Charles Bukowski, “the snow of Italy”

March 27th, 2010 § 1 comment

over my radio now
comes the sound of a truly mad organ,
I can see some monk
drunk in a cellar
mind gone or found,
talking to God in a different way;
I see candles and this man hs a red bear
as God has a red beard;
it is snowing, it is Italy, it is cold
and the bread is hard
and there is no butter,
only wine
wine in purple bottles
with giraffe necks,
and now the organ rises, again,
he violates it,
he plays it like a madman,
there is blood and spit in his beard,
he wants to laugh but there isn’t time,
the sun is going out,
then his fingers slow,
now there is exhaustion and the dream,
yes, even holiness,
man going to man,
to the mountains, the elephant, the star,
and a candle falls
but continues to burn upon its side,
a wax puddle shining in the eyes
of my red monk,
there is moss on the walls
and the stain of thought and failure and
waiting,
then again the music comes like hungry tigers,
and he laughs,
it is a child’s laugh, an idiot’s laugh,
laughing at nothing,
the only laugh that understands,
he holds the keys down
like stopping everything
and the room blooms with madness,
and then he stops, stops,
and sits, the candles burning,
one up, one down,
the snow of Italy is all that’s left,
it is over: the essence and the pattern.
I watch as
he pinches out the candles with his fingers,
wincing near the outer edge of each eye
and the room is dark
as everything has always been.

Wow. From The Pleasures of the Damned: Poems, 1951-1993.

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