A Beer With Bukowski

sat two stools down
from bukowski
holding up a high-life
he nodded in my direction
downed it
tapped the empty
on the bar


I whispered
tell him I’m a poet

bukowski emptied
another one
tapped it twice
twisted out
his cigarette
went to the john

I leaned in

sounding like cagney
& polishing small circles
on the worn bar
he said,

who the hell ain’t

25 Responses to A Beer With Bukowski

  1. Suh-weet, Scott. Very nice. And very true to Bukowski.

  2. Scot says:

    thanks Rodger– knew you would like this…

  3. Vincent says:

    I find myself very protective of Bukowski, because now he is liberated from mortal life everyone owns him it seems, everyone interprets him and conjures him up from the silent ether.

    So in this context (and I am sure I’m not different from all his other fans) I read your poem waiting for a reason to say “No, this is not the Bukowski I know” (having never met him, read only 2 books of his stories).

    So I reached the last line and would only want to echo what Rodger said.

  4. Scot says:

    Thanks for reading Vincent–this seemed fitting. I agree with your take on him.

  5. whypaisley says:

    i had to change my domain name to whypaisley.com please change your links and or feed as necessary

    all you will have to do is remove the – from between why and paisley,, everything else will remain the same and will redirect you to the correct page…. sorry for the inconvenience…

  6. lissa says:

    loved it. i felt really in the moment like i was sitting there with the narrator and really wanted to know what happened too. then, the ending was perfect.

  7. Scot says:


    🙂 thanks

  8. cruxandflux says:

    YES!!! dude. I love it!

  9. David Rheins says:

    Well, as Tom Waits sings, “In the land of the blind/The one-eyed man is king”

    Funny, tho, I imagined Bukowski drinking something a little heavier than a “High Life” — just doesn’t seem like a ‘champagne of bottled beer bard to me”

  10. Scot says:

    it is reported he mostly drank wine–but I saw a picture of him drinking Miller…I suspect at one time or another her drank everything…

  11. Scot says:

    oh yeah, glad to see ya

  12. Bob says:

    To the point, a little rough around the edges… just the way Charles might have liked it. Loved the double-tap.

  13. Pris says:

    I love it! 🙂

  14. Alexa Cohen says:

    I love it too!

    Sounds just like Bukowski. Perfect!

  15. […] new poems over at Be Not Inhospitable To Strangers by one of our frequent commenters, Scot Young: A Beer With Bukowski, International Poetry Festival, and Chinatown […]

  16. Sorry to clutter up your board with those trackbacks, Scot.

  17. cruxandflux says:

    i had to come back to this one.. its quite empowering, in a weird way. That “Who the hell aint” kinda gives me the push to keep pounding the keys on my laptop…
    Well done bro..

  18. Scot says:

    🙂 prove him wrong

  19. p0et says:

    This Bokowski bloke sounds a lot like Henry Lawson.
    An everyman with a voice.

    I enjoyed the dual voice in the poem.

    You have written a painting. Your words allow us to study a scene and wonder at what is going on beyond the edges of the frame in a similar way to the wonder we have at what the Mona Lisa is not smiling about.

    What made Bukowski smile?


  20. Scot says:

    booze & broads–my take anyway

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