Charles Bukowski Short Poems | Poetry

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Charles Bukowski | Short Famous Poems and Poets

 
by Charles Bukowski

Love and Fame and Death

 it sits outside my window now
like and old woman going to market;
it sits and watches me,
it sweats nevously
through wire and fog and dog-bark
until suddenly
I slam the screen with a newspaper
like slapping at a fly
and you could hear the scream
over this plain city,
and then it left.
the way to end a poem like this is to become suddenly quiet.


by Charles Bukowski

As The Sparrow

 To give life you must take life,
and as our grief falls flat and hollow
upon the billion-blooded sea
I pass upon serious inward-breaking shoals rimmed
with white-legged, white-bellied rotting creatures
lengthily dead and rioting against surrounding scenes.
Dear child, I only did to you what the sparrow did to you; I am old when it is fashionable to be young; I cry when it is fashionable to laugh.
I hated you when it would have taken less courage to love.


by Charles Bukowski

Poem For My 43rd Birthday

 To end up alone
in a tomb of a room
without cigarettes
or wine--
just a lightbulb
and a potbelly,
grayhaired,
and glad to have
the room.
.
.
.
in the morning they're out there making money: judges, carpenters, plumbers, doctors, newsboys, policemen, barbers, carwashers, dentists, florists, waitresses, cooks, cabdrivers.
.
.
and you turn over to your left side to get the sun on your back and out of your eyes.
from "All's Normal Here" - 1985


by Charles Bukowski

Trapped

 in the winter on my
ceiling my eyes the size of street-
lamps.
I have 4 feet like a mouse but wash my own underwear-bearded and hungover and a hard-on and no lawyer.
I have a face like a washrag.
I sing love songs and carry steel.
I would rather die than cry.
I can't stand hounds can't live without them.
I hang my head against the white refrigerator and want to scream like the last weeping of life forever but I am bigger then the mountains.


by Charles Bukowski

These Things

 these things that we support most well 
have nothing to do with up, 
and we do with them 
out of boredom or fear or money 
or cracked intelligence; 
our circle and our candle of light 
being small, 
so small we cannot bear it, 
we heave out with Idea 
and lose the Center: 
all wax without the wick, 
and we see names that once meant 
wisdom, 
like signs into ghost towns, 
and only the graves are real.


by Charles Bukowski

So Now?

 the words have come and gone,
I sit ill.
the phone rings, the cats sleep.
Linda vacuums.
I am waiting to live, waiting to die.
I wish I could ring in some bravery.
it's a lousy fix but the tree outside doesn't know: I watch it moving with the wind in the late afternoon sun.
there's nothing to declare here, just a waiting.
each faces it alone.
Oh, I was once young, Oh, I was once unbelievably young! from Transit magazine, 1994


by Charles Bukowski

A Challenge To The Dark

 shot in the eye 
shot in the brain 
shot in the ass 
shot like a flower in the dance 

amazing how death wins hands down 
amazing how much credence is given to idiot forms of life 

amazing how laughter has been drowned out 
amazing how viciousness is such a constant 

I must soon declare my own war on their war 
I must hold to my last piece of ground 
I must protect the small space I have made that has allowed me life 

my life not their death 
my death not their death.
.
.


by Charles Bukowski

And The Moon And The Stars And The World

 Long walks at night-- 
that's what good for the soul: 
peeking into windows 
watching tired housewives 
trying to fight off 
their beer-maddened husbands.


by Charles Bukowski

Luck

 once
we were young
at this
machine.
.
.
drinking smoking typing it was a most splendid miraculous time still is only now instead of moving toward time it moves toward us makes each word drill into the paper clear fast hard feeding a closing space.


by Charles Bukowski

Its Ours

 there is always that space there 
just before they get to us 
that space 
that fine relaxer 
the breather 
while say 
flopping on a bed 
thinking of nothing 
or say 
pouring a glass of water from the 
spigot 
while entranced by 
nothing 

that 
gentle pure 
space 

it's worth 

centuries of 
existence 

say 

just to scratch your neck 
while looking out the window at 
a bare branch 

that space 
there 
before they get to us 
ensures 
that 
when they do 
they won't 
get it all 

ever.


by Charles Bukowski

Cause And Effect

 the best often die by their own hand
just to get away,
and those left behind
can never quite understand
why anybody
would ever want to
get away
from
them


by Charles Bukowski

I Met A Genius

 I met a genius on the train
today
about 6 years old,
he sat beside me
and as the train 
ran down along the coast
we came to the ocean
and then he looked at me
and said,
it's not pretty.
it was the first time I'd realized that.


by Charles Bukowski

Finish

 We are like roses that have never bothered to
bloom when we should have bloomed and
it is as if
the sun has become disgusted with
waiting


by Charles Bukowski

Jane Icin (For Jane - In Turkish)

 cimen altinda gecen 225 gunden sonra benden daha cok sey biliyor olmalisin.
kanini emip bitireli epey oldu, artik bir sepetteki kuru bir cubuksun.
bu isler boyle mi oluyor? bu odada hala ask saatlerinin golgeleri var.
birakip gittiginde asagi yukari herseyi alip gittin.
geceleri beni ben olmaya koymayan kaplanlarin onunde diz cokuyorum.
senin sen olman asla bir daha olmayacak.
kaplanlar beni buldular ama artik umurumda bile degil.
translated by somebody


by Charles Bukowski

Poetry

 it
takes
a lot of 
desperation 
dissatisfaction 
and 
disillusion 
to 
write 
a 
few
good
poems.
it's not for everybody either to write it or even to read it.


by Charles Bukowski

For Jane

 225 days under grass
and you know more than I.
they have long taken your blood, you are a dry stick in a basket.
is this how it works? in this room the hours of love still make shadows.
when you left you took almost everything.
I kneel in the nights before tigers that will not let me be.
what you were will not happen again.
the tigers have found me and I do not care.


by Charles Bukowski

Sway With Me

 sway with me, everything sad --
madmen in stone houses
without doors,
lepers steaming love and song
frogs trying to figure
the sky;
sway with me, sad things --
fingers split on a forge
old age like breakfast shell
used books, used people
used flowers, used love
I need you
I need you
I need you:
it has run away
like a horse or a dog,
dead or lost
or unforgiving.


by Charles Bukowski

Working Out

 Van Gogh cut off his ear
gave it to a
prostitute
who flung it away in
extreme
disgust.
Van, whores don't want ears they want money.
I guess that's why you were such a great painter: you didn't understand much else.


by Charles Bukowski

As The Poems Go

 as the poems go into the thousands you
realize that you've created very
little.
it comes down to the rain, the sunlight, the traffic, the nights and the days of the years, the faces.
leaving this will be easier than living it, typing one more line now as a man plays a piano through the radio, the best writers have said very little and the worst, far too much.
from ONTHEBUS - 1992


by Charles Bukowski

Rain Or Shine

 the vultures at the zoo
(all three of the)
sit very quietly in their
caged tree
and below
on the ground
are chunks of rotten meat.
the vultures are over-full.
our taxes have fed them well.
we move on to the next cage.
a man is in there sitting on the ground eating his own shit.
i recognize him as our former mailman.
his favorite expression had been: "have a beautiful day.
" that day i did.


by Charles Bukowski

8 Count

 from my bed
I watch
3 birds
on a telephone
wire.
one flies off.
then another.
one is left, then it too is gone.
my typewriter is tombstone still.
and I am reduced to bird watching.
just thought I'd let you know, fucker.


by Charles Bukowski

Trapped

 don't undress my love
you might find a mannequin:
don't undress the mannequin 
you might find
my love.
she's long ago forgotten me.
she's trying on a new hat and looks more the coquette than ever.
she is a child and a mannequin and death.
I can't hate that.
she didn't do anything unusual.
I only wanted her to.


by Charles Bukowski

On The Fire Suicides Of The Buddhists

 "They only burn themselves to reach Paradise"
 - Mne.
Nhu original courage is good, motivation be damned, and if you say they are trained to feel no pain, are they guarenteed this? is it still not possible to die for somebody else? you sophisticates who lay back and make statements of explanation, I have seen the red rose burning and this means more.


by Charles Bukowski

The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth

 if I suffer at this
typewriter
think how I'd feel
among the lettuce-
pickers of Salinas? 
I think of the men
I've known in
factories
with no way to
get out-
choking while living
choking while laughing
at Bob Hope or Lucille
Ball while 
2 or 3 children beat
tennis balls against 
the wall.
some suicides are never recorded.


by Charles Bukowski

Short Order

 I took my girlfriend to your last poetry reading,
she said.
yes, yes? I asked.
she's young and pretty, she said.
and? I asked.
she hated your guts.
then she stretched out on the couch and pulled off her boots.
I don't have very good legs, she said.
all right, I thought, I don't have very good poetry; she doesn't have very good legs.
scramble two.