Burning in Water

pull a string, a puppet moves …

each man must realize
that it can all disappear very
quickly:
the cat, the woman, the job,
the front tire,
the bed, the walls, the
room; all our necessities
including love,
rest on foundations of sand —
and any given cause,
no matter how unrelated:
the death of a boy in Hong Kong
or a blizzard in Omaha …
can serve as your undoing.
all your chinaware crashing to the
kitchen floor, your girl will enter
and you’ll be standing, drunk,
in the center of it and she’ll ask:
my god, what’s the matter?
and you’ll answer: I don’t know,
I don’t know …”
–Charles Bukowski (Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame)

The Nights You Fight Best

The nights you fight best are
when all the weapons are pointed at you,
when all the voices hurl their insults
while the dream is being strangled.

The nights you fight best are
when reason gets kicked in the gut,
when the chariots of gloom encircle you.

The nights you fight best are
when the laughter of fools fills the air,
when the kiss of death is mistaken for love.

The nights you fight best are
when the game is fixed,
when the crowd screams for your blood.

The nights you fight best are
on a night like this
as you chase a thousand dark rats from your brain,
as you rise up against the impossible,
as you become a brother to the tender sister of joy

and move on 

regardless. 
–Charles Bukowski

The Color of Forgotten Love

I remember awakening one morning and finding everything smeared with the color of forgotten love.
-
-Charles Bukowski, What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire