Charles Bukowski

Here you will find the Poem Crucifix In A Deathhand of poet Charles Bukowski

Crucifix In A Deathhand

yes, they begin out in a willow, I think 
the starch mountains begin out in the willow 
and keep right on going without regard for 
pumas and nectarines 
somehow these mountains are like 
an old woman with a bad memory and 
a shopping basket. 
we are in a basin. that is the 
idea. down in the sand and the alleys, 
this land punched-in, cuffed-out, divided, 
held like a crucifix in a deathhand, 
this land bought, resold, bought again and 
sold again, the wars long over, 
the Spaniards all the way back in Spain 
down in the thimble again, and now 
real estaters, subdividers, landlords, freeway 
engineers arguing. this is their land and 
I walk on it, live on it a little while 
near Hollywood here I see young men in rooms 
listening to glazed recordings 
and I think too of old men sick of music 
sick of everything, and death like suicide 
I think is sometimes voluntary, and to get your 
hold on the land here it is best to return to the 
Grand Central Market, see the old Mexican women, 
the poor . . . I am sure you have seen these same women 
many years before 
with the same young Japanese clerks 
witty, knowledgeable and golden 
among their soaring store of oranges, apples 
avocados, tomatoes, cucumbers - 
and you know how 
look, they do look good 
as if you could eat them all 
light a cigar and smoke away the bad world. 
then it's best to go back to the bars, the same bars 
wooden, stale, merciless, green 
with the young policeman walking through 
scared and looking for trouble, 
and the beer is still bad 
it has an edge that already mixes with vomit and 
decay, and you've got to be strong in the shadows 
to ignore it, to ignore the poor and to ignore yourself 
and the shopping bag between your legs 
down there feeling good with its avocados and 
oranges and fresh fish and wine bottles, who needs 
a Fort Lauderdale winter? 
25 years ago there used to be a whore there 
with a film over one eye, who was too fat 
and made little silver bells out of cigarette 
tinfoil. the sun seemed warmer then 
although this was probably not 
true, and you take your shopping bag 
outside and walk along the street 
and the green beer hangs there 
just above your stomach like 
a short and shameful shawl, and 
you look around and no longer 
see any 
old men.