climbing back up out of the ooze, out of
the thick black tar,
rising up again, a modern
you're amazed at your good
somehow you've had more
than your share of second
hell, accept it.
what you have, you have.
you walk and look in the bathroom
at an idiot's smile.
you know your luck.
some go down and never climb back up.
something is being kind to you.
you turn from the mirror and walk into the
you find a chair, sit down, light a cigar.
back from a thousand wars
you look out from an open door into the silent
Sibelius plays on the radio.
nothing has been lost or destroyed.
you blow smoke into the night,
tug at your right
baby, right now, you've got it
About the Author
Charles Bukowski (1920 1994) was a German-born American poet, novelist, and short story writer. His writing was influenced by the social, cultural, and economic ambiance of his home city of Los Angeles. He published his first story at twenty-four and began writing poetry at thirty-five, publishing extensively in small literary magazines and small presses from the early 1940s through the early 90s. The King of the Underground, he remained loyal to those small press editors who had first championed his work. During his life he wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories, and six novels, publishing over sixty books.