By Charles Bukowski


yeah sure, I`ll be in unless I`m out

don`t knock if the lights are out

or you hear voices or then

I might be reading Proust

if someone slips Proust under my door

or one of his bones for my stew,

and I can`t loan money

or the phone

or what`s left of my car

though you can have yesterday`s newspaper

an old shirt or a bologna sandwich

or sleep on the couch

if you don`t scream at night

and you can talk about yourself

that`s only normal;

hard times are upon us all

only I am not trying to raise a family

to send through Harvard

or buy hunting land,

I am not aiming high

I am only trying to keep myself alive

just a little longer,

so if you sometimes knock

and I don`t answer

and there isn`t a woman in here

maybe I have broken my jaw

and I am looking for a wire

or I am chasing the butterflies in

my wallpaper,

I mean if I don`t answer

I don`t answer, and the reason is

that I am not yet ready to kill you

or love you, or even accept you,

it means I don`t want to talk

I am busy, I am mad, I am glad

or maybe I`m stringing up a rope;

or even if the lights are on

and you hear sound

like breathing or praying or singing

a radio or the roll of dice

or typing—

go away, it is not the day

the night, the hour;

it is not the ignorance of impoliteness,

I wish to hurt nothing, not even a bug

but sometimes I gather evidence of a kind

that takes some sorting,

and your blue eyes, be they blue

and your hair, if you have some

or your mind— they cannot enter

until the rope is cut or knotted

or until I have shaven into

new mirrors, until the world is

stopped or opened








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