Monday, March 7, 2016



I’ve got to be honest. I can
make good word music and rhyme

at the right times and fit words
together to give people pleasure

and even sometimes take their
breath away – but it always

somehow turns out kind of phoney.
Consonance and assonance and inner

rhyme won’t make up for the fact
that I can’t figure out how to get

down on real paper the real or the true
which we call life. Like the other

day. The other day I was walking
on the lower exercise yard here

at San Quentin and this cat called
Turk came up to a friend of mine

and said Ernie, I hear you’re
shooting on my kid. And Ernie

told him So what, punk? And Turk
pulled out his stuff and shanked

Ernie in the gut only Ernie had a
Metal tray in his shirt. Turk’s

shank bounced right off him and
Ernie pulled his stuff out and of

course Turk didn’t have a tray and
caught it dead in the chest, a bad

one, and the blood that came to his
lips was a bright pink, lung blood,

and he just laid down in the grass
and said Shit. Fuck it. Sheeit.

Fuck it. And he laughed a long
time, softly, until he died. Now

what could consonance or assonance or
even rhyme do to something like that?


W I L L I A M     W A N T L I N G 

Charles Bukowski on William Wantling



when you're young

a pair of


high-heeled shoes

just sitting


in the closet

can fire your


when you're old

it's just

a pair of shoes



in them

and  just as



C H A R L E S     B U K O W S K I
edited by Abel Debritto

the third and perhaps more to go in an excellent series drawing on many of Charles Bukowski's favorite subjects — horse racing can't be far behind

Ecco Press, 2016