I was on the fading edge of wakefulness when he told me he bought a handgun— then asked does that bother you? I hesitantly answered no— but honestly? it had not had time to sink in you know in case there is a coup he added Later as he fucked me I looked in his eyes hoping to see a killer— thinking it...

bukowski

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back in the 70s back in LA I knew of him as the uncouth Christ of the drunk-again alcoholics the naked emperor of young trendy-cafe chefs and of the intellectual and the pseudo-intellectual trust-fund kids who wished to be like him by living in decrepit houses the lawns of which they littered with rusting appliances somewhere in the unorthodox mix of the booze and the sorting...

after

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the publication of my latest book, i looked at the short stack of poems that remained in a pile on my desk. i threw them out. free, at last, i turned to the keyboard and smiled.

Peggy

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had a tooth missing in front, and when she talked, it made a whistle. Peggy Whistle was 43, loved Scotch, and worked nights at the D&J Diner. she also loved her little dog, Blue. Blue came to work with her and slept on a ratty old pillow in the back, lifting his head up every time the door opened and the bell above it rang. Peggy never whistled any tunes, although you can’t say she didn’t...
suicide was a gorgeous woman I desired she was like bubblegum that got stuck to the bottom of my shoe I peeled her off with a knife

out of order

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I made a list who to shoot first my fuck-you gun fully loaded I lost my list no order now so step right up fuck yous for free fuck you racists fuck you fascists fuck you maga’s fuck you nazis fuck all of you America does not want you go fuck yourselves
I stood in a parking lot and I breathed evenly through my nose as the sky passed slowly over head and the nauseating machines pumped juice out of the ground and I had my arms spread like Christ against a fence. "I really can't stand this place," said a voice in my brain like a...

Regrets

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Those who say they have no regrets are fucking liars & the people who believe them are fucking stupid. Regret free, fucking liars lie to themselves because they are so fucked up they can’t tell themselves the truth— that they are in fucking denial about being pretentious liars & fucking cowards afraid to admit they regret their fucking actions & for being so stupid. Do I have regrets? I could go...
Pathetic, pathetic, pathetic. The recurring theme of the 'plasti' poets. Millions sitting in ill-fitting poetry sites, and vacuum-laden forums making hydrogenated-fatty comments broadcast through a dispassionate, torpid ether, or stuffed into serpentine fiber-optic cables emitting lard laden signals that slow down and clog ever-bored photons grudgingly carrying this vacuous data to burned out screens just to display sent, read,...
I don't know if the guy sitting next to me heard me try to apologize for accidentally moving his car magazines and taking his spot obnoxious hrrr of the espresso machine I had to talk over one at the books a million reading with Dennis who showed up drunk right in front of my grandparents Hershey zinging sunlight and...

in the park

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no one takes any notice of me, if I speak my truth it’s just a junkie garbling nonsense a disease carrying scum chasing tracks another fuckin’ wino, soiling his pants, watching clouds roll by hear what I’m saying cos you could be me like I was you before a couple of wrong turns, barely a misstep at first it happens slowly then you watch it...
My genitalia are exposed, outside of my body, dangling. Don’t ask me to be vulnerable. How do you think I feel? My private parts are not inside my body, like yours, protected by sinew & fat.

Blackout Sex

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you could break a bone you can’t see I decide it’s worth the risk after hours of blackout boredom maybe the candlelight has gotten her in the mood too but how to go about asking hey I’m really bored so you wanna have sex with me? the neighbors will probably hear! don't knock the candle over!! I...

Self Promotion

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I am higher on the evolutionary scale. I will not ask you to shave my back. My cutting-edge smooth cheeks will not scratch you when we nuzzle. My highly developed hairless chest will not scrape your nipples when I am doing the missionary, while you are being converted. But if we go camping inside your tent I cannot promise not to howl.

Dark Chocolate

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Mary's brother, Ethan, is intrigue through a secret splinter. I gawk at him sketching his hands while his ears pour wire. He would taste me. But I'm in love with the raw pink under his blistered fingers, the tap dancing callouses chipping away at their dusty recycled plane. I only want to be the genius in the dark chocolate...
I just got a rejection I checked the status of my submission and it said "rejected" I had been checking and checking the status and it had kept saying "in review" I like "rejected" better than "in review" I don't like the feeling of being unsure now I can say they don't know what they're talking about
Always backfires. Better be a bastard To everyone, Gaining respect And recognition, Not to mention A phantom lover, Since for you Love is the acceptance Of mutual abuse, A cancer, Whether benign Or malignant, Eating away The core self. The solipsist asks, Why love someone else When you can Love yourself? The schizophrenic Responds with Multiple answers.

POET-ALLS

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all these poems with attitude a big huge middle finger raised in the second stanza I don't really care about what you're so upset about read a psalm that's the other thing they're always pickin' on Jesus still pickin on Him just like at Golgotha I'm happy just to order a pizza wait for the mail...

The Exxon Poems

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I came there because nothing was happening so did everybody else and this is what transpired... seeds praying somewhere in the hard gravel of Exxon like quicksand ex cons they got away with most of their shit the cops could never figure you out which one did what because they had the same name The fuzz would show up at...

one of my first

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publishers is retired and living in France. he’s on his second wife and lives on a farm in the country. every now and then he sends me these long, long e-mails talking about the wine, the food, the people and how much he loves his life since he ditched the first wife, gave up writing and moved away. in relative terms he’s on the near side of rich... i...

Last Call

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For John Morton with love. Pink amoeba, puddle of puke on a sour sidewalk at four in the morning; rejected booze and bar food, violent explosion of shots and wings; last call for night birds.
the other night I coughed so hard I blacked out I enjoyed it because for a few seconds I got a break it was horrible coming back tho— like being born out of a woman’s ass

My Misfortune

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began when I believed Cogito, ergo sum made sense.
I sent Bukowski some poems, one of which was “Twisted Living” (a 3-pager that later appeared in Hung). He re-wrote “Twisted Living” and titled it “I Know What Love Is” and sent it back to me. He didn’t add anything; he just subtracted. —Douglas Goodwin   I worried about the woman who...
crazy days. little drops of nostalgia drooping through the faucets of my brain. i remember growing up in a good home. how they kept jamming into me the philosophy of the working man (out of love and concern for my well-being, my mother used to say). now i am a workingman and there's hardly any work out there for me. i...

Poems of Germany

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In 1984, I went to Germany for the first time. Not knowing much German, I became homesick quite soon and, largely bereft of companionship, settled in with my notebook and resigned myself to composing the following poems. Thanks, Germany I have not yet had a poem accepted by The American Poetry Review, but...
another fucking boring night of light blue ripples of poolwater dumb white lights over steam haze black night snooze and what's left of the cheap beer my wife's been passed out for three hours I drank the good wine in the sun of the afternoon that feels like a thousand days ago I'm listening to some lounge chair...
William: capitalist fraud like your sister—all love and light broadcast podcast of pillaged Eastern wisdom pawned on women in two hundred dollar yoga pants with extra ass padding and a scent guard crotch acrobatic fuck he is spent but my energy is still buzzing I never learned the names of pressure points I just know I just feel I press blind on his palm and wrist release then pull each finger slowly he moans "oh my god Jennifer it is like you are pulling out all of the unnecessary...

absence

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sometimes strikes like a bat slicing through the dark with its wings cunning and weightless cutting through like a blade tearing the flesh apart exposing the bones this terrible void staring from the closet lying there, between the clothes slowly sucking at everything like a vacuum whispers that a voice a mere voice could restore order and you reach for the sparrow and the butterfly knowing they will...
I’m down to $34 I've checked for the government stimulus check 7,000 times it’s almost like it doesn’t want to enter my bank account does it think I’ll waste it on cigarettes? I didn’t raise the taxes on cigarettes so it’s not my fault if that happens it will be the stimulus check’s parents who...

Ambition

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The directions on the shampoo bottle: “Wet hair thoroughly before applying.” Someone got paid for that? Why not me? Here’s my resume. Published Poet. Will work for food.

Alone Poem

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As I lie the hand strokes                 smooth as the inside of a girl’s thigh                 touched And yes the hard flesh                handed        tracking these sheets is lonely as the sun-warmed           beach sand brushed                              from her body                              softly As I alone         stand firm                  tracing         this image         the clean lines                        only

I fucked the poet

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He was there at the mic with a glow behind his head like a literary god, so I fucked him. Me, two other women, and this bisexual guy named Frank. It was five-bod-fuck and very poetic: Frank got the whole thing on tape for a project he was doing on bisexual poets and...
I need to fall asleep to the thought of a pretty girl the world is gross and doesn't care the TV mutilates my vomit comes out before I can get to the toilet it's always time for my pills people get out of their cars like assassins but the pretty girl brings toasted English muffins...