in the library reading Bukowski
while the homeless bums hang
outside on the corner.
the addicts are down the street
in a recovery, believing
so much in themselves
that they don’t need that shit.

Bukowski is rambling on about
whores, horses, Mozart,
but mostly about himself,
deprecating. he’s a fake.
he’s a fraud, a hack,
a no-good-piece-of-crap writer.

in the library
imitating a fraud,
pretending to understand the ugly
underbelly of this dirty city
ever gamble or chase whores.
some days I think I’m getting pretty good.
most days I hope to die before I’m discovered.

the bums and the addicts
have gone so far to feel as worthless
as Bukowski and me. they don’t even
try anymore, just clinging to life
for the moment, for the next high.
it’s what I see, feel, nothing really.

chalk me up as another hack trying
to etch out a residual drip
for retirement. I’m a fake. I’m a fraud,
a no-good-piece-of-crap writer.
it’s the bums and the addicts who are real.

if they could only write it down.
if only their emotions weren’t stuffed
so far down their throats and up their asses
we’d have so many better poets
and storytellers in this world.

in the library reading Bukowski,
a bum who used the toilet just
shouted, “that’s awesome, buddy.”
if he only knew.

Author: Dan Steven Erickson

Dan Steven Erickson is a great undiscovered American songwriter.