i just finished a biography
on buk. i already know about this from the move Barfly
that he wrote, but he was with this woman
for five years on and off, the first and only passionate love
of his life. she was an alcoholic
and he was too, they met in a bar
, they would steal shit and live together, fight a lot, get kicked out
by landlords. she would go drinking
and go home with whatever man had liquor at home. she wouldnt come home for days. he wrote his most passionate poetry about her. at one point they had been broken up a yearo r something and he went to visit her, it was christmas
, she was working as a maid in a hotel, everyone gave her a bottle of wine
/ she had like 25 botles of wine in her room and he knew she would drink herself to death. he stayed with her, drank 3 that night, then told her not to touch them, he'd be back (shouldnt have left) and next time he went back she was gone and there was blood on the bed and the bottles were mostly gone. he went to the hospital
and she was dying and she looked when she saw him and said "i knew it woiuld be you" (she had been with tons of men, but he loved her more than the world, or any of them) and she died soon and he never stopped writing about her.
a place to hang out
to be young, foolish, poor and ugly
doesnt help to make life look any better.
so many evenings, examining the walls alone
nothing to smoke
nothing to eat
(we usually drank up my paycheck fast)
she always seemed eager to leave
eager to move on
but first she would
put me through her college--
(handing me my Masters and my Ph.D.
in the process)
and she always finally returned,
she wanted a place to hang out,
somewhere to keep her clothes.
she claimed i was funny,
that i made her laugh
but i was not trying to be
she had beautiful legs and she as
intelligent but she just didn't care
and all my fury and my humor and
all my madness only entertained
her mildly: I was performing for her
like a sad puppet in some farce of my own.
a few times after she left i had enough
cheap wine and enough cigarettes on hand
for a few days,
i'd listen to the radio and look at the
walls and get drunk enough to
almost forget her
but then she would return once
no other woman has made me feel as
low as i felt then
as on those evenings
duting that two-mile hike home from work
turning up the alley
looking at the window
and finding the shade dark.
she taught me then the agony of the damned and
one wants a good woman, good luck, good
weather, goof friends but
for me she was a long shot and
the time was cold and the longshot didn't
i buried her five winters after i met her,
seldom seeing her during the last three years.
there were only four of us at her grave:
her son and myself.
it didnt matter as
all those walks up the alley looking
in vain for a light behind the shade and as
the dozens of men who had fucked her and
who were not there at the end.
one of the men who had loved her
was there: "my crazy stockroom boy from the
department store," she called me.