my best friend

CHARLES BUKOWSKI

bukowski

BY CHARLES BUKOWSKI


dragging a cardboard suitcase
to the marching music of roominghouse
rats
it was always too hot or too freezing
fucking cold

and the young ladies were in love with
the warriors for the
dollar
and I was dragging the cardboard suitcase
through Texas, Arizona, Louisiana,
Georgia, Florida, South Carolina

I was nuts
I was on the fritz
couldn’t face the
obvious
ended up sucking on
gin
on the dirty matresses of
nowhere
getting the bedbugs alcoholic
too

I made suicide plans and
failed,
ended up with tiny
drudge
jobs
the hours like targets blown to
bits by somebody who
didn’t care
by somebody
more clever than myself.
I couldn’t go to god to
get me
out of
that
but
god
I emptied
bottles

hundreds and hundreds of
bottles
down the rivers of
nowhere

and you can say
what you want to
about the evils of
drink
but without
it
I never could have
faced
those foremen with their
rodent eyes and
small
foreheads

those workers
contented with
holidays and group
insurance

the actual
human slavery
of men who didn’t
know
that they were
slaves
who
really felt
that they were the
chosen.

it was the bottle
and only
the bottle
and all the
bottles
that got me through
all that.

each day
dreaming about night
when I’d be back
in my room again
shoes
off
stretched out on the bed
in the dark
unscrewing the cap from the bottle
taking that first good
hit

letting the rot
the decay
drop
away

lighting a
cigarette and
loving the walls
and the light of the
moon
through the
window

I inhaled the
dirty
game
and then
exhaled it
all away
like
that

then reaching again
for the
bottle

not being
weak
but
strong:

taking that great
hit

setting the bottle down
again:

each man
beats
the odds
in a different
fashion.

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