What A Man I Was by Charles Bukowski

I think this poem depicts a selfish, narcissistic arsehole very well

I shot off his left ear
then his right,
and then tore off his belt buckle
with hot lead,
and then
I shot off everything that counts
and when he bent over
to pick up his drawers
and his marbles
(poor critter)
I fixed it so he wouldn’t have
to straighten up
no more.

Ho Hum.
I went in for a fast snort
and one guy seemed
to be looking at me sideways,
and that’s how he died
sideways,
lookin’ at me
and clutchin’
for his marbles.
Sight o’ blood made me kinda
hungry.
Had a ham sandwich.
Played a couple of sentimental songs …
Shot out all the lights
and strolled outside.
Didn’t seem to be no one around
So i shot my horse
(poor critter).

Then I saw the Sheerf
a standin’ at the end a’ the road
and he was shakin’
like he had the Saint Vitus dance;
it was a real sorrowful sight
so I slowed him to a quiver
with the first slug
and mercifully stiffened him
with the second.

Then I laid on my back awhile
and I shot out the stars one by one
and then
I shot out the moon
and then I walked around
and shot out every light
in town,
and pretty soon it began to get dark
real dark
the way I like it;
just can’t stand to sleep
with no light shinin’
on my face.

I laid down and dreamt
I was a little boy again
a playin’ with my toy six-shooter
and winnin’ all the marble games,
and when I woke up
my guns was gone
and I was all bound hand and foot
just like somebody
was scared a me
and they was slippin’
a noose around my ugly neck
just as if they
meant to hang me,
and some guy was pinnin’
a real pretty sign
on my shirt:
there’s a law for you
and a law for me
and a law that hangs
from the foot of a tree.

Well, pretty poetry always did
make my eyes water
and can you believe it
all the women was cryin’
and though they was moanin’
other men’s names
I just know they was cryin’
for me (poor critters)
and though I’d slept with all a them,
I’d forgotten
in all the big excitement
to tell ’em my name
And all the men looked angry
but I guess it was because the kids
was all being impolite
and a throwin’ tin cans at me,
but I told ’em not to worry
because their aim was bad anyhow
not a boy there looked like he’d turn
into a man
90% homosexuals, the lot of them,
and some guy shouted
“let’s send him to hell!”

and with a jerk I was dancin’
my last dance,
but I swung out wide
and spit in the bartender’s eye
and stared down
into Nellie Adam’s breasts,
and my mouth watered again.

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2 Responses to What A Man I Was by Charles Bukowski

  1. H. Chinaski says:

    Fuckin love that bastard. Sweet tat as well.

  2. charles bukowski is awesome and this tattoo rocks!!!!

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