in the hospitals and jails
it’s the worst
in madhouses
it’s the worst
in penthouses
it’s the worst
in skid row flophouses
it’s the worst
at poetry readings
at rock concerts
at benefits for the disabled
it’s the worst
at funerals
at weddings
it’s the worst
at parades
at skating rinks
at sexual orgies
it’s the worst
at midnight
at 3 a.m.
at 5:45 p.m.
it’s the worst
falling through the sky
firing squads
that’s the best
thinking of India
looking at popcorn stands
watching the bull get the matador
that’s the best
boxed lightbulbs
an old dog scratching
peanuts in a celluloid bag
that’s the best
spraying roaches
a clean pair of stockings
natural guts defeating natural talent
that’s the best
in front of firing squads
throwing crusts to seagulls
slicing tomatoes
that’s the best
rugs with cigarette burns
cracks in sidewalks
waitresses still sane
that’s the best

my hands dead
my heart dead
silence
adagio of rocks
the world ablaze
that’s the best
for me.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Charles Bukowski's poem The Worst And The Best

1 Comment

  1. omar says:

    He spoke the truth, he turned the phrase, he brought you home to the true reality of his world. Big themes, small words, huge meaning.

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