Fingernails; Nostrils; Shoelaces by Charles Bukowski (poem)

the gas line is leaking, the bird is gone from the
cage, the skyline is dotted with vultures;
Benny finally got off the stuff and Betty now has a job
as a waitress; and
the chimney sweep was quite delicate as he
giggled up through the
I walked miles through the city and recognized
nothing as a giant claw ate at my
stomach while the inside of my head felt
airy as if I was about to go
it’s not so much that nothing means
anything but more that it keeps meaning
there’s no release, just gurus and self-
appointed gods and hucksters.
the more people say, the less there is
to say.
even the best books are dry sawdust.
I watch the boxing matches and take copious
notes on futility.
then the gate springs open again
and there are the beautiful silks
and powerful horses riding
agains the sky.
such sadness: everything trying to
break through into
every day should be a miracle instead
of a machination.
in my hand rests the last bluebird.
the shades roar like lions and the walls
rattle, dance around my
then her eyes look at me, love breaks my
bones and I



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