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luís soares

Blog do escritor Luís Soares

Charles Bukowski - Something For The Touts, The Nuns, The Grocery Clerks, And You...

we have everything and we have nothing 
and some men do it in churches 
and some men do it by tearing butterflies 
in half 
and some men do it in Palm Springs 
laying it into butterblondes 
with Cadillac souls 
Cadillacs and butterflies 
nothing and everything, 
the face melting down to the last puff 
in a cellar in Corpus Christi. 
there's something for the touts, the nuns, 
the grocery clerks and you . . . 
something at 8 a.m., something in the library 
something in the river, 
everything and nothing. 
in the slaughterhouse it comes running along 
the ceiling on a hook, and you swing it -- 
one 
two 
three 
and then you've got it, $200 worth of dead 
meat, its bones against your bones 
something and nothing. 
it's always early enough to die and 
it's always too late, 
and the drill of blood in the basin white 
it tells you nothing at all 
and the gravediggers playing poker over 
5 a.m. coffee, waiting for the grass 
to dismiss the frost . . . 
they tell you nothing at all. 

we have everything and we have nothing -- 
days with glass edges and the impossible stink 
of river moss -- worse than shit; 
checkerboard days of moves and countermoves, 
fagged interest, with as much sense in defeat as 
in victory; slow days like mules 
humping it slagged and sullen and sun-glazed 
up a road where a madman sits waiting among 
bluejays and wrens netted in and sucked a flakey 
grey. 
good days too of wine and shouting, fights 
in alleys, fat legs of women striving around 
your bowels buried in moans, 
the signs in bullrings like diamonds hollering 
Mother Capri, violets coming out of the ground 
telling you to forget the dead armies and the loves 
that robbed you. 
days when children say funny and brilliant things 
like savages trying to send you a message through 
their bodies while their bodies are still 
alive enough to transmit and feel and run up 
and down without locks and paychecks and 
ideals and possessions and beetle-like 
opinions. 
days when you can cry all day long in 
a green room with the door locked, days 
when you can laugh at the breadman 
because his legs are too long, days 
of looking at hedges . . . 

and nothing, and nothing, the days of 
the bosses, yellow men 
with bad breath and big feet, men 
who look like frogs, hyenas, men who walk 
as if melody had never been invented, men 
who think it is intelligent to hire and fire and 
profit, men with expensive wives they possess 
like 60 acres of ground to be drilled 
or shown-off or to be walled away from 
the incompetent, men who'd kill you 
because they're crazy and justify it because 
it's the law, men who stand in front of 
windows 30 feet wide and see nothing, 
men with luxury yachts who can sail around 
the world and yet never get out of their vest 
pockets, men like snails, men like eels, men 
like slugs, and not as good . . . 
and nothing, getting your last paycheck 
at a harbor, at a factory, at a hospital, at an 
aircraft plant, at a penny arcade, at a 
barbershop, at a job you didn't want 
anyway. 
income tax, sickness, servility, broken 
arms, broken heads -- all the stuffing 
come out like an old pillow. 

we have everything and we have nothing. 
some do it well enough for a while and 
then give way. fame gets them or disgust 
or age or lack of proper diet or ink 
across the eyes or children in college 
or new cars or broken backs while skiing 
in Switzerland or new politics or new wives 
or just natural change and decay -- 
the man you knew yesterday hooking 
for ten rounds or drinking for three days and 
three nights by the Sawtooth mountains now 
just something under a sheet or a cross 
or a stone or under an easy delusion, 
or packing a bible or a golf bag or a 
briefcase: how they go, how they go! -- all 
the ones you thought would never go. 

days like this. like your day today. 
maybe the rain on the window trying to 
get through to you. what do you see today? 
what is it? where are you? the best 
days are sometimes the first, sometimes 
the middle and even sometimes the last. 
the vacant lots are not bad, churches in 
Europe on postcards are not bad. people in 
wax museums frozen into their best sterility 
are not bad, horrible but not bad. the 
cannon, think of the cannon, and toast for 
breakfast the coffee hot enough you 
know your tongue is still there, three 
geraniums outside a window, trying to be 
red and trying to be pink and trying to be 
geraniums, no wonder sometimes the women 
cry, no wonder the mules don't want 
to go up the hill. are you in a hotel room 
in Detroit looking for a cigarette? one more 
good day. a little bit of it. and as 
the nurses come out of the building after 
their shift, having had enough, eight nurses 
with different names and different places 
to go -- walking across the lawn, some of them 
want cocoa and a paper, some of them want a 
hot bath, some of them want a man, some 
of them are hardly thinking at all. enough 
and not enough. arcs and pilgrims, oranges 
gutters, ferns, antibodies, boxes of 
tissue paper. 

in the most decent sometimes sun 
there is the softsmoke feeling from urns 
and the canned sound of old battleplanes 
and if you go inside and run your finger 
along the window ledge you'll find 
dirt, maybe even earth. 
and if you look out the window 
there will be the day, and as you 
get older you'll keep looking 
keep looking 
sucking your tongue in a little 
ah ah no no maybe 

some do it naturally 
some obscenely 
everywhere.