Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Icecream People by Charles Bukowski

The icecream we had this afternoon was good. It reminded me of another poem by Charles Bukowski: The Icecream People. I can relate to his understanding of icecream people. :)

The Icecream People
Charles Bukowski

the lady has me temporarily off the bottle
and now the pecker stands up
however, things change overnight--
instead of listening to Shostakovich and
Mozart through a smeared haze of smoke
the nights change, new
we drive to Baskin-Robbins,
31 flavors:
Rocky Road, Bubble Gum, Apricot Ice, Strawberry
Cheesecake, Chocolate Mint...

we park outside and look at icecream
a very healthy and satisfied people,
nary a potential suicide in sight
(they probably even vote)
and I tell her
"what if the boys saw me go in there? suppose they
find out I'm going in for a walnut peach sundae?"
"come on, chicken," she laughs and we go in
and stand with the icecream people.
none of them are cursing or threatening
the clerks.
there seem to be no hangovers or
I am alarmed at the placid and calm wave
that flows about. I feel like a leper in a
beauty contest. we finally get our sundaes and
sit in the car and eat them.

I must admit they are quite good. a curious new
world. (all my friends tell me I am looking
better. "you're looking good, man, we thought you
were going to die there for a while...")
--those 4,500 dark nights, the jails, the

and later that night
there is use for the pecker, use for
love, and it is glorious,
long and true,
and afterwards we speak of easy things;
our heads by the open window with the moonlight
looking through, we sleep in each other's

the icecream people make me feel good,
inside and out.


Angelina said...

I have found your blog through Allotment Lady's blog.

It's interesting to run into Bukowski out here in blog land. I have only read one of his books "Hot Water Music" and I found his work so depressing, because he was writing about all the down and out people I could see from my apartment windows at the time. However, what I couldn't deny was that he wrote brilliantly.

I have never read any of his poems. I really relate to this one personally. I'm glad I stumbled on your blog and had a chance to read something of Bukowski's that I enjoy.

ksklein said...

Hi Angelina, Thanks for your comment. I don´t find his work depressing at all. Actually I tend to laugh a lot while reading his books. That may sound strange, but I guess it is the way he describes everything. Often while reading his work, I nod to myself and think he just knows how crazy this world is. Another thing I really like about him is that he never judges his characters and you can feel his sympathy for them (even if his language may not be very sensitive ;) ).