Junk by Charles Bukowski

sitting in a dark bedroom with 3 junkies,


brown paper bags filled with trash are


it is one-thirty in the afternoon.

they talk about madhouses,


they are waiting for a fix.

none of them work.

it’s relief and food-stamps and


men are usable objects

toward the fix.

it is one-thirty in the afternoon

and outside small plants grow.

their children are still in school.

the females smoke cigarettes

and suck listlessly on beer and


which I have purchased.

I sit with them.

I wait on my fix:

I am a poetry junkie.

they pulled Ezra through the streets

in a wooden cage.

Blake was sure of God.

Villon was a mugger.

Lorca sucked cock.

TS Eliot worked a teller’s cage.

most poets are swans,


I sit with 3 junkies

at one-thirty in the afternoon.

the smoke pisses upward.

I wait.

death is a nothing jumbo.

one of the females says that she likes

my yellow shirt.

I believe in a simple violence.

this is

some of it.


A new collection of Bukowski’s poems, The Pleasures of the Damned, was published on 14th January, along with the re-publication of Charles Bukowski: Locked in the Arms of a Crazy Life by Howard Sounes, both from Canongate.

Charles Bukowski is one of America’s best-known contemporary writers of poetry and prose, and, many would claim, its most influential and imitated poet. He was born in Germany and brought to the United States at the age of three. He was raised in Los Angeles and lived there for fifty years. He published his first story in 1944, when he was twenty-four, and began writing poetry when he was thirty-five. He died in San Pedro, California, at the age of seventy-three.

Leave a Comment