Sunday, April 7, 2013

national poetry month, day 7.

This really ought to be read aloud, preferably while smoking a cigarette. But there are limits to this medium, so you'll have to do your own reading and smoking.

the price
by Charles Bukowski

drinking 15 dollar champagne--
Cordon Rouge--with the hookers.

one is named Georgia and she
doesn't like pantyhose:
I keep helping her pull up
her long dark stockings.

the other is Pam--prettier
but not much soul,
we smoke and talk and I 
play with their legs and
stick my bare foot into 
Georgia's open purse.
it's filled with
bottles of pills. I 
take some of the pills.

"listen," I say, "one of 
you has soul, the other
looks, can't I combine
the 2 of you? take the soul
and stick it into the looks?"

"you want me," says Pam, "it
will cost you a  hundred."

we drink some more and Georgia
falls to the floor and can't
get up.

I tell Pam that I like her
earrings very much, her
hair is long and a natural

"I was only kidding about the
hundred," she says.

"oh," I say, "what will it cost

she lights her cigarette with
my lighter and looks at me
through the flame:

her eyes tell me.

"look," I say, "I don't think I
can ever pay that price again."

she crosses her legs
inhales on her cigarette

as she exhales she smiles
and says, "sure you can."

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