not much chance,
completely cut loose from
purpose,
he was a young man
riding a bus
through North Carolina
on the wat to somewhere
and it began to snow
and the bus stopped
at a little cafe
in the hills
and the passengers
entered.
he sat at the counter
with the others,
he ordered and the
food arived.
the meal was
particularly
good
and the
coffee.
the waitress was
unlike the women
he had
known.
she was unaffected,
there was a natural
humor which came
from her.
the fry cook said
crazy things.
the dishwasher.
in back,
laughed, a good
clean
pleasant
laugh.
the young man watched
the snow through the
windows.
he wanted to stay
in that cafe
forever.
the curious feeling
swam through him
that everything
was
beautiful
there,
that it would always
stay beautiful
there.
then the bus driver
told the passengers
that it was time
to board.
the young man
thought, I’ll just sit
here, I’ll just stay
here.
but then
he rose and followed
the others into the
bus.
he found his seat
and looked at the cafe
through the bus
window.
then the bus moved
off, down a curve,
downward, out of
the hills.
the young man
looked straight
foreward.
he heard the other
passengers
speaking
of other things,
or they were
reading
or
attempting to
sleep.
they had not
noticed
the
magic.
the young man
put his head to
one side,
closed his
eyes,
pretended to
sleep.
there was nothing
else to do-
just to listen to the
sound of the
engine,
the sound of the
tires
in the
snow.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Charles Bukowski's poem Nirvana

4 Comments

  1. Aengus says:

    If you like this you should check out Tom Waits’ reading of it, collected on his Orphans album. His voice is perfect for the tone of the poem.

  2. liz says:

    everyone has these moments. when you know you should go back…whatever your diner is.

  3. rachel says:

    i love this poem… “they had not noticed the magic”

  4. Daniel says:

    These are words of what could come to be a real drifter. I have always seen who I really am as a drifter. It’s a way of life that is really living and seeing the world. money doesn’t really bring happiness. I don’t need alot of food either. I could live underneatha bridge and feel more happy than at my own home with my own folks who can’t even come to understand who I am. It’s sad..but it will all go on. It’s still just as beautiful every passing moment..no matter how shitty life or the moment seems. It will always float right on.

    LO
    VE

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