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Charles Bukowski - Young In New Orleans

starving there, sitting around the bars,
and at night walking the streets for hours,
the moonlight always seemed fake
to me, mabye it was,
and in the French Quarter I watched
the horses and buggies going by,
everybody sitting high in the open
carriages, the black driver, and in
back the man and the woman,
usually young and always white.
and I was always white.
and hardly charmed by the
world.
New Orleans was a place to
hide.
I could piss away my life,
unmolested.
except for the rats.
the rats in my small dark room
very much resented sharing it
with me.
they were large and fearless
and stared at me with eyes
that spoke
an unblinking 
death.
women were beyond me.
they saw something
depraved.
there was one waitress
a little older than
I, she rather smiled,
lingered when she
brought my
coffee.
that was plenty for
me, that was 
enough.
there was something about 
that city, though:
it didn't let me feel guilty
that I had no feeling for the
things so many others
needed.
it let me alone.
sitting up in my bed
the lights out,
hearing the outside
sounds,
lifting my cheap
bottle of wine,
letting the warmth of
the grape
enter
]me
as I heard the rats
moving about the
room,
I preferred them
to
humans.
being lost,
being crazy mabye
is not so bad
if you can be
that way:
undisturbed.
New Orleans gave me
that.
nobody ever called
my name.
no telephone,
no car,
no job,
no anything.
me and the
rats
and my youth,
one time,
that time
I knew
even through the
nothingness,
it was a
celebration
of something not to
do
but only
know.

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Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 5332 times | Comments and analysis of Young In New Orleans by Charles Bukowski Comments (2)

Young In New Orleans - Comments and Information

Poet: Charles Bukowski
Poem: Young In New Orleans
Poem of the Day: Dec 24 2004

Comment 2 of 2, added on October 5th, 2007 at 5:16 PM.

I started to read it, and I couldn't stop. I coulnd't wait for the next line. That's how I know it was really good! Really interesting.

Philip from United States
Comment 1 of 2, added on June 15th, 2007 at 10:39 PM.

His perspectives and mental imagery reside in a place of simple knowing in my minds eye like putting on a pair of old familiar socks and noticing the pattern for the first time

Dechlan Strange from Australia

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