By Charles Bukowski

The fuel line is leaking, the chicken is long gone from the

cage, the skyline is dotted with vultures;

Benny ultimately obtained off the stuff and Betty now has a job

as a waitress; and

the chimney sweep was once fairly tender as he

giggled up via the

soot.

I walked miles during the urban and recognized

not anything as an incredible claw ate at my

abdominal whereas the interior of my head felt

ethereal as though i used to be approximately to go

mad.

it's now not loads that not anything means

something yet extra that it retains meaning

nothing,

there's no unencumber, simply authorities and self-

appointed gods and hucksters.

the extra humans say, the fewer there's to say.

even the simplest books are dry sawdust.

—from "fingernails; nostrils; shoelaces"

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M. Monday 65 levels in November on Western street. a lady walks out of a doorway and stands in entrance. an older girl comes out and leans against the entrance. the woman is in her early twenties dressed in a quick buttoned-up red costume. she has on panty hose and orange slippers and offers the looks of 1 who has simply woke up. she grins within the afternoon. she does a brief horny dance and grins. she is faded. she is blonde. unexpectedly she waves at a person passing in a automobile. lifestyles is fascinating. she is younger. she is a woman. she dances back. she waves. she grins. that’s all really nice for 1:30 within the afternoon at sixty five levels. she desires funds. she waves. she dances. she grins. the older lady is bored and walks again inside. I commence my vehicle within the parking zone around the street. I force west down Oakwood and now not see the woman. it’s so unusual. i feel, we all want cash. then I activate the radio and take a look at to forget approximately that. the poultry I got here by way of, she stated, and I hung this roasted chook in your doorknob and days later it used to be nonetheless striking there swinging within the wind. you'll have visible that factor! and your automobile used to be open air and the poultry stored swinging and I stated to my husband, what’s that stink? he needs to be lifeless. the wind was once fairly blowing that chicken round, you'll have visible that chicken swing, and that i advised my husband, that loopy son-of-a-bitch has to be useless in there. so he obtained the most important and we went in. yeah, I stated, what did you discover? simply empty bottles and rubbish. you were long gone. you weren’t in there. did you glance in the entire closets? we appeared far and wide, lower than the mattress, everywhere. i ponder the place i used to be? I dunno. the place did you get that enormous scab in your head? i used to be toasting a marshmallow on a coat hanger and burned my fore- head. oh, i assumed possibly someone hit you. uh-uh, I stated, uh-uh. an old love I don’t keep in mind our a while: we should have been among five and seven, there was once this woman round the corner approximately my age. I do take into accout her identify: Lila Jane. and something she could do each day, once an afternoon, was once to invite me: “are you prepared? ” and i might point out that i used to be and she may carry her costume and show me her panties they usually have been a diverse colour on a daily basis. a number of many years later she by some means chanced on me and got here via along with her boyfriend some fellow who smoked a pipe and who learn my books and she crossed her lengthy attractive legs high but now not excessive adequate for me to determine the panties. and once they have been able to go away I gave her a hug and I shook arms together with her boyfriend and I by no means observed her or him or her panties ever back. fit aspect read within the paper the place a 72-year-old spouse strangled her 91-year-old husband together with his necktie. she acknowledged the age distinction used to be unbearable and additional that when they'd met on a tennis courtroom 30 years earlier the age hole had no longer appeared important.

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