How to Write a Poem about Bukowski

By Eldridge, Bill | English Journal, May 2016 | Go to article overview

How to Write a Poem about Bukowski


Eldridge, Bill, English Journal


with eyes deep-set

in a pock-marked face

sat his ghost, reeking of verse and puke

and other things.

he rolled his yellow eyes and told me to get the hell out of there.

interview kerouac

or ferlinghetti, he growled.

they're almost as depraved as i am.

when i refused, he frowned and belched up stale whiskey and hookah smoke.

go back home, he said.

back to your wife and suburbia and your catholic school kids.

you're not worthy to write a poem about me.

but, in your stupidity, if you insist, then do what I say:

stop two doors down where the bad girls live.

when you've been bitten and slathered by their dogs and you're

drunk and stoned and collapsed into a pitiful rag, then pull yourself out of the puddle that was you,

chew the end of a pencil till you gag on the graphite

and write down how you've suffered. …

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