x-pug

By Charles Bukowski 1920–1994 Charles Bukowski
he hooked to the body hard
took it well
and loved to fight
had seven in a row and a small fleck
over one eye,
and then he met a kid from Camden
with arms thin as wires—
it was a good one,
the safe lions roared and threw money;
they were both up and down many times,
but he lost that one
and he lost the rematch
in which neither of them fought at all,
hanging on to each other like lovers through the boos,
and now he’s over at Mike’s
changing tires and oil and batteries,
the fleck over the eye
still young,
but you don’t ask him,
you don’t ask him anything
except maybe
you think it’s going to rain?
or
you think the sun’s gonna come out?
to which he’ll usually answer
hell no,
but you’ll have your important tank of gas
and drive off.

"x-pug" by Charles Bukowski, from Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame: Selected Poems 1955-1973. Copyright © 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1974 by Charles Bukowski. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, www.harpercollins.com.

Source: Burning in Water Drowning in Flame: Selected Poems 1955-1973 (Black Sparrow Press, 1996)

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Poet Charles Bukowski 1920–1994

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Subjects Growing Old, Health & Illness, Living, Activities

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Charles  Bukowski

Biography

Charles Bukowski was a prolific underground writer who used his his poetry and prose to depict the depravity of urban life and the downtrodden in American society. A cult hero, Bukowski relied on experience, emotion, and imagination in his work, using direct language and violent and sexual imagery. While some critics found his style offensive, others claimed that Bukowski satirized the machismo attitude through his routine use . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Growing Old, Health & Illness, Living, Activities

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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