Bukowski is Dead and I Have Cut Him to Pieces or The Story of Kid Stardust

buk

 

 

I was no golden winged angel

but I hovered ten feet above the well-worn floor

I hovered ten feet over the man

with his stable, well-earned face

and his necktie of respectability

and a satisfied pipe

 

I get the big one first

and he kicks on his back like an angry whore

Out back every other night or so

A circle of faces

 

I wrap myself in their cold stares

Their drunken grins of grief

In bars where bartenders

serve poisoned laughter

 

Gershwin is on the radio

That radio with guts

Banging and praying to get out

I was wrong and graceless and sick

 

I was sweating on the bed

That mattress had seen the sex

and the arguments and the dreams

and the conversations

 

And I could hear the crickets

And there was a catfigtht outside

But I am a fighter, dammit

I’m nothing but guts

 

I used to be in the ring

I’ve fought the best

Boxing matches

are temples of learning

 

A boxer

A pugilist, an artist

A friend of Ernie’s

A friend of Picasso’s

 

The lines across my cheeks

My mangled ear

I had been in some fierce ones…

but never mind my face

 

I still have fast hands

They called me Kid Stardust

One part Legendary Stardust Cowboy

Three parts bad motherfucker

 

I fought in South America

I fought in Europe

I fought in Africa

I fought on the islands

The tank towns

 

Fighting is like writing

Revise

Revise

Revise, again and again

The fighters

The poets

 

Tighten your lines

like bolts holding the span of a 5 mile bridge

Snap and rip

energetic sentences

Lay the word down

bright and writhing

The stink of blood and murder

and talk of Christ

 

 

I put out my cigarette

and await some form of mercy or other

The cashiers at the racetrack scream,

The Poet Knows!!

 

But now the writer must

slowly remove his hands

from the keys

Even the pugilist must rest

 

There is nothing to do but drink

Play the horse

Bet on the poem

And dream of ruined insurance companies

 

There is nothing left to do but drink

as the young girls

become women

and dream of old Greta Garbo movies

 

There is nothing left to do but drink

as the machine guns

point toward me

crouched behind walls thinner than eyelids

 

 

There is nothing left to do but drink

and dream of the hooker with the pelican eye

Brass belly button

and ivory heart

 

There is nothing left to do but drink

Across the mattress on that bed

And dream of a rag in my mouth

and a bullet in my head

 

We don’t like you

people around here

The circle of faces

I wrap myself in their cold stares

Their drunken grins of grief

put there by bartenders

serving poisoned laughter

 

I ‘m not people.

I’m Kid Stardust

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