It was three in the afternoon and we were the only two in the Frolic Room on Hollywood Boulevard. I sat two stools down from him and studied his face in the back bar mirror through the bottles of tequila and whiskey. He nodded toward the mirror, held up a High-Life, downed it in one Chianski gulp , slammed it down and said, Another.
I whispered to the bartender, who looked like every other actor waiting to be discovered,
tell him I’m a poet.
Bukowski emptied another one, tapped it twice and went to the john. I leaned in,
What’d he say?
The bartender stood polishing wet rings on the bar and sounding like Cagney,
He said Who the hell ain’t?