my favorite bukowski poem







This is my favorite Bukowski poem.








the price
— by charles bukowski

drinking 15 dollar champagne —
Cordon Rouge — with the hookers.

one is named Georgia and she
doesn’t like pantyhose:
I keep helping her pull up
her long dark stockings.

the other is Pam — prettier
but not much soul, and
we smoke and talk and I
play with their legs and
stick my bare foot into
Georgia’s open purse.
it’s filled with bottles of pills. I
take some of the pills.

“listen,” I say, “one of
you has soul, the other
looks. can’t I combine
the 2 of you? take the soul
and stick it into the looks?”

“you want me,” says Pam, “it
will cost you a hundred.”

we drink some more and Georgia
falls to the floor and can’t
get up.

I tell Pam that I like her
earrings very much. her
hair is long and a natural

“I was only kidding about the
hundred,” she says.

“oh,” I say, “what will it cost

she lights her cigarette with
my lighter and looks at me
through the flame:

her eyes tell me.

“look,” I say, “I don’t think I
can ever pay that price again.”

she crosses her legs
inhales on her cigarette

as she exhales she smiles
and says, “sure you can.”


:::bukowski i:::
:::bukowki ii:::
:::bukowki iii:::

16 Responses to my favorite bukowski poem

  1. Dear Sam,

    On a day of poems
    of rhyme, of song
    some sharp, some pert
    some overly long

    a day when lovers
    shove it in your face
    and what you may need
    a philosophical place

    we have a site
    for you to come
    for views on sex
    on love on the run

    we promise little
    but all of it’s free
    on the bright side it lacks
    for bad poetry

    Hey there Sam, I thought you might like this if you haven’t already found it: this site (written by me) on Modern philosophy just published it’s first ‘paper.’

  2. max

    I might like it but you have to start calling me Max, Jester, not Sam, before I will visit.

  3. …but you have to start calling me Max, Jester, not Sam…

    Are you not as hop-y as a Sam?

    I like the Bukowski. Very anti-Valentine, probably read to people at White Castle. It leaves the reader suddenly and in an uncomfortable place. Nice.

  4. max

    Oh that poem never put me in an uncomfortable place. It put me home. I know what love costs. I know a hundred bucks is easy compared to that.

    Are Sams hop-y? I do not know. I have never been a Sam.

  5. Sam Adams Boston Lager uses a decent amount of hops in its bewing. Not a favorite beer of mine, so it’s good that you aren’t a Sam.

    The situation is not that uncomfortable to me either; I was speaking mostly to form. The poem ends and (at least in my case) leaves the reader wanting another line or two. It physically deposits me in an uncomfortable place. I think that is fabulous.

  6. max

    Well. I am not a Sam. But I am an Adams.


  7. “I don’t think I
    can ever pay that price again.”

    Killer line.

  8. max

    That is the one that got me. I know that line inside.

  9. just one of those days, max, just one of those days. forget my own head next… soz

  10. max

    There there Jester. Even those days pass.

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  13. Ben

    The only Bukowski reading I remember was back in the 60s when Bukowski was a underground legend in LA. Some big house in Laurel Canyon. He never showed.

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