Sunday, March 27, 2011


I Am Visited by an Editor and a Poet
by Charles Bukowski
I had just won $115 from the headshakers and
was naked upon my bed
listening to an opera by one of the Italians
and had just gotten rid of a very loose lady
when there was a knock upon the wood,
and since the cops had just raided a month or 
so ago, I screamed out rather on edge—
who the hell is it? what you want, man?
I’m your publisher! somebody screamed back,
and I hollered, I don’t have a publisher,
try the place next door, and he screamed back,
you’re Charles Bukowski, aren’t you? and I got 
up and
peeked through the iron grill to make sure it 
wasn’t a cop,
and I placed a robe upon my nakedness,
kicked a beercan out of the way and bade them 
an editor and a poet.
only one would drink a beer (the editor)
so I drank two for the poet and one for myself
and they sat there sweating and watching me
and I sat there trying to explain
that I wasn’t really a poet in the ordinary 
I told them about the stockyards and the 
and the racetracks and the conditions of some 
of our jails,
and the editor suddenly pulled five magazines 
out of a portfolio
and tossed them in between the beercans
and we talked about Flowers of Evil, Rimbaud, 
and what some of the modern poets looked like:
J.B. May and Wolf the Hedley are very 
clean fingernails, etc.;
I apologized for the beercans, my beard, and 
everything on the floor
and pretty soon everybody was yawning
and the editor suddenly stood up and I said,
are you leaving?
and then the editor and the poet were walking 
out the door,
and then I thought well hell they might not 
have liked what they saw
but I’m not selling beercans and Italian opera 
and torn stockings under the bed and dirty 
I’m selling rhyme and life and line,
and I walked over and cracked a new can of beer
and I looked at the five magazines with my name 
on the cover and wondered what it meant,
wondered if we are writing poetry or all 
huddling in one big tent clasping assholes.