the last sin
  pale ashen sky
a bleary eye
clouds of recurring screams...
i am a zoo
  an octopus leviathan
tentacles into an ocean
of unformed emotions...
syphilis and love  
  syphilitic pall
stifles the clear blue
i contort...
 
shell and pearl
  amidst highs and lows
in life's ocean flows
a shell peony-mouthed...
 
i am an unmarried mother
 
  fed on stings
of barbed milk morality
my child-plankton...
 
the lovers
  cell upon cell
bridge of their union
hung on the pillars...
rebirth
  ogre of age
and time cavil
at a warm picture...
the young today
  innocence thaws
at the altar
of ambition...
 

the blackbirds are rough today

lonely as a dry and used orchard
spread over the earth
for use and surrender.
shot down like an ex-pug selling
dailies on the corner.
taken by tears like
an aging chorus girl
who has gotten her last check.
a hanky is in order your lord your
worship.
the blackbirds are rough today
like
ingrown toenails
in an overnight
jail---
wine wine whine,
the blackbirds run around and
fly around
harping about
Spanish melodies and bones.
and everywhere is
nowhere---
the dream is as bad as
flapjacks and flat tires:
why do we go on
with our minds and
pockets full of
dust
like a bad boy just out of
school---
you tell
me,
you who were a hero in some
revolution
you who teach children
you who drink with calmness
you who own large homes
and walk in gardens
you who have killed a man and own a
beautiful wife
you tell me
why I am on fire like old dry
garbage.
we might surely have some interesting
correspondence.
it will keep the mailman busy.
and the butterflies and ants and bridges and
cemeteries
the rocket-makers and dogs and garage mechanics
will still go on a
while
until we run out of stamps
and/or
ideas.
don't be ashamed of
anything; I guess God meant it all
like
locks on
doors.


"The Blackbirds are Rough Today" Copyright 1988 by Charles Bukowski.