Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bluebird

Bluebird
Charles Bukowski

There's a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out, but I'm too tough for him. I say, stay in there, I'm not going to let anybody see you.

There's a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out, but I pour whiskey on him and inhale cigarette smoke and the whores and the bartenders and the grocery clerks never know that he's in there.

There's a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out, but I'm too tough for him. I say, stay down, do you want to mess me up? You want to screw up the works? You want to blow my book sales in Europe?

There's a bluebird in my heart that wants to get out, but I'm too clever. I only let him out at night sometimes when everybody's asleep. I say, I know that you're there, so don't be sad. Then I put him back, but he's singing a little in there. I haven't quite let him die and we sleep together like that with our secret pact and it's nice enough to make a man weep.

But I don't weep. Do you?

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Working List of Things I Will Never Tell You

A Working List of Things I Will Never Tell You
by Jon Sands

When I said I wasn’t with another girl
the January after we fell in love for the 3rd time,
it’s because it wasn’t actual sex.

In the February that began our radio silence,
it was actual sex. I hate the tight shirts
that go below your waistline.

Not only do they make you look too young,
but then your torso is a giraffe’s neck attached to tiny legs.
I screamed at myself in the subway

for writing poems about you still.
I made a scene. I think about you almost
each morning, and roughly every five days, I still

believe you’re there.
I still masturbate to you.
When we got really bad,

I would put another coat of mop water on the floor of the bar
to make sure you were asleep when I got to my side of the bed.
You are the only person to whom I’ve lied, knowing

I was telling the truth. I miss the way your neck
wraps around my face like a cave we are both lost in.
I remember when you said being with me

is like being alone with company.
My friend Sarah wrote a poem about pink ponies.
I’m scared you’re my pink pony.

Hers is dead. It is really sad. You’re not dead.
You live in Ohio, or Washington, or Wherever.
You are a shadow my body leaves on other girls.

I have a growing queue of things I know
will make you laugh and I don’t know where to put them.
I mourn like you’re dead. If you had asked me to stay,

I would not have said no.
It would never mean yes.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

For Old Snaggle Tooth

For Old Snaggle Tooth
by Charles Bukowski

I know a woman
who keeps buying puzzles
chinese
puzzles
blocks
wires
pieces that finally fit
into some order.
she works it out
mathematically
she solves all her
puzzles
lives down by the sea
puts sugar out for the ants
and believes
ultimately
in a better world.
her hair is white
she seldom combs it
her teeth are snaggled
and she wears loose shapeless
coveralls over a body most
women would wish they had.
for many years she irritated me
with what I consider her
eccentricities -
like soaking eggshells in water
(to feed the plants so that
they'd get calcium).
but finally when I think of her
life
and compare it to other lives
more dazzling, original
and beautiful
I realize that she has hurt fewer
people than anybody I know
(and by hurt I simply mean hurt).
she has had some terrible times,
times when maybe I should have
helped her more
for she is the mother of my only
child
and we were once great lovers,
but she has come through
like I said
she has hurt fewer people than
anybody I know,
and if you look at it like that,
well,
she has created a better world.
she has won.

Frances, this poem is for
you.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Kink

Kink
by Brendan Constantine

A recent survey of fetishes has named
feet and shoes the world's greatest objects
of desire. Perhaps surprisingly, lingerie trails
at some distance. Further behind, less than
four percent, are genitals, breasts, buttocks
& legs. They appear, as they often do,
in a pile at the end of a line. The only token
of longing more remote is the electric
pacemaker, for which two people indicated
strong attractions. Much is being made
of the champions, pedicure & shoe sales
have soared, but who can stop thinking
about the losers? The study comes from Italy,
a country formed like a sultan's boot,
but its range is global; no one knows where
the two people live, if they've met, or how
they love. Most of us must see a thing to know
we need it. Even the blind learn shapes
of yearning. A pacemaker is small as a kiss
& works quietly in the dark of the body.
Working at what? The constant arousal
of slow hearts with beats of lightning,
like snapping fingers, like a whip. Maybe
the two lovers are doctor & nurse, or a pair
of electricians. Perhaps they're mad, people
so crazed with loneliness, so at the mercy
of blood, the mere thought of its master is
rapture enough. Anyway, now there are three.