Monday, March 1, 2010

Danz—San Fran reading 1975. I makes ‘em watch me drink beer and I gets paid for it. Buk


are you all right?

yeah, I say.

Excerpted from the poem bad night by Charles Bukowsi

In the early summer of 1976 I went to see Charles Bukowski read at St. Mark’s Church-in-the Bowery. I was a 29-year-old painter. This event would be the culmination of a year and a half of voluminous letter writing and mad middle-of-the-night telephone calls between New York City and Los Angeles; between me, and the poet. The heightened expectation that came with his stated plan to seduce me, as I had never before been seduced, was too much and I demurred in a letter before his arrival. He showed up with a rangy Texas bombshell who went by the name of Cupcakes O’Brien; a stunning redhead half the age of the old man. He wanted pussy and I wanted a mentor. Our great misunderstanding. After the reading, at which my dear friend Judith discovered “…he has the eyes of a madman…” I drank and danced the poet and the night away.


All of her heroes moved nervously

into her.

She thought of laughing sparrows and

dying swans.

Strangely calm

her hairbrush stroked

the fear of the Poet’s years

into and through her

as if it knew her

from some other time.

She floated on the souls of others

to a place where other souls lay.

They drank around and in her

for her, with her

planted wisdom kisses on

her drunken brow.

Until the gates that kept her

from the Poet and

the tombstones

spread their iron fingers.

The cross on the altar bore no ill will.

They drank their catcalls from green bottles

breaking them against the

strength of her protectors.

The Poet read from pages

soaked with familiar words

she’d never heard

BURNING began before it ended.

voice, burning

head, burning

belly, burning

Her Chief Protector saw his eyes;

(saw that madness had already

made a home in them)

and saved her twice

to later drink frenzied elixir

take a youthful companion with her and

dance the Poet’s madness

from her breast

pick his words

from her hair, her dress and

finally be led by patient hands

to rest

to rest.

1 July 1976 NYC


J. Lemon said...

Is that beer, or ketchup? It would explain a lot.

Druidhead said...

At wuz beer it wuz. The bleedin' heart poems were ketchup though. Or as we say here in Enlightened Land: catsup.