Charles Bukowski

 




 cows in Art Class

  good weather
  is like
  good women--
  it doesn't always happen
  and when it does
  it doesn't
  always last.
  man is
  more stable:
  if he's bad
  there's more chance
  he'll stay that way,
  or if he's good
  he might hang
  on,
  but a woman
  is changed
  by
  children
  age
  diet
  conversation
  sex
  the moon
  the absence or
  presence of sun
  or good times.
  a woman must be nursed
  into subsistence
  by love
  here a man can become
  stronger
  by being hated.

  I am drinking tonight in Spangler's Bar
  and I remember the cows
  I once painted in Art class
  and they looked good
  they looked better than anything
  in here. I am drinking in Spangler's Bar
  wondering which to love and which
  to hate, but the rules are gone:
  I love and hate only
  myself--
  they stand outside me
  like an orange dropped from the table
  and rolling away; it's what I've got to
  decide:
  kill myself or
  love myself?
  which is the treason?
  where's the information
  coming from?

  books . . . like broken glass:
  I w'dn't wipe my ass with 'em
  yet, it's getting
  darker, see?

  (we drink here and speak to
  each other and
  seem knowing.)

  buy the cow with the biggest
  tits
  buy the cow with the biggest
  rump.

  present arms.

  the bartender slides me a beer
  it runs down the bar
  like an Olympic sprinter
  and the pair of pliers that is my hand
  stops it, lifts it,
  golden piss of dull temptation,
  I drink and
  stand there
  the weather bad for cows
  but my brush is ready
  to stroke up
  the green grass straw eye
  sadness takes me all over
  and I drink the beer straight down
  order a shot
  fast
  to give me the guts and the love to
  go
  on.

Artwork & Poem by
Charles Bukowski
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