June 1st, 2007

(no subject)

making up with hank

I’d read him, sure, and liked him okay
for a two-bit drunk who squeezed out poems
the way most of us shit, but then my friend
with the bukowski tattoo took me to the horse track
to watch the old toads sweat over their tickets:
two minutes for each race then thirty more to bet,
weep, tally their losses. bukowski loved misery
which is why he loved horses: even the long-shot
thoroughbred only bought him the whiskey
which put the puke on his pillow in the morning
and gave his wallet to some no-good whore.
but that’s what helped hank pump out ten poems
on a good day—caring about as much for the art
as he did for the #6 mare shot in the head
after it broke its leg and lost him a hundred.
on the ride home my nose was already peeling,
burned red as a forty-year boozer’s,
I’d won a half dollar, my buddy lost twenty,
and we were at a stoplight watching crows
on a powerline when he said ravens
were sophisticated, not like seagulls, they don’t
just let go of their guts in mid-air like
angelic bums. then right on cue it was caw, caw,
and a wet bomb hit the windshield. shit,
hank, you were right all along! the world
is a joke—mean and unknowable. I’m planning
to play the ponies again real soon.