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O, We Are The Outcasts Analysis

Author: poem of Charles Bukowski Type: poem Views: 14

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ah, christ, what a CREW:


poetry, always more

P O E T R Y .

if it doesn't come, coax it out with a

laxative. get your name in LIGHTS,

get it up there in

8 1/2 x 11 mimeo.

keep it coming like a miracle.

ah christ, writers are the most sickening

of all the louts!

yellow-toothed, slump-shouldered,

gutless, flea-bitten and

obvious . . . in tinker-toy rooms

with their flabby hearts

they tell us

what's wrong with the world-

as if we didn't know that a cop's club

can crack the head

and that war is a dirtier game than

marriage . . .

or down in a basement bar

hiding from a wife who doesn't appreciate him

and children he doesn't


he tells us that his heart is drowning in

vomit. hell, all our hearts are drowning in vomit,

in pork salt, in bad verse, in soggy


but he thinks he's alone and

he thinks he's special and he thinks he's Rimbaud

and he thinks he's


and death! how about death? did you know

that we all have to die? even Keats died, even


and D. Thomas-THEY KILLED HIM, of course.

Thomas didn't want all those free drinks

all that free pussy-

they . . . FORCED IT ON HIM

when they should have left him alone so he could

write write WRITE!


and there's another

type. I've met them at their country

places (don't ask me what I was doing there because

I don't know).

they were born with money and

they don't have to dirty their hands in

slaughterhouses or washing

dishes in grease joints or

driving cabs or pimping or selling pot.

this gives them time to understand


they walk in with their cocktail glass

held about heart high

and when they drink they just


you are drinking green beer which you

brought with you

because you have found out through the years

that rich bastards are tight-

they use 5 cent stamps instead of airmail

they promise to have all sorts of goodies ready

upon your arrival

from gallons of whisky to

50 cent cigars. but it's never


and they HIDE their women from you-

their wives, x-wives, daughters, maids, so forth,

because they've read your poems and

figure all you want to do is fuck everybody and

everything. which once might have been

true but is no longer quite





course. everybody



he has plenty of time and a

postoffice box in town

and he drives there 3 or 4 times a day

looking and hoping for accepted


he thinks that poverty is a weakness of the


he thinks your mind is ill because you are

drunk all the time and have to work in a

factory 10 or 12 hours a


he brings his wife in, a beauty, stolen from a

poorer rich


he lets you gaze for 30 seconds

then hustles her

out. she has been crying for some


you've got 3 or 4 days to linger in the

guesthouse he says,

"come on over to dinner


but he doesn't say when or

where. and then you find out that you are not even


you are in

ONE of his houses but

his house is somewhere


you don't know


he even has x-wives in some of his


his main concern is to keep his x-wives away from

you. he doesn't want to give up a

damn thing. and you can't blame him:

his x-wives are all young, stolen, kept,

talented, well-dressed, schooled, with

varying French-German accents.

and!: they




but his big problem is to get down to that mail

box in town to get back his

rejected poems

and to keep his eye on all the other mail boxes

in all his other


meanwhile, the starving Indians

sell beads and baskets in the streets of the small desert


the Indians are not allowed in his houses

not so much because they are a fuck-threat

but because they are

dirty and

ignorant. dirty? I look down at my shirt

with the beerstain on the front.

ignorant? I light a 6 cent cigar and

forget about


he or they or somebody was supposed to meet me at


train station.

of course, they weren't

there. "We'll be there to meet the great


well, I looked around and didn't see any

great poet. besides it was 7 a.m. and

40 degrees. those things

happen. the trouble was there were no

bars open. nothing open. not even a


he's a poet.

he's also a doctor, a head-shrinker.

no blood involved that

way. he won't tell me whether I am crazy or

not-I don't have the


he walks out with his cocktail glass

disappears for 2 hours, 3 hours,

then suddenly comes walking back in


with the same cocktail glass

to make sure I haven't gotten hold of

something more precious than

Life itself.

my cheap green beer is killing

me. he shows heart (hurrah) and

gives me a little pill that stops my


but nothing decent to


he'd bought a small 6 pack

for my arrival but that was gone in an

hour and 15


"I'll buy you barrels of beer," he had


I used his phone (one of his phones)

to get deliveries of beer and

cheap whisky. the town was ten miles away,

downhill. I peeled my poor dollars from my poor

roll. and the boy needed a tip, of


the way it was shaping up I could see that I was

hardly Dylan Thomas yet, not even

Robert Creeley. certainly Creeley wouldn't have

had beerstains on his


anyhow, when I finally got hold of one of his

x-wives I was too drunk to

make it.

scared too. sure, I imagined him peering

through the window-

he didn't want to give up a damn thing-


leveling the luger while I was


while "The March to the Gallows" was playing over

the Muzak

and shooting me in the ass first and

my poor brain


"an intruder," I could hear him telling them,

"ravishing one of my helpless x-wives."

I see him published in some of the magazines

now. not very good stuff.

a poem about me

too: the Polack.

the Polack whines too much. the Polack whines about his

country, other countries, all countries, the Polack

works overtime in a factory like a fool, among other

fools with "pre-drained spirits."

the Polack drinks seas of green beer

full of acid. the Polack has an ulcerated

hemorrhoid. the Polack picks on fags

"fragile fags." the Polack hates his

wife, hates his daughter. his daughter will become

an alcoholic, a prostitute. the Polack has an

"obese burned out wife." the Polack has a

spastic gut. the Polack has a

"rectal brain."

thank you, Doctor (and poet). any charge for

this? I know I still owe you for the


Your poem is not too good

but at least I got your starch up.

most of your stuff is about as lively as a

wet and deflated

beachball. but it is your round, you've won a round.

going to invite me out this

Summer? I might scrape up

trainfare. got an Indian friend who'd like to meet

you and yours. he swears he's got the biggest

pecker in the state of California.

and guess what?

he writes




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