

21 and the oranges and apples

22 roll away.

[Page 167]

3


Scarlet

[Page 169]


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

(1977), Black Sparrow Press]

1 I'm glad when they arrive

2 and I'm glad when they leave

3 I'm glad when I hear their heels

4 approaching my door

5 and I'm glad when those heels

6 walk away

7 I'm glad to fuck

8 I'm glad to care

9 and I'm glad when it's over

10 and


11 since it's always either

12 starting or finishing

13 I'm glad

14 most of the time

15 and the cats walk up and down

16 and the earth spins around the sun

17 and the phone rings:

18 "this is Scarlet."

19 "who?"

20 "Scarlet."

21 "o.k., get it on over."

22 and I hang up thinking

23 maybe this is it

24 go in

25 take a quick shit

26 shave


[Page 170]

27 bathe

28 dress

29 dump the sacks

30 and cartons of empty

31 bottles

32 sit down to the sound of

33 heels approaching

34 more an army approaching than

35 victory

36 it's Scarlet

37 and in my kitchen the faucet

38 keeps dripping

39 needs a washer.

40 I'll take care of it

41 later.

[Page 171]
Bukowski, Charles:red up and down [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems,

1974-1977 (1977), Black Sparrow Press]

1 red hair

2 real


3 she whirled it

4 and she asked

5 "is my ass still on?"

6 such comedy.

7 there is always one woman

8 to save you from another

9 and as that woman saves you

10 she makes ready to

11 destroy.

12 "sometimes I hate you,"

13 she said.

14 she walked out and sat on

15 my porch and read my copy

16 of Catullus, she stayed out

17 there for an hour.

18 people walked up and down

19 past my place

20 wondering where such an ugly

21 old man could get

22 such beauty.

23 I didn't know either.

24 when she walked in I grabbed

25 her and pulled her to my lap.

26 I lifted my glass and told

27 her, "drink this."
[Page 172]

28 "oh," she said, "you've mixed

29 wine with Jim Beam, you're gonna

30 get nasty."

31 "you henna your hair, don't

32 you?"

33 "you don't look," she said and

34 stood up and pulled down her

35 slacks and panties and

36 the hair down there was the

37 same as the hair

38 up there.

39 Catullus himself couldn't have wished

40 for more historic or

41 wondrous grace;

42 then he went

43 goofy

44 for tender boys

45 not mad enough

46 to become

47 women.

[Page 173]


Bukowski, Charles:like a flower in the rain [from Love is a Dog from Hell:

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


1 I cut the middle fingernail of the middle

2 finger

3 right hand

4 real short

5 and I began rubbing along her cunt

6 as she sat upright in bed

7 spreading lotion over her arms

8 face


9 and breasts

10 after bathing.

11 then she lit a cigarette:

12 "don't let this put you off,"

13 and smoked and continued to rub the

14 lotion on.

15 I continued to rub the cunt.

16 "you want an apple?" I asked.

17 "sure," she said, "you got one?"

18 but I got to her---

19 she began to twist

20 then she rolled on her side,

21 she was getting wet and open

22 like a flower in the rain.

23 then she rolled on her stomach

24 and her most beautiful ass

25 looked up at me

26 and I reached under and got the

27 cunt again.

28 she reached around and got my

29 cock, she rolled and twisted,

30 I mounted

31 my face falling into the mass

32 of red hair that overflowed

33 from her head

34 and my fattened cock entered

35 into the miracle.
[Page 174]
36 later we joked about the lotion

37 and the cigarette and the apple.

38 then I went out and got some chicken

39 and shrimp and french fries and buns

40 and mashed potatoes and gravy and

41 cole slaw, and we ate. she told me

42 how good she felt and I told her

43 how good I felt and we ate

44 the chicken and the shrimp and the

45 french fries and the buns and the

46 mashed potatoes and the gravy and

47 the cole slaw too.

[Page 175]
Bukowski, Charles:light brown [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977

(1977), Black Sparrow Press]

1 light brown stare

2 that dumb blank marvelous

3 light brown stare

4 I'll take care of

5 it.

6 you needn't carry me



7 anymore

8 with your Cleopatra

9 movie star

10 tricks

11 do you realize

12 that if I were an adding machine

13 I might break down

14 tabulating

15 how many times you've used

16 that light brown stare?

17 not that you're not the best

18 with your light brown stare.

19 someday some crazy son of a bitch

20 is going to murder you

21 and you'll cry out my name

22 you'll finally know

23 what you should have known

24 so very long

25 ago.

[Page 176]


Bukowski, Charles:huge ear rings [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977

(1977), Black Sparrow Press]

1 I go to pick her up.

2 she's on some errand.

3 she always has errands

4 many things to do.

5 I have nothing to do.

6 she comes out of her apartment

7 I see her move toward my car

8 she is barefooted

9 dressed casually

10 except for huge ear rings.

11 I light a cigarette

12 and when I look up

13 she is stretched out on the street

14 a quite busy street

15 all 112 pounds of her

16 as beautiful as anything you might

17 imagine.

18 I switch on the radio

19 and wait for her to get up.

20 she does.

21 I flip the car door open.

22 she gets in. I drive away from the

23 curb. she likes the song on the radio

24 she turns the radio up.

25 she seems to like all the songs

26 she seems to know all the songs


[Page 177]

27 each time I see her she looks better

28 and better

29 200 years ago they would have burned her

30 at the stake

31 now she puts on her

32 mascara as we

33 drive along.

[Page 178]
Bukowski, Charles:she came out of the bathroom with her flaming red hair and

said--- [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977 (1977), Black Sparrow

Press]

1 the cops want me to come down and identify



2 some guy who tried to rape me.

3 I've lost the key to my car again; I've got

4 the key to open the door but not the one

5 to start it.

6 those people are trying to take my child

7 away from me but I won't let them.

8 Rochelle almost o.d.'d, then she went at

9 Harry with something, and he punched her.

10 she's had those cracked ribs, you know,

11 and one of them punctured her lung. she's

12 down at the county under a machine.

13 where's my comb?

14 your comb has all that guck in it.

15 I told her,

16 I haven't seen your

17 comb.


[Page 179]
Bukowski, Charles:a killer [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977

(1977), Black Sparrow Press]

1 consistency is terrific:

2 shark-mouth

3 grubby interior with an

4 almost perfect body,

5 long blazing hair---

6 it confuses me

7 and others

8 she runs from man to man

9 offering endearments

10 she speaks of love

11 then breaks each man

12 to her will

13 shark-mouthed

14 grubby interior

15 we see it too late:

16 after the cock gets swallowed

17 the heart follows

18 her long blazing hair

19 her almost perfect body

20 walks down the street

21 as the same sun

22 falls upon flowers.

[Page 180]
Bukowski, Charles:longshot [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977

(1977), Black Sparrow Press]

1 she's not for you, man,

2 she's not your type,

3 she's erased

4 she's been used

5 she's got all the wrong

6 habits,

7 he told me

8 in between races.

9 I'm going to bet the 4

10 horse, I told him.

11 well, it's only that I'd

12 like to turn her around

13 in mid-stream,

14 save her, you might say.

15 you can't save her, he said,

16 you're 55, you need kindness.

17 I'm going to bet the 6 horse.

18 you're not the one to save

19 her.

20 who can save her? I asked.

21 I don't think the 6 has a

22 chance, I like the 4.

23 she needs somebody to beat her

24 from wall to wall, he said,

25 kick her ass, she'd love

26 it. she'd stay home and

27 wash the dishes.

28 the 6 horse will be in

29 the running.

30 I'm no good at beating women,

31 I said.
[Page 181]

32 forget her then, he said.

33 it's hard to, I said.

34 he got up and bet the 6

35 and I got up and bet the 4.

36 the 5 horse won

37 by 3 lengths

38 at 15 to one.

39 she's got red hair

40 like lightning from heaven,

41 I said.

42 forget her, he said.

43 we tore up our tickets

44 and stared at the lake

45 in the center of the track.

46 it was going to be

47 a long afternoon

48 for both of us.

[Page 182]
Bukowski, Charles:the promise [from Love is a Dog from Hell: Poems, 1974-1977

(1977), Black Sparrow Press]


1 she bent over the side of the bed

2 and opened the portfolio

3 along the side of the wall.

4 we were drinking.

5 she said, "you promised me these

6 paintings once, don't you

7 remember?"

8 "what? no, no, I don't remember."

9 "well, you did," she said, "and you

10 ought to keep your promises."

11 "leave those fucking paintings alone,"

12 I said.

13 then I walked into the kitchen for

14 a beer. I paused to vomit

15 and when I came out

16 I saw her through my window

17 going down the court walk

18 toward her place in back.

19 she was trying to hurry

20 and balanced on top of her head

21 were 40 paintings:

22 oils

23 black and whites

24 acrylics

25 water colors.

26 she stumbled once and almost

27 fell on her ass.

28 then she ran up her steps

29 and was gone through her door

30 to her place upstairs

31 running with all those paintings

32 on top of her head.

33 it was one of the funniest damned

34 things I ever did see.


[Page 183]
35 well, I guess I'll just have to

36 paint 40 more.

[Page 184]
Bukowski, Charles:waving and waving goodbye [from Love is a Dog from Hell:

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

1 I paid this one's fare all the way from Houston

2 to San Francisco

3 then flew up to meet her at her brother's house

4 and I got drunk

5 and talked all night about a redhead, and

6 she finally said, "you sleep up there,"

7 and I climbed the ladder

8 up into a bunk and she slept

9 down there.

10 the next day they drove me to the airport

11 and I flew back, thinking, well,

12 there's still the redhead and when I got back in

13 I phoned the redhead and said, "I'm back, baby,

14 I flew up to see this woman and I talked about

15 you all night, so here I am ..."

16 "well, why don't you fly back up and finish

17 the job?" she said and hung up.

18 then I got drunk and the phone rang

19 and they said they were

20 two ladies from Germany and they'd like

21 to see me.

22 so they came over and one was 20 and the

23 other was 22. I told them that my heart

24 had been smashed for the last time and

25 that I was giving up women. they laughed

26 at me and we drank and smoked and went to

27 bed together.

28 I got this thing in front of me and

29 first I grabbed one and then I grabbed the

30 other.


[Page 185]

31 I finally settled on the 22 year old and

32 ate her up.

33 they stayed 2 days and 2 nights

34 but I never got to the 20 year old,

35 she was on tampax.

36 I finally drove them to Sherman Oaks

37 and they stood at the foot of a long

38 driveway

39 waving and waving goodbye as I backed

40 my Volks out.

41 when I got back there was a letter from a

42 lady in Eureka. she said that she wanted me

43 to fuck her until she couldn't

44 walk anymore.

45 I stretched out and whacked-off

46 thinking about a little girl I had seen

47 on a red bicycle about a week ago.

48 then I took a bath and put on my green

49 terrycloth robe just in time to get the fights

50 on tv from the Olympic.

51 there was a black and a Chicano in there.

52 that always made a good fight.

53 and it was a good idea too:

54 put them in there and let them kill each

55 other.

56 I watched the whole fight

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