Charles Bukowski

“On The Bum”

moving from city to city
I always had two pairs of
shoes

my work shoes were
thick and black
and stiff.
sometimes when I
first put them on
they were very painful,
the toes were
hardened and bent
back
but I’d get them on
on a hangover
morning.
thinking, well
here we go
again.
working for
miserable wages
and expected to
be grateful
for that,
having been chosen
from a score of
applicants.

it was probably my
ugly and
honest face.

but putting on
those shoes
again
was always
the beginning.

i had always
imagined myself
escaping that.
making it at the
gaming table
or in the
ring
or in the bed
of some rich lady.

maybe I got
like that from
living too long in
Los Angeles,
a place far too
close to
Hollywood.

but going down
those roominghouse
steps
with each beginning,

the stiff shoes
murdering my
feet,
stepping out into
the early sun,
the sidewalk was
there,
and I was just one
more
common laborer,
one more
common
human,
the whole universe
sliding through
my head
and out my ears.
the timecard waited
to check me in
and out.
and afterwards
something to
drink and the
ladies from
hell.

work shoes
work shoes
work shoes
and me
them with
all the lights
turned
out.
Charles Bukowski 1991
San Pedro, California

Continue reading on Examiner.com: LA Poetry Examiner’s Friday Pick: 2 undiscovered poems by Charles Bukowski – Los Angeles Poetry | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/poetry-in-los-angeles/la-poetry-examiner-s-friday-pick-2-undiscovered-poems-by-charles-bukowski#ixzz1Lm2c5VBo

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One comment

  1. lkthayer · May 9, 2011

    Thanks for posting this on my FB wall Yvonne!

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