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The History Of One Tough Motherfucker Analysis



Author: poem of Charles Bukowski Type: poem Views: 11

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he came to the door one night wet thin beaten and

terrorized

a white cross-eyed tailless cat

I took him in and fed him and he stayed

grew to trust me until a friend drove up the driveway

and ran him over

I took what was left to a vet who said,"not much

chance...give him these pills...his backbone

is crushed, but is was crushed before and somehow

mended, if he lives he'll never walk, look at

these x-rays, he's been shot, look here, the pellets

are still there...also, he once had a tail, somebody

cut it off..."


I took the cat back, it was a hot summer, one of the

hottest in decades, I put him on the bathroom

floor, gave him water and pills, he wouldn't eat, he

wouldn't touch the water, I dipped my finger into it

and wet his mouth and I talked to him, I didn't go any-

where, I put in a lot of bathroom time and talked to

him and gently touched him and he looked back at

me with those pale blue crossed eyes and as the days went

by he made his first move

dragging himself forward by his front legs

(the rear ones wouldn't work)

he made it to the litter box

crawled over and in,

it was like the trumpet of possible victory

blowing in that bathroom and into the city, I

related to that cat-I'd had it bad, not that

bad but bad enough


one morning he got up, stood up, fell back down and

just looked at me.


"you can make it," I said to him.


he kept trying, getting up falling down, finally

he walked a few steps, he was like a drunk, the

rear legs just didn't want to do it and he fell again, rested,

then got up.


you know the rest: now he's better than ever, cross-eyed

almost toothless, but the grace is back, and that look in

his eyes never left...


and now sometimes I'm interviewed, they want to hear about

life and literature and I get drunk and hold up my cross-eyed,

shot, runover de-tailed cat and I say,"look, look

at this!"


but they don't understand, they say something like,"you

say you've been influenced by Celine?"


"no," I hold the cat up,"by what happens, by

things like this, by this, by this!"


I shake the cat, hold him up in

the smoky and drunken light, he's relaxed he knows...


it's then that the interviews end

although I am proud sometimes when I see the pictures

later and there I am and there is the cat and we are photo-

graphed together.


he too knows it's bullshit but that somehow it all helps.

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