Charles Bukowski – The House

THE HOUSE
from “All’s Normal Here” – 1985

They are building a house
half a block down
and I sit up here
with the shades down
listening to the sounds,
the hammers pounding in nails,
thack thack thack thack,
and then I hear birds,
and thack thack thack,
and I go to bed,
I pull the covers to my throat;
they have been building this house
for a month, and soon it will have
its people…sleeping, eating,
loving, moving around,
but somehow
now
it is not right,
there seems a madness,
men walk on top with nails
in their mouths
and I read about Castro and Cuba,
and at night I walk by
and the ribs of the house show
and inside I can see cats walking
the way cats walk,
and then a boy rides by on a bicycle
and still the house is not done
and in the morning the men
will be back
walking around on the house
with their hammers,
and it seems people should not build houses
anymore,
it seems people should not get married
anymore,
it seems people should stop working
and sit in small rooms
on 2nd floors
under electric lights without shades;
it seems there is a lot to forget
and a lot not to do,
and in drugstores, markets, bars,
the people are tired, they do not want
to move, and I stand there at night
and look through this house and the
house does not want to be built;
through its sides I can see the purple hills
and the first lights of evening,
and it is cold
and I button my coat
and I stand there looking through the house
and the cats stop and look at me
until I am embarrased
and move North up the sidewalk
where I will buy
cigarettes and beer
and return to my room.

Charles Bukowski's home DeLongpre Avenue

Charles Bukowski’s home DeLongpre Avenue

illustration 9

ants loud enough

close to his head,

reprieve of summer cool

as he lay under his cart

pushed for close to a mile

finding geography

awkward to place

despite being his city once,

his mind a squoze larvae

thoughts brief as a snakes hiss,

irritable tongue of weeds,

lying still

close to impossible,

underpass old concrete walls

tagged by youth

more used to shooting than talking

overhead cars heat and horses,

smells nasal reverberations

he would feel quieter

if at the bottom of a lake

where on it’s silted bed

with fishes as companions

devouring algae from his closed  eyes,

heat would be gone

and his mind would make sense,

the moon did not bring night rain,

eventually he stood

rocking on heels

than began to walk

this time he would find the start

of his journey

Intervention of the Image

in the museum of cognition,

phantom in copper bronze powder

adheres to canvas

framed on wood,

brush stroke palette knife,

density of a mind made hollow,

dry tongued

he whispered at the image,

walls listened and echoed

each separate word,

as an electronic synthetic being

experience and texture

of emotion differed,

a book the manual

coherent in fifteen languages,

how to distribute light and dark,

surface articulation

leaping thrust of sable,

birds uncommon sang outside

window

although they never disturbed,

once done,

this dimensional representation

would bring a new context

to rocky outcrops and defined

buildings of a new grown city