Trollius and trellises

By Charles Bukowski 1920–1994 Charles Bukowski
of course, I may die in the next ten minutes
and I’m ready for that
but what I’m really worried about is
that my editor-publisher might retire
even though he is ten years younger than
I.
it was just 25 years ago (I was at that ripe
old age of 45)
when we began our unholy alliance to
test the literary waters,
neither of us being much
known.

I think we had some luck and still have some
of same
yet
the odds are pretty fair
that he will opt for warm and pleasant
afternoons
in the garden
long before I.

writing is its own intoxication
while publishing and editing,
attempting to collect bills
carries its own
attrition
which also includes dealing with the
petty bitchings and demands
of many
so-called genius darlings who are
not.

I won’t blame him for getting
out
and hope he sends me photos of his
Rose Lane, his
Gardenia Avenue.

will I have to seek other
promulgators?
that fellow in the Russian
fur hat?
or that beast in the East
with all that hair
in his ears, with those wet and
greasy lips?

or will my editor-publisher
upon exiting for that world of Trollius and
trellis
hand over the
machinery
of his former trade to a
cousin, a
daughter or
some Poundian from Big
Sur?

or will he just pass the legacy on
to the
Shipping Clerk
who will rise like
Lazarus,
fingering new-found
importance?

one can imagine terrible
things:
“Mr. Chinaski, all your work
must now be submitted in
Rondo form
and
typed
triple-spaced on rice
paper.”

power corrupts,
life aborts
and all you
have left
is a
bunch of
warts.

“no, no, Mr. Chinaski:
Rondo form!”

“hey, man,” I’ll ask,
“haven’t you heard of
the thirties?”

“the thirties? what’s
that?”

my present editor-publisher
and I
at times
did discuss the thirties,
the Depression
and
some of the little tricks it
taught us—
like how to endure on almost
nothing
and move forward
anyhow.

well, John, if it happens enjoy your
divertissement to
plant husbandry,
cultivate and aerate
between
bushes, water only in the
early morning, spread
shredding to discourage
weed growth
and
as I do in my writing:
use plenty of
manure.

and thank you
for locating me there at
5124 DeLongpre Avenue
somewhere between
alcoholism and
madness.

together we
laid down the gauntlet
and there are takers
even at this late date
still to be
found
as the fire sings
through the
trees.

"Trollius and trellises" by Charles Bukowski, from The Last Night of the Earth Poems. Copyright © 1992 by Charles Bukowski. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, www.harpercollins.com.

Source: Run With the Hunted: A Charles Bukowski Reader (HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 1993)

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Poet Charles Bukowski 1920–1994

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Subjects Growing Old, Arts & Sciences, Living, Poetry & Poets

Poetic Terms Elegy, 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, Arts & Sciences, Living, Poetry & Poets

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Poetic Terms Elegy, Free Verse

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