Charles Bukowski/Richard Brautigan
CB and RB
got into a fist fight
a real back alley, bloody knuckle brawl
empty beer cans blowing around in the watermelon sugar
CB pulled his shirt off over his pocked face
He started to weave and menace. Kid Stardust.
RB politely removed his hat and set it down
onto a clean white handkerchief,
He pulled out $3.77 in change from his pocket
set in on a rock
His braced legs like a porch on a decaying house on the hill.
CB was already out of breath, hungover, cursing
RB had already imagined the kiss that never happened.
They stood there under the moon and the sun
Above the mud and iridescent beetles
Between them, absolutely nothing.
Before anything, the two men got into a clinch.
CB said ” I can’t hit you. I can’t do it.”
RB, staring at the dirt whispered back “Oh look, our deer tracks”
A confusing darkness overtook the art
in a dive bar trying to find the narrow restroom hallway
spinning and wishing.
They both disappeared…
and now I’m left at this grimy empty peepshow
a confession booth with dead priests and whirring lost bar flies
I’m up against the glass without an impulse
I’m not free
Why didn’t they finish the fight?
Do I have to do it myself?
Where is my challenger? Is it you?
I’m picking up the empty beer cans
a useless shattered whiskey bottle held together by a wet label
and I’m at the Redemption center